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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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 Thisnorthat. In 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.