Designers showcase collections inspired by Chinese dynasties at NYFW

Global Business

Fashionistas are strutting their stuff in New York for New York Fashion Week. One show featured four emerging Chinese designers who showcased collections inspired by different Chinese dynasties.

They are all a part of ICY, an e-commerce platform in China that partners with designers in a unique copyright sharing model and helps them grow their brands through marketing. CGTN’s Karina Huber reports.

Four Chinese dynasties were represented at the ICY show at New York Fashion Week.

The collection by designer Leif Xia focused on the women of the Tang Dynasty – a period spanning the 7th to 10th century.

“The women from Tang dynasty is more about open-minded. They have very clear position for Asian women. So there’s a strong connection between my brand and Asian women from Tang Dynasty,” said Xia.

The garments were for the bold – colorful, whimsical and youthful.

Designer Eva Xu showcased a completely different look for her brand All Comes From Nothing. It was a chic and elegant collection with muted greens and blues, beiges and blacks and golds.

The inspiration was the last Chinese imperial dynasty – the Qing dynasty that ended in 1912.

“My favorite time and space is the last empire, Shanghai. That’s why I have this Shanghai themed T-shirt. It also looks like Chinese characters, but it is in English,” said Xu.

The four Chinese designers showcased at this New York Runway show have all collaborated with ICY, a Chinese online platform that helps emerging designers manufacture garments at an attractive price point and grow their market.

The site currently has partnerships with around 400 brands. All the clothing sold through the platform is made in ICY’s own factories in China. The company has also teamed up with influential bloggers who help promote the brands on the site.

Ying Ying, the founder, and CEO of ICY said they focus on emerging designers because Chinese consumers are increasingly looking for something unique.

“The new generations, the new consumers are totally different from the past. They think clothing, dressing is a way they can express themselves. So they want to use designers to express their personality, their individuality, something like that,” she said.

Designer Leif Xia has her own factory in Shanghai and makes many of her higher-priced garments there, but said it still makes sense for her to work with ICY.

“We do a collaboration of about twenty commercial pieces. We can sell at a more commercial price. It’s also a great opportunity for young designers to balance the commercial part and the creative part,” she said.

ICY currently only features Chinese designers and is only available to Chinese consumers, but Ying wants to attract foreign designers and open the market for Chinese brands as well.

“I hope ICY in the future, ICY can help different designers from different countries to express their own culture.”

The runway show in New York is part of that strategy to take the platform global.