Q&A | Where to start with when you want to have your own business?

1. Where to start with when you want to have your own business?
You should consider the following aspects, which is also a set of tools to clarify your idea of your business.

What
What will you do?
This part includes the specific consideration of your project.
For instance:
What product/service are you going to provide?
Who would need your product/service? And why they need this?
Is there any substitute of your product/service?
Is there any innovation of your service, business model, or operation region if your product is easily to be replaced?

In a word, if your product or service has no unique features, you should introduce other extraordinary business models—like profit model or commercial operating patterns—to your project, or try to occupy the markets without fierce competitions yet, for instance forth-tier or fifth-tier cities. Without the uniqueness, customers will have no motivation to buy the existed products.

Why
Why would you like to do this?
By starting their own business, many people actually want to avoid the frustrating real life, on bad terms with boss or colleagues, or away from the so-called ideal position or freedom of life.

To be frank, a seemingly decent reason is not an essential element for a start-up business. In my observation, the successful entrepreneurs can be divided into two types: some have no opportunities or conditions to realize what they really want to do in the exist companies, starting their own business, and the others are to chase their sincere passion for a particular business.

The true love for your business instead of a shelter from the reality is the key to success. Or you may be regretful for your decision on starting up your own company in the future if you only want to get away from the reality. To work for yourself can only be much harder than to work for another people.

How
How to realize your ideas?
How to develop new products?
How to sale? (about distribution channels)
How to popularize your product? (about marketing channels, strategies and content)
How to cost less but achieve more opportunities?

Why
Why do you think you will succeed?
Most of time what you plan to do has been or is being carried out by the predecessors. People with zero experience in starting-up always assume falsely that they are the first pioneer in the field, which mostly comes from the inadequate research of the market.
However, it doesn’t means you cannot do what others have tried. You should consider what new conceptions do you have, what abilities and resource you have can be benefit for your project?

Who
Who will you work with?

It’s an essential aspect. Many cases of projects dissolution are out of the disbanded partnership teams. So to find appropriate ones to work together is another essential element for your business.

What about your funds for the project?
How much would you cost to start your business? Where the money comes from? How long will your project realize a benefit damage balance? And how long will the cost-recovering?

2. How to deal with the materials issues for a small costume design team?
Q: I want to establish a small costume design studio. Design and producing are both by ourselves, which doesn’t consume a large volume of cloth. Is there any factory willing to take our small orders? Or is there any substitute way to deal with it? How about the expense?

A: Most factories set minimum order quantity, but at the beginning your studio would not consume that large volume of cloth.

Here are several solutions:
1. Developing more styles with one type of cloth. You can raise the volume of the cloth with several styles if one style cannot reach the minimum order quantity.
2. Applying the digital printing. It’s not so expensive than you think and it’s particularly suitable for textile printing.
3. Purchasing the stock fabric. You can find much on Alibaba.com by searching stock fabric.
4. Purchasing the spot goods in the wholesale markets.

In a word, there are many solutions, less complicated and cheaper than you would think to be.

China Power: 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting

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http://www.forbeschina.com

Wu Haiyan of China Academy of Art is sharing her thoughts on the relationship between design, art and society on 2015 Forbes China Designers Annual Meeting. Forbes China will announce the 2015 winners of the Most Influential Designers and the Most Promising Designers later.

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The meeting is taking place in Liangzhu, a small town in #Hangzhou. Forbes selected the list of the candidates through the recommendation by 40 opinion leaders and experts in each related fields, then assessed the list based on their media exposure and market influence. The finals were eventually selected by a Judge Panel that consisted of 12 professionals. The judges are all guru in the Chinese design field. They included Dean of School of Design and Art, Wu Haiyan; professor of Industrial Design Department at Tsinghua University, Cai Jun; artist Ding Yi; associate dean of School of Urban Design China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) Huang Jiancheng; Dean of Institute of Creativity Tongji University, Lou Yongqi; illustration master LuJingren; writer MiaoWei; sculptor QuGuangci, dean of School of Design  CAFA Wang Min; Secretary-general of China Industrial Design Association Ying Fangtian, writer, Yu Qiuyu (I just knew he went to Macau University of Science and Technology to be the dean of Faculty of Arts and Humanities), Dean of Peking University School of Architecture and Landscape Design Yu Kongjian.

