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Helen Lee FW 2016
Helen Lee FW 2016

Shanghai Fashion Designers You Need To Know

Picture of India Doyle
Updated: 25 August 2016
Twice a year, Shanghai Fashion Week welcomes editors and fashion bloggers from around the world, who hustle to get a front row seat at one of the best platforms for emerging Chinese talent. Dubbed by the UK  Fashion and Textile Association as “the most obvious and serious challenge to Europe’s domination of the fashion and textile trade show calendar”, Shanghai boasts some of the Far East’s most creative designers.

Qiu Hao

With the successful brand Neither Nor and trendy Shanghai boutique OnebyOne already to his name, Qiu Hao enrolled at London’s Central Saint Martins in 2004 to gain further experience. After graduating, Qiu Hao gained international acclaim. He won the coveted Woolmark Prize in 2008 and has been nominated as one of Forbes’ 25 most influential people in Chinese fashion. Qiu Hao’s designs are minimalist and avant-garde, with experimental fabrics playing a key role. “A subtle, Chinese philosophy underlies everything we do,” Qiu Hao told Business of Fashion.

Shop: Qiu Hao 

Qiu Hao F/W 2011 'Serpens' ~ #gaglikes #goodasgoldshop #qiuhao @mr.qiuhao

A photo posted by Good As Gold (@goodasgoldshop) on

Zhang Da

In 2005, Zhang Da founded cult label Boundless, a brand that pushes limits and challenges aesthetic assumptions for customers and fellow designers alike. As such, Zhang creates 2-D patterns, working with simple organic shapes that respond uniquely to each body when worn – as opposed to creating a ubiquitous silhouette that the body must fit into. Alongside his eponymous label, the designer has also been working with Hermès on their new label Shang Xia.

Shop: Boundless


Helen Lee 

Helen Lee (Li Hongyan in Chinese) completed her initial training in China, studying a joint course with Shanghai’s Dong Hua University and LaSalle College in Montreal. After three years working in Japan, Lee returned to start her own label. The brand speaks to strong independent, city-dwelling women who enjoy their power lunches with a slice of femininity. Each Helen Lee collection features pieces to fall in love with, from soft blue, summer inspired lace midi-skirts, to statement fur coats and loose silk patterned trousers in fall.

Shop: Helen Lee

Helen Lee FW 2016

Helen Lee FW 2016


Beibei Zang

Beibei Zang is the brainchild of local brand Dirty Baby, a label launched in 2015 with an ethos of mixing the cute and the weird to  create wholly wearable, off-beat designs. Zang graduated from London College of Fashion in 2012, and began her career by making pieces on commission for family and friends. As demand grew, Dirty Baby was launched. Particularly of note are the surreal illustrations printed onto pieces, which were made in collaboration with Chinese artist Nhozagri (Rong Zhai).

Shop: Dirty Baby

the lovely tsubasa in dirty baby 2016aw

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Qiaoran Huang and Joshua Hupper

Based between Shanghai and New York, Qiaoran Huang and Joshua Hupper founded BABYGHOST in Manhattan in 2010. The duo gained experience at major houses such as Diane von Furstenberg and Nathan Jenden before launching their own line. BABYGHOST delivers 90’s inspired grunge infused with delicate finishes, marrying contrasting silhouettes for additional effect.


@chloechlo1chloe is the future

A photo posted by babyghost_nyc (@babyghost_nyc) on

Tan Li Chen and  Lin Yu Bo

Graduating from Milan’s Istituto Marangoni in 2016, designer duo Tan Li Chen and Lin Yu Bo melt a host of influences into their label ThisnorthatIn the collections, the pair actively pursue an aesthetic that works across themes, embodying a sense of curiosity, wonder and playfulness. Their work pursues contradictions, where you expect everything from metallic parkas to wellington boots worn under wide-leg denim culottes.

We 😎😎😎 #unisex #apparel #thisnorthat #pressrestart #ss17 #throwbackthursday #shooting

A photo posted by @thisnorthat on