Xiamen (厦门), China’s southeastern new capital of cool and creative haven, an enclave mixing urban energy and laid-back vibes, emerging as a magnet for bon ton travelers and (street) art devotees alike. Fashion, included. Take Five!
The SANKUANZ label was founded by designer Shangguan Zhe, a member of the Xiamen Gang (China’s equivalent of the Antwerp Six). The eccentric, art school approach SANKUANZ was born with back in 2013, evolved into languid tailoring as fashion ousted the traditional suit and tie, and now its techwear-inspired (think apocalypse-appropriate) designs are part of a bigger movement with names like A-Cold-Wall and Alyx leading the charge.
Even when it comes to celebrity clout, SANKUANZ is at the forefront of now — the brand’s garments clothe musicians that are part of the rising Chinese hip hop wave, such as DoughBoy and Bridge. All of this is probably not serendipity but reactivity, given that the designer believes fashion to be “one of the first things to reflect the times.”
2. Ms MIN
Designer Liu Min is the founder of the Ms Min label. Since bringing to life the brand in 2010, Liu has been writing the pages of a success story that many a designer longs to imitate — and emulate. A darling of the international fashion press, she made her global debut at the high-profile 2014 Met Gala in New York.
A fan of Dries van Noten, Liu’s work strikes a chord with strong, feminine, and elegant outlines. Despite eschewing your “regular” shows as well as social media, Ms Min has risen far up the fashion ladder.
A graduate from the London College of Fashion in 2007, Liu relocated to Amsterdam to work as an intern in the design department over at Viktor & Rolf. The following year, she accepted the position of Assistant Designer with Ports, at the luxury brand’s headquarters in Xiamen, China.
3. YIFANG WAN
Behind the YIFANG WAN brands stands Wan Yifang, another Central Saint Martins graduate who in fact became the only Chinese student to show her MA graduation collection during London Fashion Week in February 2012. The garments on display ended up on the body of none other than Lady Gaga during her 2012 tour of Asia.
The accolades have since kept pouring in for Wan, who was also announced as the winner of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Merit Award for the AW14 season.
The designer has been marching to the beat of her own drums ever since.
Deepmoss was established by Central Saint Martins graduate Dido Liu in 2013 in Xiamen, China. The brand personifies a rational yet poetic romantic based on the concept of classical aesthetics mixed with contemporary literature.
A keen interest in beauty and daily life have led the designer towards flexible features such as “soft sculpture” into garment construction and a brand philosophy presenting women’s softness and authenticity from deep within and showcasing the timeless feature of clothes-creating.
The designer draws inspiration from contemporary art and classicism through a female perspective. The iconic femininity and smooth tailoring become deepmoss’ typical features, which show the images of gentle and open-mind, also the insightful expression of strength and beauty.
Deepmoss is available through SKP Beijing, DEJI Plaza, JOYCE, LABELHOOD, and more than 50 selected shops.
5. Vega Zaishi Wang
Born in 1985 in Liaoning province, Vega Zaishi Wang moved to Shenzhen with her parents at the age of 8. She left at the age of 16 to move to London to study fashion design. For the next six years, Vega studied at both London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, during which she also interned for Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood.
Most Wang products are hand-made with a majority of fabrics sourced from across Asia and Europe. Her aesthetic certainly reflects her cultural heritage but is also largely influenced by her time spent in the UK. The shapes and silhouettes are slightly exaggerated, but she focuses specifically on a purity of tone, exceptional hand-craftsmanship, and a quiet charm resonating with clients around the world.
Her unique passion and understanding of sub-cultures empower her to imbue her clothing with determined yet emotional characteristics. This engaging harmony creates peace between the human form and the abstract geometries of her clothing.