Beijing’s independent fashion designers are making their mark with highly modern clothing for men and women. (Read “China Chic.”) Here are nine designers to watch.
Highly cerebral, Wang’s sophisticated designs have stories to tell. Watch for her select conceptual lines and her experimentation with techy ‘smart materials.’ vegawang.com
CHRISTINE LAU, CHICTOPIA
Trained as a textile designer in London, Lau designs whimsical, retro-inspired totems to femininity. Some of her memorable pieces include neon-colored suits and sheer dresses with hoop skirts. chictopia.com
Shanghai-based Wang is part of the generation that first introduced avant-garde fashion to China in the 1990s and early 2000s. Her pieces still stand out, from asymmetric oversized knits to printed cashmere leggings. umawang.com
Riko Manchit Au’s elegant line offers something for everyone: a mix of flowing materials and smartly minimalist pieces for women, and slim-cut weekend casuals for men. ricostru.com
After studying in Paris and New York City, and working as a stylist for the likes of Rihanna and Nelly Furtado, Lu returned to Beijing and founded her own Lu 12.28 label. Her feminine clothes use bold colors and straight cuts. (Pictured above.)
Barely out of fashion school in France, Kong is meticulous about details. Recent women’s wear collections have included intricately woven patterns and metal studs. His men’s line is highly tailored.
A favorite of Chinese celebrities and the Beijing fashion media, London-trained Fan designs formal and casual wear that’s wry and full of movement. Her love of architecture resonates through geometric designs of dark lace and silk. ranfanstyle.com
One of Charles Wang’s favorite designers, Zhou apprenticed under his Dutch professors before breaking out on his own in 2007. Zhou’s menswear is marked by unusual fabrics and playful touches, including a structured take on overalls and gleaming, peacock-inspired jackets. xanderzhou.com
If there is one de signer in Beijing whose avant-garde designs have single-mindedly targeted the city’s art set, it is Simon Gao. His irreverent creations take androgyny to a new level: Think arm-length feathered gloves and shiny caped coats.