The Rise of Creative Collaborations In China
By WGSN Insider

The Mix Place’s Shanghai Fashion Week event provides an insider look at China’s maturing fashion industry and the growing importance of creative collaborations. Jennifer Zhang reports

Oct 24, 2016
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While China is not necessarily on the global radar for its innovative fashion industry, locally a change is noticeably taking place as the country continues to make massive strides to mature at an exponential rate. Domestically there’s a growing realisation that fashion is not just about clothes, it’s about your attitude, lifestyle and the creative industries that surround it. Although this might be a given in developed markets, the country’s industry is still very young. But it’s rapidly catching up and domestically there have always been insider events happening (if you have the socially capacity to be in the know). The difference is that now these events have begun to explore creative collaborations to capture the country’s new fashion zeitgeist and the word is spreading.

One key example is the rise and rise of The Mix Place.

Located in Shanghai’s up-and-coming Hengshan Fang shopping area, The Mix Place is fast becoming a need-to-know creative destination. Founded by Mao Jihong the entrepreneur behind China’s famed Exception de Mixmind brand and Fangsuo Commune, this lush lifestyle hotspot includes menswear, womenswear, a multi-brand boutique and a bookstore.

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As part of The Mix Place’s identity which seeks to blend culture, art and lifestyle, the shopping destination just launched its first the Mix Fashion Campaign during the S/S 17 Shanghai Fashion Week. The three-part series of invite-only events included a special edition YNOT showroom, ASVOFF in China fashion film screenings and fashion talks led by influential industry insiders such as famed fashion photographer Chen Man.

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Fashion photographer Chen Man

A highlight of this event was the YNOT showroom which featured approximately 30 up-and-coming brands from around the globe. In addition to handpicking designers the event collaborated with PRE Helsinki a Finnish fashion platform to provide these brands with the opportunity to be seen by locally influential buyers. For the designers this industry-insider experience was a great opportunity to test the market.

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YNOT showroom

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YNOT showroom

The main attraction for this week-long event was the ASVOFF in China screenings which debuted this year in Shanghai. Created by Diane Pernet this fashion video-led art exhibition was held in partnership with iFashion a well-known Chinese fashion film app. Held at The Mix Place and off-site at must-know art spaces including K11, the West Bund Art Centre and the Power Station of Art, this cross-industry event was a rare look at China’s fast maturing fashion industry. Moving beyond apparel, the international collaboration with designers and creative influencers was a dynamic showcase of the country’s growing importance as a global player.

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