Luo Jingjie is Assistant Director at the Fashion & Art Design school of Donghua University, Shanghai, and one of China’s Top 10 fashion designers according to the China Fashion Association and the China National Garment Association. He has shown his designs at China Fashion Week in Beijing.
What was the most important/far-reaching fashion event or news to happen this year?
This was a turbulent year in fashion. Many international houses dropped their designers and, vice versa, a number of creatives left brands they’d been working with for years – Balenciaga and Alexander Wang for instance, but also Lanvin and Alber Ebaz. The downturn brought by the economic slump shrunk the living and breathing space of the fashion industry.
Amid the overall slowdown, China has somehow come out as a winner: we saw many up-and-coming Chinese fashion talents making headlines in international fashion weeks – Haizhen Wang, Masha Ma, Feng Cheng Wang. This was also the year when more established Chinese designers, like Uma Wang, became regular fixtures of the fashion calendar. Fashion in the East is growing fast, and China is at the center of it.
What was your favorite fashion moment?
My personal favorite this year was Shanghai Fashion Week. Compared to China Fashion Week in Beijing, the Shanghai event has made waves over the last couple of years, and has become a serious contender in the industry. This season had lots of buyers, lots of attention, lot of new faces. It was lively, dynamic, creative – super interesting to attend.
Who do you think are the Chinese designers to watch?
There are too many good ones. If I have to pick I would say Feng Cheng Wang, a young Beijing-born designer who just showed at New York and Shanghai Fashion weeks. She has an international perspective and a futuristic aesthetic – most importantly, a lot of potential.
2016: Prediction and expectations.
For China’s fashion industry, 2016 is going to be another year of growth and expansion. Many promising designers who studied fashion abroad are coming back, and starting to set foot in the local industry. Taobao and e-commerce in general are also going to offer more space for smaller brands, a move that might possibly threaten bigger ventures and fashion companies.
Generally speaking, small-scale businesses are going to do really well, I think – the market is shifting away from the big names, which means new designers are going to have more opportunities to thrive.