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With few exceptions, Chinese designers have struggled to break through to the international stage despite domestic success. Tonight, over champagne and canapés, entrepreneur and Yu Prize founder Wendy Yu is hoping to bridge the gap, with a new event on the official Paris Fashion Week calendar that aims to introduce industry stakeholders to the next generation of Chinese design.
Held at Hotel Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris, “The New Wave of Chinese Fashion” event brings together 11 Chinese designers, all finalists of the first and second editions of the Yu Prize, with international press and buyers attending Paris Fashion Week. It’s produced in association with industry professionals like Renzo Rosso, chairman of OTB Group; Madame Lyu Xiaolei, secretary general of Shanghai Fashion Week; and Pascal Morand, executive president of the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de La Mode. For some of the designers, it marks their first venture to Europe since China’s latest pandemic lockdowns were lifted earlier this year.
“Paris is the centre of the world of fashion, so it’s very natural for us, especially after Covid, to bring these amazing designers to showcase on the international stage,” says Yu, speaking from Monaco a couple of days before the event. “It’s important for us to let the industry leaders, stakeholders and media see their work and give them more recognition and more opportunities in the future to develop their growth and their brands.”
Yu invited all finalists of previous editions of the Yu prize to the cocktail event, and the designers from Didu-Didu, Private Policy, 8ON8, Louis Shengtao Chen, Marrknull, Ming Ma, Ruohan, Windowsen, Shuting Qiu, At-One-Ment and Yueqi Qi will attend.
Yu, a longtime entrepreneur and investor, who funds fashion, beauty and technology companies via her company Yu Holdings, created the Yu Prize in 2020 to help emerging Chinese brands reach international success. Winners receive a cash prize of 1 million RMB, mentoring from top industry professionals and the opportunity to sell their wares at Harrods. Chen Peng, the 2021 winner, designed the Beijing Winter Olympics outfits, and has collaborated with Moncler. Both Chen Peng and 2022 winner Ponder.Er are stocked in Harrods and have presented at the Fédération’s Sphere showroom for emerging designers. The next Yu Prize will be awarded in early 2024.