Chinese trendsetters take front row at fashion week
This comes as no surprise given that the Middle Kingdom is already one of the world’s largest luxury markets, accounting for over 20 percent of global luxury purchases, according to a recent report by market research firm Bain & Company.
Relaxnews takes at look at some of the Chinese front row trendsetters who will help top luxury labels conquer the hearts of millions of Chinese fans.
Han Huo Huo
With a following of 1.2 million fans on his Sina Weibo microblog, this fashion stylist, whose name means ‘fire’ in Chinese, is one of the reigning fashion icons in China, known for his distinct androgynous look.
His personal style has won over the iconic Hong Kong luxury department store Lane Crawford, which has even created a dedicated webpage, All Fired Up, where Han makes his sartorial recommendations to online shoppers.
Testament to his growing clout in the business, earlier this year the fashion blogger launched his first book, titled Fire Bible, a collection of photos showcasing his favorite styles seen on Chinese supermodels, fashionistas and actresses.
A fixture in the front row of Paris Fashion Week, he succinctly summed up the Vivienne Westwood SS2013 Gold Label show over the weekend on his Weibo microblog: “Two words. Simply Legend.”
A fashion trendsetter in China, Yao Chen, an award-winning Chinese actress who rose to fame for her role in China’s hit sitcom My Own Swordsman in 2005, has one of the largest followings on her Sina Weibo microblog with a whopping 24.7 million fans.
A regular on China’s tabloid and fashion magazine covers, Chen is also a habitué of some of the leading fashion events in China, including the recent 10th Bazaar China Charity For Life event held in Beijing earlier this month.
With such credentials, it comes as no surprise that she gets the best seats in the house during fashion week.
This year, she was spotted on the front row at Vera Wang’s Spring/Summer 2013 in New York. After the show, she captioned on her Weibo microblog — “The wedding gown queen Vera Wang is such an outstanding Chinese designer; she is small in person and so cool. She looks like a little princess — with pride and innocence. Each wedding gown she makes is a piece of art, bearing the dreams of every woman.”
Wang Luo Dan
“Nothing can stop me from this — Topshop London, here I come!”
With these words via her Sina Weibo microblog, Wang Luo Dan lent her fire power to the British high street brand at the latest edition of London Fashion Week.
Wang, who has a following of some 13 million fans on her Weibo account, was initially mistaken for a Chinese supermodel when she appeared in the front row of Topshop’s Unique Spring/Summer 2013 show.
Also a regular on the fashion circuit in China, she made numerous appearances at the nation’s top fashion events this year including a charity fundraising event with Elle China in support of the China Song Ching Ling Foundation, as well as the opening of the new Louis Vuitton Shanghai Maison in July.
Chinese actor Li Chen is currently riding high on popularity ratings in China thanks to his role in the 2012 hit TV series Beijing Youth, as well as several major Chinese movies he has starred in over the past few years.
The actor, who has over 5 million Weibo fans, chronicled via the microblog his experience at New York Fashion Week, where he took to the front row of Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring/Summer 2013 show.
“The backstage is like a preppy school club while the front stage is filled with sporty badges and Grand Prix grids. This season’s Tommy Hilfiger show showcased the perfect combination of tradition and innovation,” he wrote in one of his Weibo posts.
Qin Hai Lu
This Chinese actress, who won the prestigious Hong Kong Golden Horse Best Actress award in 2001 for her role in Durian Durian, has 15 million fans on her Sina Weibo microblog.
The actress who graced the front row of the Gucci SS2013 runway show in Milan later thanked the Italian fashion label on her Weibo page: “I hope the sharp designs and lovely colors will keep the whole of this summer alive!”
Qin kept her fans in the loop via Weibo as she toured Milan during fashion week, including her showroom visits to Tod’s, Fendi and high-end jeweler Damiani.
Beijing-born singer/actress Liu Liyang first found popularity in the third season of a singing contest in China, Super Girls, in 2006.
The androgynous-looking singer was spotted front row during New York Fashion Week, including the runway shows of Tadashi Shoji, Philip Lim, as well as Chinese homegrown label VLOV.
Notably, Liu sent out this Weibo post after bumping into Elle’s fashion editor Kate Lanphear at this season’s New York fashion circuit: “How brave she is to wear this sporty ensemble to Fashion Week. (She’s) proof that fashion is not what you wear but the attitude you have.”
In China, Chen Shu is popularly known as Queen of the ‘Qipao’ or traditional Chinese cheongsam dress, thanks to her breakout role as a woman in 1930s wartime Shanghai in the hit TV series Love in a Fallen City. She has since become a fashion icon for millions of Chinese women across the country.
This is the first fashion week for the actress, who made an appearance in the front row at the Christian Dior show in Paris. Notably, she was also the only mainland Chinese actress who was invited to the Lanvin runway show.
Throughout fashion week, she made a series of poetic posts via Weibo, waxing lyrical about the autumnal beauty of the City of Light.