The Temper Fact Checker presents the 5W flashcards of our most titillating and savory ones sauntering through the China Fashion scene, one brand or designer at a time. 5W, you ask? “Who, What, When, Where, Why,” we say. Come hither, BAN XIAOXUE. Check!
Man of the hour is Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts grad Ban Xiaoxue, also known as the founder and creative director of his eponymous BAN XIAOXUE brand.
BAN XIAOXUE respects and advocates nature, mixing oriental romance with traditional eastern elements into a contemporary design with the added soft tinge of knitwear.
This is one designer who tends to consider fabrics first; everything else follows from thereon out. Wool, for Ban, is the most facile of fibers, as he believes silk, linen, and cotton offer only a very narrow scope for exploration and experimentation.
Knitwear has always been a particularly important part of the BAN XIAOXUE label. As the brand mantra reads, “It is the charm of knitwear and an element of the unknown that can bring innovation to the design”.
The staple silhouettes are raw, bordering on the deconstructed. They do, however, possess that sense of poetic purity that could be assigned to designers like Rei Kawakubo and the powerfully deconstructionist designers of the early 1990s — just think of the Antwerp Six.
In Ban’s own words, “The origins of the product, the realization of the design and the following sales process are all integral parts in building the real story of a product.”
The brand in 2012 was awarded The International Woolmark Prize – China. Its succeeding collection, named “Growth,” was brought to the stage of 2013 London Fashion Week, with the intermixed preeminent oriental tones receiving broad editorial approval.
BAN XIAOXUE made its first China appearance at Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week AW 2014-15 showcasing a rather unisex collection featuring multilayered outfits in black, white and red, asymmetrical skirts and transparent jackets.
A Woolmark Prize alumn, this label has continually shown his support to the Australian wool industry, releasing a traceable knitwear collection for AW19.
Partnering with The Woolmark Company and working with leading Chinese wool mill XINAO, the merino wool used in this collection can be traced back to the farms in Australia where it was produced. The collection features 30 creative and innovative knits, in a mixture of 100 percent merino wool and wool blends and includes dresses, skirts, blouses sweaters, and vests.
A rep of China’s indie designer brands, BAN XIAOXUE now owns 61 independent boutiques.
Furthermore, the label is hanging on racks in 10 stores across 51 Chinese first- and second-tier cities, and in three stores internationally — Russia, Sweden, and Austria. The label’s Tmall e-store in April 2018 opened its e-doors to parched patrons around the globe.
BAN XIAOXUE as of December 2019 boasts an annual sales volume of more than RMB250 million.
The label’s creations incorporate culture, philosophy, and aesthetics from every corner in the world, uncover unintentional beauty, use the power of nature to establish harmony, and share the love and emotions accumulated across time and memory.
For Ban, maximizing material quality and abiding by the laws of trusty texture makes for a good end product. Because designer style can be overrated.
Learn more about this labeled love for nature via
FEATURED IMAGE: BAN XIAOXUE x The Woolmark Company, AW19. Image via The Woolmark Company. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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