Qiao Hong: The octogenarian style star taking over fashion week

Older style star: Qiao Hong photographed by Vivienne Lam at Yi Hui

Older style star: Qiao Hong photographed by Vivienne Lam at Yi Hui

In recent years older style icons have been capturing the international style spotlight earning industry accolades like “old is the new young“. This trend has influenced and arrived in China in the form of Qiao Hong our first domestic star for this movement.

Qiao Hong is an 81-year-old who became famous during Shenzhen’s A/W 16/17 Fashion Week with her iconic, elegant fashion attitude.

Born into a creative family, from an early age Qiao’s surroundings helped nurture her artistic talents. Well known in China for her sculptures, particularly in Shenzhen, she also loves to shoot travel photography. She has travelled extensively through Europe, America, Australia and Africa.

Qiao Hong photographed by Vivienne Lam at Yi Hui

Qiao Hong photographed by Vivienne Lam at Yi Hui

Recently I went to meet and interview this living legend at the beautiful, futuristic Avant-Garde Hotel in Shenzhen (subscribers can read the full icon report and interview with her here) but as a teaser, here’s three things you need to know about this style star.

1: Qiao Hong is young at heart.

As soon as I entered the lobby her iconic, red beret caught my eye. To be honest, I felt pretty nervous about meeting her, but her relaxed, friendly attitude and easy-going manner put me at ease. She insists everyone refer to her as Qiao ma ma (mother) instead of Qiao nai nai (grandma) because she has a young mind and heart.

Qiao Hong's sculpture, image provided by Qiao Hong

Qiao Hong’s sculptures, image provided by Qiao Hong


Qiao Hong’s sculpture, image provided by Qiao Hong

2: She’s hugely inspired by the world around her.

In my work, if was creating a sculpture of someone, I would stay with them, sketch them, take their photo for reference. I have travelled all around the world. I think each country has something special about it. I love Africa the most, the forest and animals there are amazing. I brought two cameras with me everyday. This is where all my inspiration comes from.”

Shenzhen Fashion Week

Shenzhen Fashion Week

3: Her interest in fashion started young.

“As a little girl, my dad bought me some dolls from America, I loved them and I made hundreds of clothes for them. In college I was addicted to fashion. Now all of my clothes have become my favourite. Right now I am researching to partake in a design course, as I really enjoyed attending Shenzhen Fashion Week.”

Want more? Check out how to identify a modern icon – five expert tips here.

DISCOVER ICONS: Join WGSN to check out the global Icon series in full, live on WGSN now.


Know what’s next. Become a WGSN member today to benefit from our daily trend intelligence, retail analytics, consumer insights and bespoke consultancy services.