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The 30 most influential designers according to Forbes Chinese Designers Annual Meeting 2015 include three people in fashion industry. ZhangZhaoda, MaKe and GuoPei. This is a photo of Zhang Zhaoda (second from left) receiving the award.

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ForbesChineseDesignerAnnualMeeting2015. Of the names of 30 Most Promising Designers, there are 5 fashion designers, they are Masha Ma, Ji Cheng, Zhang Chi, Wang Peiyi and Han Lulu. I’m a little surprised two of the most promising Chinese designers Uma Wang and Zhang Huishan are not included. But it’s always difficult for awards to please everyone. Congratulations to Masha Ma and Ji Cheng for winning the finals.

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My most favored talk delivered by one of the most outstanding designers Yang Mingjie. I always feel that China’s design education has been focusing on “how” to do design, but ignoring the definition of design and what is design for. Yang talked about how design can change the society. The speaker talked about her partnership with One Foundation on tent design for China Ya’an’s Earthquake victims. At first he wanted to do some cliché cool design, but later he found that the victims’ desire was “back to home”, so he changed his mind. The house-like tent was his final design. Design is ultimately to serve people, physically and psychologically, rather than simply for visual attraction and self-expression. By the way, Yang also provided design for the interior part of Boeing airplane.

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Walking for Green by China Creative Lab and Xiong Chao is my another favorite design. The designer painted polluted trees on the white canvas, then glued the canvas at the crossroads. They also put a green carpet at where people waiting for traffic lights. People’s shoes are glued with green color when standing on the carpet and later their walking would bring the green color to the ‘polluted trees’. After many people walked by the green carpet and white canvas, the polluted tree became a green tree. This is to tell people that walking can “green” our environment.

 

A Fashion Night In Shanghai

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The party of specialty boutique BLANK. Shanghai is becoming another NYC – the same fashionable people, the same sophisticated lifestyle and endless parties.

 

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The owner of @BLANK @JiJi is also one of the interviewed designers in my book #China Fashion #Conversations With Designers#. I had the honor of meeting some of the most outstanding designers in China. JiJi was chosen because he is the one who has the best business acumen. Starting from offering design service to @Nike and @Coca Cola, he later created his own brand @Hipanda and now BLANK.

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Lifestyle store is also in trend in cosmopolitan city like Shanghai now.

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Uooyaa store in Xintiandi @Shanghai. I think this is going to be one of the most successful Chinese designers’ brands in the coming ten years. Uooyaa is a very earthy brand, featured with bright color and graphic design. The creator used to be the chief designer of @Meters Bonwe, the largest casual brands in China. After graduating from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, he joined Meters Bonwe when it was started from zero, until the company was listed on the stock market.

Paris Attack

#Paris

Everyone’s condemning the terrorists. Besides that, what can we do as ordinary people? Every time things like this happen, we’re always wondering why besides feeling sad. People who do the research may have answers from the perspectives of history, politics and religion, but those answers may not be comprehensive.

I used to think terrorism was all well organized and logical, until I went to Xinjiang and learnt sometimes terrorism attacks cannot be logically explained. Sometimes it’s just driven by bad days in life or propaganda movies. Maybe that’s what’s horrible about terrorism. No appeal. No organization. The city is endangered by random thoughts by a couple of people.

