What’s your role at Dong Liang?
I am the co-founder of Dong Liang and also its marketing director.
What’s a typical day for you?
I don’t have typical days. I usually work at our studio/office, but often do store visits to check our new arrivals, the display, and whatever activity or event we are working on. Some days I meet with the designers we stock; other days I have coffee with writers and media contacts. It’s all very flexible.
Dong Liang recently opened a new boutique on Changle Lu. Was it a long process? What’s different from the shop on Fumin Lu?
It was a long process indeed – it took over seven months to open! It is a bigger space than the Fumin Lu store: we have three stories, a café, and a lifestyle area on the ground floor. The concept behind it is ‘Co-Creating.’ There are five rooms for five designers, all of whom took part in the interior design process and the choice of display tools. We also asked them to select other brands to match their own collections. The idea is not only to display their garments, but also to educate our customers about these designers’ work and visions.
Your personal style in three words.
Minimal, ’80s, [a little] neutral.
Who do you think are the Chinese designers to watch this coming spring?
Xuzhi. Although this spring marks only his second collection, he has already established a strong brand identity through the skill-intensive textiles he uses. He shows a craftsmanship spirit that really makes him stand out among his creative peers. Another young brand I really like is Shushu/Tong. The designer duo behind it has an authentic street chic aesthetic, combined with a cool girly touch.
Will Dong Liang be at Shanghai Fashion Week again? If so, what are you planning for it?
Yes, we will continue to show young Chinese talented designers. I can’t say any more for the moment!
Do you have a favorite collection from the store?
It’s hard to pick up one collection above all, although Uma Wang has perhaps impressed me the most this season. She’s had many successful, nature-inspired lines over the years, but now she’s really pushing the boundaries to celebrate women’s bodies like she’s never done before. Her latest collection draws influence from ballet and contemporary dance. It’s subtle and soft, beautiful.
Besides Dong Liang, where do you go shopping in Shanghai?
Autumn Sonata. I spent most of my money there when I’m not shopping at Dong Liang.
You have shops in both Beijing and Shanghai. How do the two cities differ in terms of fashion taste and trends?
Beijing’s clientele seeks a more sophisticated and mature look, while Shanghai’s is more open to trying different fashion styles. Also, young designer brands with a penchant for street elements often get much more attention here than in Beijing.
When you aren’t working you are…
Spending time with my cats.
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