This season, Shanghai Fashion Week AW’19’s schedule featured an (almost) overwhelming display of shows, activations, events, conferences launches, exhibitions: over 110 items on the schedule, and at least 1,100 designers and brands exhibiting in official showrooms from DFO to Tube. Official events included Kering's Forum on New Material and Pitti Uomo's launch of the Guest Nation China Project, as overseas designers such as Jenny Packham, Faith Connexion and Vivienne Tam took to the runways.
The event’s own B2C event Shanghai Fashion Weekend continued well into April and AW’19 only officially drew to a close early this week. A sense of excitement and festival energy could be felt throughout the proceedings. But with so much going on, and time precious - how does the industry make sense of it all? Ida Petersson, womenswear and menswear buying director at Browns Fashion, shares her insights for ORDRE.
Why Shanghai Fashion Week?
There has been a buzz around Chinese designers for a number of years now but we’ve especially noticed it over the last year. Simultaneously, we have also noticed an increased demand for Chinese designers so it felt important that we went to the source and discovered what was happening over there firsthand. This is always the best way to experience a market and what I find exciting about my role.
First impressions of the market - what is different?
I was really blown away by the energy and creativity we saw in Shanghai during the fashion week. It was incredible to see how established the infrastructure in terms of the trade shows and showrooms are over there is in contrast to, say, other fashion cities outside of the big four. So I was really impressed to see how developed and dynamic the industry is.
Best places to find designers?
I thought the Labelhood shows in the West Art Bund district were a great place to scout China’s latest new young designers and also showrooms like Tube, Not and Mode were great sources of brands to keep an eye on.
What were the top trends in the showrooms and runways at Shanghai Fashion Week?
The main ones I noticed were sharp, strong tailoring and then a soft focus on creative femininity.
Alter Concept Store initiated by Sonja Xiao Long was very cool. It started as a showroom and has expanded over time to stock both local and international brands. It now has a permanent store in the Xintiandi department store beside the main tent area at Shanghai Fashion Week. It also had a pop-up coffee store this season so she's building out that experience nicely.
Designers to watch out for?
I think local duo Shushu Tong delivered the strongest collection to date and we are looking to introduce another six designers however I want to keep the names close to my chest for now.