Qiao Hong: The octogenarian style star taking over fashion week
By WGSN Insider

Famous Chinese sculptor Qiao Hong shares her ageless wisdom and explains why at 81 it’s never too late to be a fashion icon, WGSN’s Jennifer Zhang reports.

Jun 28, 2016

5 photos
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.

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  • sumdevil

    Fashion dont depends on one’s age,only depends on the one who really wants to be

  • John He

    Very impressive, Chinese too conce

  • John he

    Very impressive of this article, Chinese old generation be national flower with blowing.

  • Thank you

  • Anna Vellotti

    I love this article, one of my favourites so far.

    • Carlene Thomas Bailey

      Thanks Anna, so glad that you liked it.

  • ramona

    trovo molto interessante recuperare le figure di una certa eta’ che hanno tanto da dare alle nuove generazioni e non escluderle a priori solo perche’ sono passati molti anni…e’ il rispetto per cio’ che rimane bello e per il suo vissuto

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