As a Christian, I ask God why. I met a friend from Lebanon in America. He finished elementary school and middle school walking through the fire of war, missing classmates from time to time. All of those were triggered by so-called religion conflicts. When he heard that I’m a Christian, he directly said to me, ‘ I hate religions. A lot of wars in this world started with people defending their religions.’ I didn’t know what to say, but I understood.Photo Nov 18, 9 39 39 PM

I’ve been reading 3000 years in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a city linked to the whole world. A city that almost never enjoys long term peace since its beginning. It was occupied by Egypt, Assyrian, Babylon, Persia and Rome in the history. To modern days, the conflict is still ongoing.

There were many prophecies in the Holy Bible, but a person is never clear about every mystery of the God. If there has to be an answer, I would blame on human’s arrogance. We think we could do anything we want because of arrogance, but we break rules of nature that should’ve been followed, in the name of the breakthrough of the traditions and the pursuit of democracy. We think we can be on top of the rules. We think there is no ruler of the world and thus make ourselves the ruler. We break the balance of the ecosystem. We put a group of people on top of another group of people and call that social class. In the end, the society lost its balance, which led to where we are now.

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In the future, every major city should learn from Israel, America and Xinjiang, China on security issues. Israel was once the most chaotic and unsafe spot on earth, but it became relatively safer for its perennial insecurity. In Israel, both men and women must take military service, hence making every adult citizen a soldier. Important areas are watched by the military force rather than the police. The everlasting state of counter-terrorism makes the speed of military force fast. You have to arrive at the airport 4 hours in advance in order to get on a flight in Israel. Questions and checks come along the moment you arrive and your luggage would go through both machines and manual checks. The number of your portable luggage must remain the same from the first security check to the terminal. Nothing more, nothing less. After the security check at the terminal, people are restricted in a certain area. Anyone who wants to leave would be escorted by a security guard, even if that person’s leaving for bathroom. I needed to use the lavatory after the security check when the boarding started and there weren’t enough security guards. I was told to ‘hang in there’.

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Since 911, the security in major cities was upgraded, which extends to academies. Parsons is located in Manhattan. When I was a scholar there, a friend who was visiting asked me why the security was so tight. In addition to security scanner gates, there were security guards. Members of the academy had to use ID to get in, and visitors had to be led by members and register their passport or ID to get in. Unlike public sites that allow free access for visitors, the queue outside the academy starts around 12 hours before major events and the security check takes a lot of time. Broadcasts remind people to call 911 or inform the staff when seeing suspicious people in metros, buses and malls. In a word, it is everyone’s duty to be part of the counter-terrorism.

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Xinjiang stepped up in its guards in many ways after several terrorist attacks. The security check in airports and train stations could be called the best in the whole country. Surveillance cameras are installed outside supervision targets’ residence. Government officers are required to go between ordinary people, know about their life and help them solve life problems. Any sudden change would be reported, even a person’s sudden drop of cigarettes. Maybe the most hardworking and responsible civil servants are in Xinjiang. They don’t have vacation around the year, take 24 hour shifts, go live and work in the country to solve ordinary problems for ordinary people, taking the risk of being attacked. Thanks to their work, even theft hardly happens in Xinjiang. These places that seem the most unsafe are the safest places.

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a corner of a farm in Xinjiang

Although we can’t answer why terrorism happened and keeps happening, we have to admit we can no longer be the boiling frog and keep ignoring what’s happening outside. The world, as it gets more and more chaotic, must be more united.

The True Cost behind the Fashion Industry (part 2): The Solutions

I am not against fashion, rather to invoke how we should design, produce and consume fashion in a more environmental friendly way. Although we have got multiple problems of fashion industry, we should solve them step by step. For example, designers should consider using organic fabric or recycled fabric; manufacturers should take environmental protections and fair trade with labors into consideration. Consumers are supposed to learn about the stories behind the brand besides the price and think about how to deal with remnant clothing, whether you really need to buy the new clothing…

There is already ongoing reformation against social problems caused by the clothing industry. Let’s have a look at what designers from Hong Kong and the West did for this reformation.

