Shanghai – Shanghai Fashion Week managed to launch online last Friday, despite a two-month delay due to Shanghai’s prolonged COVID-19 lockdown measures.
Shanghai Fashion Week was one of the first fashion weeks to go digital in March 2020, two years later, Shanghai Fashion Week’s second attempt to promote local talent to the general public and boost market confidence in online exposure.
Featuring 36 fashion brands including Shing Qiu, Shushu/Tong, Feng Chen Wang and Private Policy, the three-day online event was livestreamed for the first time on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.
The festival featured a plethora of content including fashion films, behind-the-scenes stories, fashion commentary and virtual reality. performance. Viewers can also tune in through several social media platforms including WeChat, Bilibili, Sina Weibo, YouTube and Instagram.
Nearly two million Douyin users tuned in for the three-day online showcase. The hashtag “Digital Shanghai Fashion Week” recorded 66 million impressions as of Monday, the short video platform revealed.
“This will be an opportunity to inject new energy into the industry,” said Xiaoli LV, deputy general secretary of Shanghai Fashion Week Organizing Committee, the organizing body of Shanghai Fashion Week. “Even in the face of challenges, Shanghai Fashion Week can look ahead.”
“While the timing is not right, this is the first time that we have encouraged designers to showcase their collections entirely through the digital medium,” said Tasha Liu, founder of Labelhood, a fashion retailer and emerging talent support program that heads Shanghai Fashion. Is part of. Official calendar of the week.
“In the future, these digital creatives who partner with designers will be greatly inspired, and audiences will be more eager to engage with brands,” she said.
Antwerp-educated, Shanghai-based designer Shing Qiu began the event with a fictional fashion film inspired by feminist artist Florin Statheimer. She made her video in Hangzhou upon leaving Shanghai in May.
,I think we’ve come a long way in sustainability since the pandemic,” Qiu said. “For example, there was a nearly 20 percent increase in the reuse of deadstock fabric, which includes eco-fur and eco-leather.” uses. We have also started focusing more on collaborating with local artisans.”
Shushu/Tong screened a fashion film made days after Shanghai eased lockdown measures. The collection took inspiration from Forbidden Love and featured floral dresses in a lesser palette.
“Although we couldn’t host a physical fashion show, I think it’s still important to present this collection in some way or form to fully tell the story,” said the design duo behind Shushu/Tong. Lishu Lei said in half.
Menswear designer Feng Chen Wang took this opportunity to launch her made-to-order collection. In collaboration with virtual-reality start-up Inert Plan, the brand created eight virtual looks that showcase the brand’s real-life savior-fare.
“Originally planned to launch this collection in March, we were blessed that the project was pushed to June, giving us more time to fine-tune the details of the visual presentation,” said the designer.
“Our lockdown challenges were a little different from most designers, we had to work remotely on our spring 2023 collection, so we can make it into Paris Fashion Week next week,” she said.
Double Fable, MTG, Ting Gong and Ao Yes are some of the brands that have debuted this season.
After studying art and design in Holland, Gong returned to China to launch her first womenswear collection inspired by imported sustainable fabrics and life on the street. After recently leaving Shanghai, her fashion presentation was completed in Xiaomi.
“The brand concept will continue to evolve, but I want to make adjustments so I don’t have to follow the season too much with a more edited collection,” Gong said. “Since we didn’t place showroom orders this season, I’d like to host an independent showroom when I return to Shanghai.”
Ao Yes cofounder Austin Wang began preparatory work for the genderless brand with his partner Yansong Liu in October last year. They were aiming to rock during the April edition of Shanghai Fashion Week.
The brand competed in OneTimeShow’s roomy showrooms, but Wang said, “As a new brand, the brand’s image is more important than selling.”
Ao Yes hastened to produce a video after the lockdown, showing the brand’s take on modern oriental design, with a visual collage of urban China throughout.
For buyer Jiajun Wang of Hangzhou concept store B1ock, Digital Fashion Week can “help designers gain exposure online” and “allow them to participate and interact with consumers, fashion enthusiasts, and more.” There are more means for that.”
For example, Douyin started a hashtag contest called “Styling the Fashion Week,” which invited influencers and users to create content on the platform.
But Johnny Qiu, buyer of Chengdu fashion boutique Clap, has criticized the effectiveness of Digital Fashion Week. “I don’t know if a digital fashion week can make up for the time lost. In the end, I think neither diligent designers nor curious buyers are getting much out of it,” Qiu said.
“As far as ordering online is concerned, I believe there was not much effective communication between designers, showrooms and Shanghai Fashion Week,” he said.
In survival mode, many Shanghai showrooms are planning to host off-line showrooms in other major cities. For example, the Knot showroom in Hangzhou is set to showcase the brands’ Spring 2023 pre-collection, while Showroom Shanghai, OnetimeShow and Tube Showroom are also exploring options outside Shanghai to host showroom events.
“It gives more brands and buyers from outside Shanghai to connect,” said B1ock’s Wang.
Both the buyers believe that the recovery will be gradual as the market passes through the critical phase. “With the pandemic making buyers more cautious about the market prospects, budget cuts have been made,” said B1ock’s Wang.
Clap’s Qiu feels that the entire designer fashion market will go through a period of reform.
“With the economic downturn, many designer boutiques are in a position to boil frogs in hot water,” he said.
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