Shanghai Fashion Week returns to Xintiandi

Tan Weiyun
The ongoing Shanghai Fashion Week's 2022 spring/summer edition represents a complete return from online to in-person interaction since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Tan Weiyun
Shot by Yan Jingyang. Edited by Zhou Shengjie. Subtitles by Emma Leaning and Yang Yang.

The ongoing Shanghai Fashion Week's 2022 spring/summer edition represents a complete return from online to in-person interaction since the outbreak of COVID-19, which has brought both challenges and opportunities to the fashion world and reshaped the Chinese fashion industry.

This season's theme, "The Future Is Now," is younger and greener. The event features more than 100 designer brands, Asia's largest trade fair with almost 1,000 brands in 60,000-square-meter exhibition spaces, and various runways and events at the city's landmarks.

Green Challenge

The 2021 Green Challenge, China's first eco-friendly denim fabric fashion show and one of the fashion week's key events, took place on the 100th floor of the Shanghai World Financial Center.

Nine local designers unveiled 29 collections, delivering a message of sustainable development and environmental protection in the industry.

The fashion brand TU, established in 2015, brought its latest collections. It was one of the earliest local brands to use sustainable, biodegradable materials to make cashmere wool and tri-cellulose acetate, an insoluble cellulose derivative regarded as non-toxic and a non-irritant.

"In addition, we offer free lifelong maintenance, which is also a green concept. If we can wear a garment for a lifetime, it's sustainable," said founder and designer Li Fenfen.

The outdoor sports brand RICO LEE has been environmentally conscious since it began in 2013. This season, it features new collections made of bio-based polymers, sustainable polymers produced from renewable resources, and natural plant dyeing techniques.

"All we have done is focused on being good to nature because the brand is geared toward outdoor sports to be enjoyed in nature," said the designer, Rico Lee.

The catwalk venue is highlighted with the installation work "Bamboo Valley and Flowing River" by multimedia artist Liu Jiayu, who mixed leftover clothes, yarn and rivets with bamboo and concrete to create a blue water ripple effect.

Shanghai Fashion Week returns to Xintiandi
Ti Gong

The Green Challenge runway show


Designers Li Yushan and Zhou Jun continued to build a modern sophisticated menswear line combining Eastern and Western styles this season.

Their brand PRONOUNCE, based in Milan and Shanghai, has released its latest collection, which is fun with a free-flowing imagination, drawing inspiration from round shapes in particular.

"The round shape, for us, is an abstract symbol that contains many metaphors," said Li. "But I don't want to give it an exact definition or try to deliver any message through our works. It's open for any interpretation."

Adept at mixing different materials to create a neatly-cut overall silhouette, PRONOUNCE eschews the existing stereotype of manliness in menswear and displays a side of tenderness with its variation and extension of material. The furry slippers even add a touch of cuteness to the collection.

PRONOUNCE was a high-end urban wear category prize winner from Who's Next's latest "The Future of Fashion Program" competition. It's planning to open the first boutique on the Chinese mainland, but the location has not been revealed yet.

Shanghai Fashion Week returns to Xintiandi
Tan Weiyun / SHINE

The PRONOUNCE spring/summer 2022 collection

Zhi Chen × Visa

The virtual idol Azi, featuring light purple hair, sashayed on the catwalk at designer Zhi Chen's show at the fashion week's major venue at Xintiandi.

Wearing a white jacquard shirt Zhi specially designed, Azi joined real models and interacted with the audience supported by AI technology. Created by the popular video platform Bilibili, the virtual girl has more than 35,000 followers on Weibo, and shares her daily routine and says hello to her fans everyday.

The show was sponsored by China Merchants Bank and Visa, which launched their new credit card with anime features to target Generation Z. The members of this cohort, born after 1995, have become core consumers of fashion and luxury products in China.

Shanghai Fashion Week returns to Xintiandi
Ti Gong

Virtual idol Azi joined the fashion show.

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