@Daniel Silverstein, an independent fashion designer from New York, is doing “zero-waste design”. People outside the industry might not be aware how tremendous waste there is in the textile and clothing industry – on average nearly 30%-40% of the fabrics are wasted (plus the unsold inventory clothing and second-hand clothing, can you imagine how tremendous the waste is? So as someone who is not working in this industry, why should you care? In fact you should! ‘Cos it is related with everyone’s life! First of all, all the wasted materials are counted into the production cost, which eventually will be paid by you – consumers. Don’t blame the factories. It is the nature of business – you count in all your cost and add up mark-up for profit – just like any other industries do. Otherwise no one will make profit. Next, the textile and clothing industry consumes a lot of energy and resources, especially water. Take a simple cotton T-shirt for example. It takes around 1500 liters to plant the cotton needed for one T-shirt. To compare, an average person consumes 30 liters of water every day. Now think about the cotton T-shirts – after consuming so much energy, and a long production cycle, they will either wasted fabrics or unsold inventory. Even if someone purchased them, they might sleep in people’s wardrobe most of the time and eventually be dumped to somewhere of nowhere. This is the whole circulation of our garments today!

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NY independent designer Daniel Silverstein talking about his concept of “zero-waste design” (Photo by the author)

In Hong Kong, @Cirbaf is an enterprise, which focuses on reusing fabrics left over by factories to make baby shoes and accessories. They use organic materials since baby shoes need to be healthy and soft.Baby shoes are designed and manufactured by Cirbaf. Their products are using leftover of organic fabrics from factories. Besides, all products are made by a group of people with disabilities in sheltered workshops run by Po Leung Kuk or St James’ Settlement. They aim to provide employment opportunities for this group of people who are usually ignored by the mainstream job markets. For people with disabilities, they can gain income and realize social values from their own labor input instead of relying on governmental subsidies. It is a tough process to train them to be equipped with manufacturing techniques. So manufacturing procedures cannot be too demanding. However, once they master the technique, each of them will complete each step with their whole heart. Nobody would complain or idle away the time. Many might think that it is hard for people with disabilities to work. There are actually many types of disabilities. As long as one is willing to work, most can qualify for employment.

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Baby shoes made from unused fabrics by people with disabilities. (Photo by author)
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Denim laptop bags made from unused denim fabrics

More and more designers from the west and Hong Kong start to focus on sustainable fashion. Consumers in the west are also getting more aware of this issue. There are many different approaches to support sustainable fashion, zero-waste is just one of them. Others include the use of organic fabrics, and up-cycling techniques, such as, to re-design or re-make second-hand clothing. Simply speaking, sustainable fashion is to design, manufacture and consume fashion in a sustainable way (benefits to the environment, humanity and also labor force). China, as the world manufacturing factory and also the biggest consumer market, actually needs urgent changes in this aspect. We all care about the issue of poisonous air, but actually we are the one who produce the poisonous air. The unsold inventory clothing and the clothes we discarded in daily life mostly end up in landfills, the waste of which is actually one of the major pollutants to air quality. As for labor practices, objectively speaking, China has already improved a lot. This is also why garment manufacturers have gradually moved to Southeast Asian markets which supply cheaper labor. However, it is still hard to say the problems of labor practices are completely solved in China. Both enterprises and designers should take the responsibility to improve the situation of labor practices.

Textile & clothing enterprises and fashion designers in China mustraise awareness on social problems caused by clothing industry, and strengthen their social responsibilities. Unfortunately in China, we tend to blindly take the fashion mode which has already been rejected in the west. For example, “fast fashion” from @H&M, which we have been greatly worshipped by many Chinese enterprises, is actually criticized by most environmental institutions because this mode produced large amounts of waste. Designers shouldn’t just consider uniqueness, aesthetics or quality, but they need also think about whether the fabric they use would affect the environment, whether the fabric quality is durable and whether the labor practices are fair or not. Because designer brands are not cheap, workers also deserve to share a fairly good treatment.

