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“China Chic” on Parade in Not One, But Two Dedicated NYFW Showcases

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In early 2018, Chinese ecommerce platform Tmall helped launch New York Fashion Week’s first-ever “China Day,” in an effort to showcase the country’s “homegrown fashion talent” and “growing creative culture” (and probably also to sell more brands abroad).

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Fast forward to September 2019, and NYFW has had not one, but two different (competing?) showcases of Chinese fashion design — the largest-ever such showcase in any major fashion week worldwide.

Last week, Tmall strutted out five fashion labels — ranging from mass market to indie names — under the moniker “Tmall China Cool,” their largest showing to date.

Rizhuo NYFW 2019 China Cool

Rizhuo at Tmall’s “China Cool” showcase at NYFW (image: Alizila)

One of the biggest names on the list was mass market label Threegun, probably best known in China for manufacturing undergarments. They were joined by returnees Peacebird — featured at Tmall’s first-ever “China Day” in 2018 — who rolled out a crossover line with food delivery platform Ele.me (which look preeeetty sick if you’re asking us. Would buy).

Rounding out the “China Cool” lineup were independent label Rizhuo, and emerging designers Songta and i-am-chen.

Later in the week, “China Day” (sans the “Tmall”) went on to showcase an additional three Chinese labels of their own. This year’s event bore the nationalistic theme “70/40” (after the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and 40 years since China’s opening up, respectively).

One of the big brands on display was made for those decidedly pint-sized. Anta Kids — offshoot of Chinese sportswear giant Anta — rolled out a crossover line with US retailer Opening Ceremony (cute pics below).

Anta Kids Opening Ceremony NYFW

Images: Weibo

They were joined by womenswear brand Lily, and London-based XU ZHI (which we previously listed as one of our labels to watch in 2019).

Related:

9 Chinese Fashion Labels to Watch in 2019

(Also there was a bonus appearance by streetwear brand CLOT in the form of some limited-edition mooncakes.)

Since 2018’s first China Day, New York Fashion Week has not only become a launchpad for an increasing number of Chinese design talents, but also provided the opportunity for some substantial transformations. When sportswear brand Li-Ning debuted on the NYFW catwalk, it was the culmination of the pivot they’d made from mid-shelf commodity to a mainland China-bred leader in streetwear.

Related:

Made in China 2.0: How Li-Ning Sneakers Went from Beijing Outlets to New York Fashion Week

And well before food delivery got in on the action, Chinese food brands — from hot sauce to ice-cold beers — came off the shelves and onto some much-talked about crossover clothing.

Related:

The Hottest Look at New York Fashion Week SS2019? A Chinese Chili Sauce

Header: i-am-chen at Tmall’s “China Cool” showcase at NYFW (image: Alizila)

Mayura Jain
    Mayura Jain is a Shanghai-based writer, editor, illustrator and designer originally from Los Angeles. Before joining RADII as Life Editor, she worked for City Weekend Shanghai and Sixth Tone as both an editor and graphic designer. In her spare time she frequents art exhibitions, fosters cats, and chows on unhealthy vegetarian food.