EXCLUSIVE: Shanghai Fashion Week Goes Green and Creative for Fall

LONDON — Once again a full physical showcase amid a global pandemic. Shanghai Fashion Week will be announcing the provisional lineup for the fall 2021 season on Monday, WWD can exclusively reveal.

Despite two weeks postpone from its usual mid-March dates due to local COVID-19 cases flare-ups in February, Shanghai Fashion Week will return in full force from April 6 to 13, with a comprehensive physical showcase calendar, sustainability events and creative panels, such as the inaugural Yu Prize and the “Ulio Space” exhibition at Mode Shanghai, and sales-driven digital initiatives.

This season, titled “Bloom the Spring,” over 100 brands will show their fall 2021 collections as a part of the official calendar, under the Chinese government’s COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Some 65 percent of them are returning brands, and over 50 percent are Shanghai-based labels. Over 40 percent of them are eco-conscious brands, and some 50 percent of them will showcase fashion collaborations on the runway, Lu Xiaolei, deputy secretary-general of Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee, told WWD.

She added that Xiao Xue, former publisher and editor-in-chief of Elle China for 14 years, and now an author and influencer has been appointed as an ambassador for SFW with a three-year term. She will be responsible for helping the platform play a greater role in supporting Chinese brands, promoting sustainability, and female empowerment.

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Chinese fashion label Mark Fairwhale will open the fashion week with a collection that celebrates Chinese heritage and C-pop culture. Other brands showing on the Xintiandi main venue include Tuyue, Chau Rising, Reineren, Maya Li, Hemu, INXX, Rflexion, Leaf Xia, Youwei, Dawei, and model Lu Yan’s label, Comme Moi.

Shanghai Fashion Week’s main venue at Xintiandi Shanghai Courtesy

At Labelhood, where some of the most exciting Chinese talents present their works, designers are divided into five groups this season, based on their career development and style to showcase from April 7 to 11 at the Tank Shanghai art space venue, a short walk away from the largest fashion trade show during SFW, Ontimeshow, on West Bund.

Highlights from Labelhood’s lineup include Louis Shengtao Chen, Ponder.er, Peng Tai, VII Victor x Wang, Club_Cylinder, Fabric Porn, and Dumpty’s SFW debuts, and newcomers from Labelhood’s incubation project Youtopia. They are Anno Mundi, Fivekoh, Momonary, Sorgenti, and Toile.

Emerging Chinese designers with global exposure like Shushu/Tong, Angel Chen, Rui, Yuhan Wang, Private Policy, and Yueqi Qi will also return to the showcase with local names such as Yirantian, Roaringwild, Oude Waag, Yingpei Studio, Jacques Wei, Superr, Umamiism Oyster, and Swaying/knit presenting their fall 2021 collections with Labelhood.

Ermanno Scervino, Jason Wu, Pronovias, Muse Marry, and Nicole Milano will show with the Shanghai Iconic Fashion Showcase platform at Jing An Kerry Center.

A dozen of emerging brands, such as 8on8, Ximon Lee, and Samuel Gui Yang, and international brands like Dior, Versace will also be hosting events during SFW to capitalize on the audience.

As first reported by WWD, Dior plans to stage a physical show for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s pre-fall 2021 collection —  the first time the line will be presented on a runway — at Shanghai’s Long Museum West Bund on April 12.

While Versace will host the “Versacepolis, A Tribute to Women Power” exhibition at the city’s top luxury mall Plaza 66, and release a series of videos highlights female leaders in China’s entrepreneurial and entertainment industry.

The scene at Shanghai Fashion Week Spring 2021. Dave Tacon/WWD

On the trade show business front. Over 300 brands will participate in SFW’s official trade show Mode Shanghai, despite the pandemic has some serious hurdles for international brands to join.

Jane Zhang, director of the exhibition operation at Mode Shanghai, told WWD that Mode will also continue to put a focus on sustainability with the “Fashion In Circulation” exhibition presented by Ulio Space.

First established in 2020 by Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee to promote the sustainable development of China’s fashion industry, the Ulio Space initiative organizes sustainable fashion exhibitions twice a year during SFW and holds monthly industry workshops inviting supply chain companies, brands, and designers to exchange and discuss sustainable fashion, promoting in-depth cooperation within the industry, and helping to promote consumer-oriented product design and presentation.

Participants of this season’s edition include emerging designers Langer Chen, Reclothing Bank, Susan Fang, 8on8, Shie Lyu, Private Policy, PH5, NCHS, and Shuting Qiu, Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M, and supply chains companies like Dupont, Lenzing, Shepherd, Hologarment, UPW, KaneTop, Le Dumco, and Alibaba’s Xiyou.

At Ontimeshow, the largest trade show during SFW. Over 200 brands, such as Annakiki, Angel Chen, Deepmoss, EENK, Evening, Haizhen Wang, Jason Wu, Qiuhao, Masha Ma, M Essential, Roaringwild, and Xiao Li, will be selling their new collections at its West Bond venue from April 3 to 7, and at the BAIwork space on the bund from April 8 to 11.

The BAIwork space on 133 Sichuan Middle Road was built over a hundred years ago as the China headquarters of the UK-based chemicals company Brunner Mond. It’s now a Bailian Group-owned property that has been refurbished as a flagship for its coworking concept BAIwork space for creatives in downtown Shanghai.

At the emerging designers-filled Not Showroom, besides his main collection, Samuel Gui Yang will present his collaboration with the Shanghai-based label Icicle with an event on April 8, while Ffixxed Studios and Mayali will also release their capsule collection with Chenfeng Group’s Blooming and Yaying Fashion Group’s N.by Enpaiya, respectively.

On top of a wide array of physical events, a range of digital initiatives will help the fashion week reach China’s online community.

SFW this season will launch “Shanghai Fashion & Lifestyle Carnival,” an online platform that enables designers to sell their latest work direct to Chinese consumers.

On April 6, Labellhood and Tmall both will collaborate with China’s top livesteamer Austin Li, and present emerging designers’ designs to his fans. While the other top livestreamer Viya will work with designer platform ITIB to present several local designer collaborations.

Ontimeshow, meanwhile, will form an alliance with China’s social commerce platform Xiahongshu, and host a series of events with top Xiaohongshu influencers to highlight new brands at the trade show.

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What Can the World Learn From Shanghai’s First Online Fashion Week?

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