While the main schedule for Shanghai Fashion Week concluded this week, with the first presentations beginning in mid-March and stragglers such as Windowsen still to show at the end of April, the season was truly more than a month.To get more fashion news today, you can visit shine news official website.
Enjoying the luxury of fully physical showcases — the Dior pre-fall 2021 show alone had a guest list of 1,000 people for its disco-themed night — there was a strong chorus from event to event to highlight Chinese creativity, from the announcement of the winners of the inaugural Yu Prize to the creation of a new award, the Hu Fashion Forward prize, by the retailer LMDS and actress Fan Bingbing.
In particular, Shanghai Fashion Week organizers espoused its new direct-to-consumer initiatives tapping China’s top livestreamers Viya and Austin Li in multidesigner, see now, buy now fashion showcases. In her event, “Seeing the Future,” Viya picked the work of 15 designers — among them Lost General, Shine Li and Masha Ma — and racked up 410 million renminbi, or $62.8 million, in sales. Austin Li similarly supported 11 designers in a Tmall-streamed fashion show. Balabala, the leading children’s wear brand in China, who this season did a crossover with Jason Wu, livestreamed its show from the Shanghai Children’s Art Theatre, which drove $26.9 million in sales and attracted more than 1.2 billion views on Weibo. Even Dior got in on the see now, buy now action, showcasing a pre-fall collection that — while the imagery had been made public earlier — was the first time it was shown on a runway, with pieces available for order immediately after the show.
“At present, many young Chinese designers still use the ‘showroom plus buyer plus wholesale’ format from the West as their first choice for commercial development. Brands that launch this way may not encounter problems but over time, with China’s rapid development, it’s easy to be eliminated,” said Xiaolei Lv, vice secretary of Shanghai Fashion Week.
“In context of China’s fast-developing economy, society, culture, digital infrastructure and increasingly mature consumer perception, following the international model step by step could see the wave of new industry consumption patterns overwhelm creative designers,” said Xiaolei.
But at traditional showrooms, too, feedback was that business was brisk as the market enjoyed repatriated spending from consumers that translated into buyers’ bigger budgets and more daring selections. On Thursday, government data showed that retail sales nationally in the first quarter of the year surged 33.9 percent year-over-year, albeit off a low base.
Julio Ng, director of the showroom Seiya Nakamura 2.24, said one of his top concerns was how to manage the demand coming in.
“Compared to the last year, this new autumn-winter probably we hit a 200 percent increase [in orders],” he said. “Of course, money is an issue but to grow the brand in a very healthy way, it’s a main challenge. In the Chinese mentality everyone’s looking into the short-term return and especially in this great moment of China right now, it’s easy to lose sight and to look into just maximizing the profit.
“In China, all the domestic brands are equipped to do a lot of restocking…but at the same time, if they go up so fast, you know they probably die out very fast as well. So we don’t want that kind of hype for our brands. We want our brands to be more sustainable as a business.”
The Chongqing-born but Beijing-raised Chen was one of the most hotly anticipated names on the circuit this season after having his graduate collection at Central Saint Martins spotted by Labelhood founder Tasha Liu. His first proper show, “Debutante,” was a theatrical debut of 35 looks that mixed an impressive range of materials — mechanical parts, rubber and metal — with soft fabrics like lace, cashmere and silk.
“There are many textures and textiles in the collection,” Chen said. “For example, there are dresses made by packing tapes, which is very experimental, there are dresses and skirts embroidered with recycled metal beads — for sustainability but also I like the roughness of those materials. There are lots and lots of colors in this collection because of how much I like colors, very aggressive color combinations.”