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, CYNTHIA&XIAO. Check!
The CYNTHIA&XIAO brand was established in 2014 by Central Saint Martins graduates, Cynthia Mak and Xiao Xiao.
Mak pursued a degree in fashion design with marketing at Central Saint Martins College, London. She expanded her professional experiences whilst working at reputable fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Vivienne Westwood — as well as luxury retailers back in Hong Kong.
Xiao studied fine arts and textiles before moving to London to pursue her interest and talent for art and fashion at Central Saint Martins, where she graduated with a degree in Fashion Design with Knitwear. Upon graduation, Xiao moved back to Beijing with the intention to develop her expertise in knitwear and gain a deeper understanding of the Chinese fashion market.
CYNTHIA&XIAO is a knitwear label pur sang, specializing in bold graphic designs. This Chinese designer duo injects excitement and humor into their basic knitwear silhouettes through vibrant and whimsical prints for men, women, and children.
The AW19 and SS20 collections showcase a dauntless use of color, taking inspiration from the mysteries of the deep and the daring, the weird and the warrior.
Through the brand’s signature neon palette and colorful merino wool silhouettes, these two collections burst with imagination, with exclusive pieces that explore and celebrate the wonderful world that slumbers underground.
CYNTHIA&XIAO in 2015 became one of the six finalist brands in the 2015 edition of Vogue Talents for Asia — an international scouting project devised by Elite and Vogue Talents to support the talent of new generations of fashion designers.
The brand in 2016 collaborated with footwear brand Pedder Red, designing an exclusive three-piece shoe-range to add to the SS16 collection. The result was a combination of simple textures and impactful patterns often spotted in Scandinavian architecture and traditional Yunnan Miao dress, respectively.
The label in 2018 was included in Hong Kong’s 10 Asian Designers to Watch Exhibition, the annual week-long curated showcase putting forward 10 of Asia’s most outstanding fashion designers, celebrating innovation, cutting-edge design, and remarkable craftsmanship by displaying capsule collections.
The designer duo met when both were students at London’s Central Saint Martins. Budding biz partners in crime Xiao and Mak after graduation went on to do different working stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, respectively.
Now based in Hong Kong, Xiao looks after the Chinese market whereas Mak takes care of the U.S. and European markets.
Combining the softness of knitwear and the feminity of woven accents with the fearless fervor of ueber-graphic patterns and prints, CYNTHIA&XIAO mantra calls for their clients to become the best, most fulfilled version of themselves. In the label’s own words:
“The fun-loving spirit of CYNTHIA&XIAO, conveyed through each graphic character and print design, aims to bring joy to the world — our customers, their families, and the communities they work and live in.”
Through their collections, the designers hope to remind women everywhere that they are all special and have a powerful inner permanently setting up camp within.
Learn more visual facts about these voracious fashion vixens:
FEATURED IMAGE: VIA CYNTHIA&XIAO, SS20. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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