China Fashion Week gaining international reputation
China Fashion Week 2013 (autumn/winter) opened in Beijing's D-Park on Sunday with a show from Italian luxury leather label Gherardini following another one from Chinese independent fashion designer Wang Peiyi.
The week is the biggest fashion event in the country and is becoming more international than ever since its founding in 1997. This season is a good example, attracting Gherardini to make its debut in China. In addition, the young designer Wang is also developing an international name. He is the first Chinese fashion designer to have made his way to Milan Fashion Week. Gabriele Colangelo, a young designer from Milan, will bring his latest collection to Beijing on Monday.
"Compared with Milan, China Fashion Week has a long way to go, but it is on the right track in terms of international scale, design and organization," Wang said, speaking backstage.
A few miles away at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology (BIFT), young models were also presenting the latest designs from new graduates. The show attracted David Haynes, commercial director of WGSN Asia, one of the most famous agencies for fashion trend forecasting.
Yang Jian, secretary-general of China Fashion Week organizing committee, said the fresh designs from Chinese designers are the main attraction for foreign fashion workers.
"Compared with the situation in previous years, there are more young Chinese fashion designers using a more universal language of design that can be highlighted on the world's catwalks, for example, Wang Yutao and Wang Peiyi," Yang said.
Not only is China Fashion Week becoming more international, it is also developing commercially.
It has attracted title sponsorship from auto giant Mercedes-Benz since 2011, the main sponsor for the major fashion weeks in the world, including New York, Tokyo and Milan.
This year, Canon, Fiji Water and Vai-Milano also joined China Fashion Week to provide products and services during the seven-day event.
The world's largest cosmetics and beauty company L'Oreal used to collaborate only with Paris Fashion Week, but this year there were staff backstage wearing L'Oreal T-shirts and providing the makeup for models.
"It is because the Chinese market is extremely big at present in terms of fashion industries. Many international labels are eyeing this fast-growing market," Yang said.