All in all, the sustainable development of clothing industry is the responsibility of every citizen living on this planet.

The True Cost behind the Fashion Industry (part 1): the cost of life

Regardless which industry you are in, as long as you wear clothes, you should watch this documentary called @“the True Cost” by @Andrew Morgan. For most of people who are not in the fashion industry, what they usually care are the price, quality and style. Even to the people who are within the industry, what we understand is merely the area that we are working on. Sales people only know how the clothes are sold – but very few of them understand how clothes are made. For advertiser, they only know how to mix & match clothes to make them more attractive to consumers. They may not know and even care about the production story behind the clothes. This documentary first time honestly recorded a comprehensive stories happening in the fashion industry and how the fashion industry has impacted the planet that we are living.

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

Believe or not, textile and clothing industry is the second largest industry producing the pollution in this world, just next to oil industry. Obviously this is a consequence of conspicuous consumption of clothing. The invention of fast and cheap fashion makes consumers throw away the clothing like garbage. However, the expense of creating such glamorous outlook is conspicuous consumption of energy, environmental pollution and extremely cheap labor.

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

Let us start from the starting point of fashion supply chain –cotton. In the old traditional agriculture community, people planted by hand and nurtured naturally. People and nature lived in harmony. The industrialization and capitalization request everything be produced in a rapid speed and massive scale. As a result, people use chemical fertilizer, pesticide and transgenic technique to boom the output. The worse consequence is – the soil got polluted very badly. People who grow cotton got sick.

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”
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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

A more cruel fact is the companies who provide fertilizer and pesticide to these farms are also pharmacy manufacturers. On one side, they sell fertilizer and pesticide to farmers and make money from them; on the other side, they sell the medicines to farmers whose illness was caused by the fertilizer and pesticide.Some of the companies sell the fertilizers and pesticide to farmers on credits, eventually when farmers cannot return the debit these companies collect the farmers’ land to offset their liabilities. This is sadly the true “supply chain” of this industry.

The cotton will be then collected from the field and sent to the textile factories, where cotton will be further spun into yarn then into cloth. Textile production requires a huge volume of water particularly for cotton. Moreover the dyeing and finishing processing produce huge pollution because most of dyeing materials are made of chemistry. The polluted water eventually flows into the river or sea.

Cheap labor is another notorious problem of fashion industry. In 2013, nearly thousands of garment workers died from an accidental collapse of the factory building in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is taking the place of China and becoming the garment manufacturing center for the world. When you hear that these workers only get less than 3 USD per day, you might want to blame the factories owners. However, the owners of the factories responded “[the brand told me] the consumers only want to pay 5 USD for a T-shirt. How much shall I pay to my workers?” Most people think the brands and factories made lots of money from the clothing – in fact as far as I know the net income after tax of most fashion companies are less than 5%. Fashion industry is not as profitable as many people expect, particularly today. As a reader, your first response would be “How am I related to all of this? As a consumer of fashion, what role do I play in it?”

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a screenshot from the documentary “the True Cost”

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Cambodia is garment manufacturing center because of their cheap labor. The above picture shows a demonstration by a group of garment workers in Cambodia. Their appealing was simple but also touching: “We are not asking for higher salary but a decent salary, a salary can give us dignity”. Unfortunately, the demonstration was finally turned into bloodshed because of violent interference from the police.

In the fashion industry, we have seen various problems such as the pollution problem, the labor issue etc, what exactly caused the problem? The greed of capitalists, the conspicuous consumption of consumers, or what else? What do you think? How does it relate to me?

Most people consider that it is the greed of capitalists and those social problems of fashion industry, such as, environmental pollution, resources waste or labor issue. The truth is, as long as you wear clothes, you are the cause of those problems. When you are criticizing the low wages of those factories, were you actually also happy about buying beautiful clothes at low prices? When you are always ready to follow the trend led by celebrities, did you realize the money you paid actually goes to the celebrities instead of the workers who made the clothes? So it is not just industrial people’s mission – but yours too!

