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Shanghai Fashion Week: A Window to Chinese Fashion and Beyond



Shanghai Fashion Week, which recently concluded after nine days of pure elegance and innovation, represents more than just a fashion event. It marks a new chapter in the narrative of Chinese fashion, a chapter that aims to internationalize its brands and designers, conquer new markets, and establish itself as a global influence in the world of fashion.


A Celebration of Synergy

Photo Promotion MARKGONG - Shanghai Fashion Week


The theme of this edition, "Synergy," opened doors for a deep exploration of the connections between national and international fashion communities. What's more, it highlighted the meteoric rise of Chinese fashion on the global stage. A closer look reveals that local fashion is no longer in the shadow of European fashion; instead, it is poised to claim its spot on the global stage.


Photo Le Fame SS24 - Shanghai Fashion Week


Fashion Carnival: A Unique Experience


Shanghai Fashion Week went beyond runways and fashion shows. It innovated by creating the "Fashion Carnival," a unique experience that transcended clothing and accessories. The general public was engaged in creative and exciting ways. Skateboarding lessons, art exhibitions, and live music performances took place in iconic locations in China's financial capital. This multidisciplinary approach transformed the event into a celebration of culture and style.


Spotlight on New Talent and Neo-Chinese Style


Labelhood, China's leading talent incubator, played a crucial role in showcasing emerging designers. Furthermore, the "neo-Chinese style" stood out, with brands celebrating the aesthetic inspired by traditional Chinese fashion. Local fashion now comes to life and is recognized for its authenticity and originality.


Photo: Louis Shengtao Chen - SS24/ 'Orgasmic' Collection


Highlights from the Summer 24 Edition


Under the theme "Synergy," this edition focused on sustainability and the internationalization of Chinese brands. It began with a runway show by Icicle, the minimalist and environmentally conscious Chinese brand that shares a parent company with Carven. It concluded with a guest runway show by Stella McCartney. The event provided a platform for young talents like Mark Gong, Xu Zhi, Jacques Wei, and Louis Shengtao Chen, who brought a vibrant energy to the fashion week. Additionally, some established brands drew large crowds of celebrities, solidifying Shanghai Fashion Week as a key event in the industry.


Photo: Shushu/Tong studio SS24


The internationalization of Chinese fashion


The internationalization of Chinese fashion became evident with the presence of important international buyers such as H Lorenzo in the United States, Printemps in France, and Machine-A in the United Kingdom, as well as GlobalLink, one of the leading luxury retail players in Vietnam. This demonstrates that Chinese fashion is no longer confined to national borders but is making its mark on the global stage.


However, the journey of Chinese fashion towards internationalization is not without challenges. Emerging designers face fierce competition, and limited budgets are a reality. As China opens up to foreign brands, local buyers now have more options, which can impact new brands. Nevertheless, this challenge is driving creativity and innovation, making Shanghai Fashion Week an essential launching pad for designers seeking global recognition.


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More about the theme according to our Fashion Director, Matheus Hooks:

The internationalization of Chinese fashion refers to the process through which Chinese fashion brands, designers, and styles expand their presence and influence beyond China's borders and into the global fashion market. This involves showcasing Chinese fashion at international events, collaborating with international designers and retailers, and targeting consumers worldwide.

In recent years, Chinese fashion has been gaining prominence on the global stage. The internationalization of Chinese fashion is driven by several factors:

  1. Growing Consumer Market: China has a vast and increasingly affluent consumer market. This provides Chinese fashion brands with the resources and demand to expand globally.

  2. Government Support: The Chinese government has encouraged the development of the fashion industry and the expansion of Chinese brands on the global stage through various initiatives and policies.

  3. Innovative Design: Chinese designers are gaining recognition for their innovative designs that blend traditional Chinese elements with modern, global fashion trends.

  4. E-commerce: Chinese e-commerce platforms, such as Alibaba and JD.com, provide a global reach for Chinese fashion brands to reach international customers.

  5. Fashion Weeks: Events like Shanghai Fashion Week have grown in importance, attracting international attention and buyers.

However, the internationalization of Chinese fashion also presents challenges, such as competition with established global brands, navigating international market dynamics, and building brand recognition outside of China.

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