Historically Shanghai was a fishing village that evolved into a textile center for the nation during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
As the name suggests, Shanghai is a port city—literally “on” (ä¸Š shàng) and “the sea” (æµ· hÇŽi)—a position that has facilitated the city’s recent transition to a major cosmopolitan center for design.
Shanghai is undoubtedly one of the most influential players within China’s fashion industry. Already for six years, the city has hosted Shanghai Fashion Week, which not only showcases the best of Chinese talent but also reputable designers from around the world.
Last week 26-year-old Chinese designer, Xander Zhou, sent his 2009 a/w collection to the catwalk of Shanghai Fashion Week, clearly demonstrating to the world that a major shift is occurring within the industry from “Made in China” to “Designed in China.”
Xander Zhou first studied graphic design in his homeland but then pursued fashion at Den Haag Fashion Institute in the Netherlands. After a brief stint with Dutch designer Jeroen van Tuyl, Xander returned to Beijing where he discovered less “establishment” in setting up his own label.
Although his belief is that design has no nationality, Xander Zhou takes his cultural heritage seriously, incorporating conflicting elements into his creations.