Some Thoughts on Fashion Week

Fashion Week today is becoming a celebrity show rather than “fashion” show. Seems like press is more interested in the first row instead of the clothing itself. In China, the Fashion Week prior to 2005 was merely a self-entertaining practice – most presenting designers were just “show” designers (means they did not have stores), most audiences were media and ordinary audience. People watched the show like they were watching a movie or an opera. Having said that, Chinese fashion designers would not have attained current fame and reputation if without these years of self-entertaining practices.

Obviously, Fashion Week stimulates the development of local culture and The hospitality and tourism industry of the “big 4” Fashion Week are greatly impacted by the Fashion Week thereby. However, the huge cost invested in a 15-minute fashion show is the other side of the coin. Is it really worthy to invest millions on a short-show? Though it seems like a routine now to make big investments for a one-time decoration, but actually static shows or simple staging can also showcase the designs itself. Why do we need an extravagant show to present a set of clothing? Looks to me the form of the show weights over its content today. Extravagant theatrical performance creates the excitement but only for 15 minutes, but it does not help to sell the clothing much. What is the value of doing so?

China Fashion Week and Shanghai Fashion Week finally established their own signature, the former one focuses on the established brands and the latter one promotes the emerging designers. But I don’t understand why second-third-level cities like Ningbo, Qingdao, Chongqing, Humen and even many other third-tier cities also followed to host Fashion Week too. Competition between cities?

Grace Chen’s Couture Show at Shanghai Couture Week

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I invited Queenie, the managing editor of Business of Fashion China to join me to visit @Grace Chen’s couture show last night at @Shanghai Couture Fashion Week…I was terribly late…I almost wanted to run with legs, but I was on high heels….

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This little red dress is my favorite piece of the show. Cannot fit a bride more! I think @Grace Chen should develop this “little red dress” to the equivalence of the classical “little black dress”.

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@Grace Chen has been making great progress after a decade of experience in American fashion industry. A very sophisticated designer! Grace Chen focuses on women aged from 40 to 60, a segmentation that has been ignored by the mainstream markets (because they think this age is too old!). Actually, this is the group who has both time and money to consume high fashion.

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These are my favored pieces! BTW, being a model is tough. My friends always say I am too thin, but these models are much thinner than I am.

Only two types of fashion designers will eventually be remembered by the world. One is a conceptual designer. This type of designer has created their own unique aesthetic system and impacted their next generations, designers like @Yves Saint Laurent @Christian Dior @Coco Chanel @Hussein Chalayan @Givenchy in the past, and @Issey Miyaki @ yohji yamamoto @Alexander NcQueen in recent. Their designed pieces may not be able to create profit directly, but through certain branding strategy these labels can become commercially successful too.

Friends in overseas once asked me whether there is any conceptual fashion designer in China. My answer is not yet! But I think @Ma Ke got great potentials to become the one, if she can keep operating her @Wuyong label for another decade and build her own distinct aesthetic system. She is the one who has certain impact over the younger generation in China.

The other type of designers will be the one who’ve been creating sustainable successful business. If you don’t believe yourself can be a conceptual designer (cuz I believe you have to be a genius in order to be in this category), then you should go toward the business direction. Many fresh designers think working for business sake is a compromise to secular world or a sacrifice of their creative ideas. In fact, it all depends on how you view the role of a designer. If you think design is just a way to express yourself, working for business is then a compromise; if you think design is just to serve people and help them to solve their problems, then you won’t feel any compromise.

Dong Liang One Day at Shanghai Fashion Week

 

I spent less time in Shanghai in recent years. Having not gone shopping for a long time, I went to K11 at Huaihai Zhong Road and saw the Shanghai Fashion Week. K11 seems operating quite successful now – attracts most young people here.

