Get to know China’s new wave of independent designers ahead of the S/S 18 season

meet China's independent designers

China's new wave of independent designers

As China’s economy continues to develop, the country’s emerging independent designers are maturing and establishing a name for themselves domestically. Increasingly, they are also becoming known globally with major collaborations happening between themselves and international brands.

Here are the ones to know and a sneak preview of their thoughts for the S/S 18 season. WGSN subscribers can read the full report here.


The brand was founded by Wei Li in Beijing in 2012, and since launching has received numerous industry accolades and awards. Li’s brand rose to fame in 2015 when she won an award in fashion reality TV show, The Goddesses’ New Clothes. She has also been named a popular designer by Netease Fashion and has featured in Vogue Italia. At S/S 18 Shanghai Fashion Week, the brand won the Original Design Award.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18 ?

Wei Li: The greys and pinks of Awaylee’s S/S 18 collection are very compelling. This season, Awaylee is inspired by the ‘swirling girl’ dance. The wearer feels the smart, elegant, youthful vitality that comes with this way of dancing.


Central Saint Martins graduate C.J. Yao debuted her collection in China during Shanghai Fashion Week S/S 15, and the label is registered in both the UK and China. In 2015, Yao presented her A/W 15/16 collection at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week. The label has been featured in Vogue UK and has collaborated with KFC, Mac, Gap, Pepsi and Ecco in China.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18?

C.J.Yao: The colour I like most and use in every collection is blue. For S/S 18, I also used highly saturated pink, yellow and green to present a joyful, relaxing aesthetic.

Ms Min 

A graduate of London College of Fashion, Min Liu launched her brand, Ms Min, in Xiamen in 2010. In 2017, she was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize and the brand also collaborated with MAC. For S/S 18, Ms Min has a collaboration with Birkenstock in the works.

WGSN: What are your inspirations for S/S 18?

Min Liu: Light. On a recent trip to Cambodia, I was amazed by the light. I had an incredible guide who took us on a very early morning tour of the Angkor Wat temples, where we were able to experience moonlight and sunlight simultaneously. I found the differences in the light quite amazing. When working on the collection, I divided the light into two groups. The first was the sunlight, with its pink, orange and golden glow. The second, the navy, white and silver of the moon glow. I was also inspired by the many fallen temples and the raw, incredible beauty of the place. Elements of this can be found throughout the collection.


A graduate of the ESMOD fashion school in Paris, Ren Qian launched her brand Reineren in 2012. The company collaborated with Hello Kitty in 2015 and KFC in 2017. In 2018, it will design the uniforms for KFC China.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18?

Ren Qian: Black and gold which are our main colours. Then blue, orange, red and white which are the colours derived from the inspiration.


After graduating from the London College of Fashion, Victor Zhu launched his brand in 2013. In 2014, Vmajor won the International Woolmark Prize Asia. The brand showed at Australia Fashion Week for Pre-Summer 2018, and more recently collaborated with Häagen-Dazs for its S/S 18 collection, shown at Shanghai Fashion Week.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18?

Victor Zhu: Geometric checks, beige, earthy tones.

Vega Zaishi Wang

Zaishi Wang launched her brand after graduating from Central Saint Martins, and has gone on to win the Best Creative Design award from CSM and Cosmopolitan China’s Annual Fashion Female Award.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18?

Zaishi Wang: The key items are the semi-sheer and PU dress. Neutral colours such as nude, beige and grey are used throughout.

Yingpei Studio

After graduating from the London College of Fashion with a master’s degree, Pei Ying launched her brand, Yingpei Studio in 2014. She has previously showcased her collection at Shanghai Fashion Week.

WGSN: What key items or colours do you feel are the focus for S/S 18?

Pei Ying: Black and florals.





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