5 Emerging Chinese Designers You Gotta Know

Hi guys, hope you all had a decent weekend! Today, I’ve rounded up the top five emerging Chinese designers for you to check out.

Nowadays, more and more Chinese models are emerging into the global markets and more Chinese celebrities are getting invited to high-profile fashion shows and to walk on film awards’ red carpets. It’s not hard to notice that the Chinese fashion scene is experiencing a dramatic change. For good or for bad? Different people expressed different opinions. I however, stay very positive. I think this is such an exciting era for the Chinese fashion industry. From designers to models and from celebrities to TV talents, this industry is more interactive and supportive than it ever was and the common idea of “made in China” is gradually changing to “designed in China”!



1. Christine Lau- Chictopia

Christine Lau has gotta be one of the hottest and most recognizable Chinese fashion designers.  Not only has her pieces be worn by countless celebrities, bloggers and trend influencers, but her unique take on fashion design has inspired many other Chinese fashion designers to step out of their comfort zones and to push boundaries and rules. This Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design grads founded her own label Chictopia in 2009 when she was only 24 years old.

1. 刘清扬-Chictopia



2. C.J Yao

C.J. YAO is no stranger to the fashion industry. Before she went to London to study, she was already awarded the second place at “Asian Young Fashion Designer Contest” held at the Singapore Fashion Week in 2006. While she was studying at Central Saint Martins College, she was already interning with Alexander McQueen and her work was featured by many London medias. In order to create creative pieces that have a small niche while still offering customers those ready-to-wear items, she founded two labels- C.J. YAO and C.J. BY C.J. YAO.

2. C.J. YAO

C.J.对于时尚圈来说并不是一个陌生的名字。她在去伦敦学习之前,就于06年在新加坡时装周举办的“亚洲青年设计师比赛”上拿了个银牌。在圣马丁学习时,她就已经开始在时尚魔头Alexander McQueen那里实习了,并且她的许多作品都多次获得伦敦各媒体的争相报道。为了能更好地抒发自己的创意灵感的同时也能带来比较能被大众接受的设计,CJ成了了两个分支-C.J. YAO 和 C.J. BY C.J. YAO。


3. Lvyan- Comme Moi

Considering she was the first Chinese international super model, Lvyan is not simply just a model on the runway anymore but also a role model to many other guys and gals who want to pursue career in modelling. However, when Lvyan’s career just took off and started becoming the popular babe on many high profile runway shows , the feedback she received were mostly negative. People thought she doesn’t have a traditional Chinese favourable look, so she was misrepresenting what Chinese beauty is supposed to be. But all the criticism didn’t stop her to shine and to be confident. And she just made a very smart move this year by starting her own label- Common Moi, meaning “just like me”.

3. 吕燕- Comme Moi

作为“中国的第一个国际模特”,吕燕已经不单单是T台上的模特了,她还是许多想要成为模特的女孩男孩们的一个学习典范。不过,当初,当吕燕的模特生涯正走得如火如荼时,她所获得大多数却是批评和愤怒。许多人觉得吕燕没有一张传统意义上的中国美女的容貌,所以她会给国际友人带来一个错误的引导。不过,这些消极的评语并没有阻挡吕燕发光和自己的能量。今年呢,她更是转身成为了设计师,创立了她的品牌-Common Moi,意思是“似我”。


4. Fan Ran- RAN FAN

Although I wasn’t very familiar with Fan Ran, she and her label was all over the internet during my research. When graduated from Central Saint Martins College, her graduation collection was awarded first place. And that was just the very beginning of her success. Since she founded her label in 2009, Fan Ran has been awarded multiple times by different organizations and media. Her pieces are very wearable yet can offer an unique twist.

4. 范然- RAN FAN

尽管在写这篇文章以前,我对范然这个设计师和她的同名品牌并不了解,但是在做调查时发现,她似乎垄断了整个网络。从圣马丁学校毕业时,她的毕业作品获得了第一名。这个成功仅仅是她的一个开始。之后,自从她2009年成立了Fan Ran这个品牌以来,她的作品屡次获奖,并被各种组织和媒体报道。她的设计比较简约但同时在细节中也展现了不一样的设计理念。

5. Wen Jun Li- W By WenJun

Last but definitely not the least is W By WenJun. The story of how I came across Wen Jun’s design was quite random. When I was travelling in Shanghai I saw a blogger, getting her street photos taken, wearing some very unique pieces. So I approached her and asked where did she get them. She told me it’s from W By WenJun. I couldn’t help but starting to do my research as soon as we went back to the hotel. Wen Jun Li founded her own label W By WenJun in Paris in 2013 but she found it very hard to get into the mainstream fashion world as a Chinese designer. So she has switched her focus to the Chinese market and just debuted her collection at Shanghai Fashion Week for the first time.

5. 李文君- W By WenJun

最后要提到的就是W By WenJun。我是如何得知这个品牌的故事还是比较有趣的。我们在上海旅游的时候,我看见一个博主正在街上拍照,穿着特别与众不同的衣服。于是我就上前问她是在哪里买的。她告诉我是W By WenJun的。一回到酒店,我就马上开始搜索这个设计师了。李文君是2013年在巴黎创立的这个品牌,但是之后感觉作为一个华人要想打进法国的主流是非常难的。于是从今年开始,她把重心主机那转移到中国市场,并在十月份的上海时装周首次展出了她的作品。

Although many Chinese designers are making their names louder and louder, I can’t help to notice that lots of these talents received their Education in well-known schools in Europe, mostly in London or Paris. I think if the Chinese Fashion scene wants to keep booming, building it from the ground up should be the key to nurture talents. More importantly, a creative study environment that embraces no-right-or-wrong, no-boundaries, and no-rules will really help talents to create outside-of-the-box masterpieces.

Thank you so much for reading! Which designer is your favourite?



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