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Dong Liang One Day, presentation of Shanghai Fashion Week  is very similar to the fashion activities I attended in New York and London now – except for majority of the participants are Chinese. If China never opens its immigration policy and welcomes talents from other countries, Shanghai will never become a real international city.

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Design of Deepmoss – take a look the latest Chinese designer’s work.

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Designs of several independent designers on ‘Dong Liang One Day’ @ Shanghai Fashion Week. Specialty store is developing rapidly in China in recent 5 years. Dongliang is one of the best in China now. This kind of retail form is very hot now in China – though I personally suspect how many of them will still survive 5 to 10 years later. The problem of doing business in China is – once a model (or a product) turns to be successful, everyone follows/copies it. Particularly I don’t think we have enough good Chinese fashion designers who can support the rapid expansion of the specialty stores. Overseas fashion designers shall explore more opportunities in China!

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It is very clever for Babyghost to fuse the West and East in this way. The style seems very suitable for Asian girls, though it seems that only people with a slim and flat figure like me can wear their clothes.

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“China Fashion:Conversation with Chinese Designers”(Abstract)

The article provided here is from the book China Fashion: Conversations with Chinese Designers (Bloomsbury 2009). This article only provides part of the contents. For the completed writings please refer to

Abstract

This book mainly depicts the history of fashion design in China through interviews of prominent Chinese designers.  It covers the past three decades, from 1978–the reforming era after the Cultural Revolution, or post-Mao era–to 2008.  For this book, designers were split into three generations.  The first generation, exemplified by Wang Xin-Yuan, Wu Hai-Yan, Liu Yang and Frankie Xie, were born in the 1950s and early 1960s.  This was an era when China isolated herself from the rest of the world and led various political revolutions and movements within the country.  This first generation of designers grew up in the 1980s and became prominent in the late ‘80s and ‘90s.

The second generation was led by Liang Zi, Ma Ke and Wang Yi-Yang.  They were all born in either late 1960s or early 1970s, prior to the reforming era, and started their own designer labels in the mid-1990s.  They blossomed in the late 1990s and early 2000s and now they’re the mainstay designer brands in China.

The third generation refers to those born in the 1980s during the “one-child” policy.  Only two designers were interviewed, due to the general youth of this age group.  This generation is commonly considered the hope of Chinese fashion designers.

This book portrays the growth of Chinese fashion designers, including the education they received as children, their work experience with the state-owned enterprises, and the ups-and-downs in developing their designer labels.  At the end of each chapter, an analysis is given on how China’s politics, economy and culture affected the designs and principles of the designers.

To help you understand the development of fashion design in China, an introduction covering the Chinese fashion history pre-liberation (pre 1949) and Mao era (1949-1978) is given in the first chapter.   An industry outline is listed at the beginning of each chapter in order to support the background information for each generation of designers.

It is worth noting that the ten designers interviewed for this book (including Mr. Jin Tai-Jun who did fashion design before China was liberated) were selected through discussions with the experts in the industry, including some of the interviewed designers themselves.  Key factors in making selections included achievements in fashion circles, commercial success, and prominence in the industry. Diversity of design personality and personal growth were other important factors taken into consideration during the selection process.  Also considered were the ages, genders, and geographical locations of the candidates.

The ten interviewed designers certainly do not encompass the entire history of Chinese fashion, but they do epitomize Chinese fashion and design and provide a unique and intimate approach to studying Chinese fashion designers.

This book can provide valuable history and fashion information for fashion lecturers and students in colleges and institutions, especially those who also have an interest in Chinese history and culture.  Professionals in the industry, including entrepreneurs, managers, and journalists should find the book both interesting and useful if they desire knowledge about the Chinese fashion market.

(For more information, please refer to http://www.amazon.com/China-Fashion-Conversations-Christine-Tsui/dp/1845205146/ref=mt_hardcover?_encoding=UTF8&me=