SHENZHEN’S FASHION INITIATIVE: Hosted by the Shenzhen municipal government and organized by the Shenzhen Garment Industry Association, 15 Shenzhen designer brands participated in their first spring 2014 designer showcase, Fashion Shenzhen, during New York Fashion Week on Tuesday at Studio 450. Two of those participants, Denghao and Ellassay, had their first runway show during fashion week at Lincoln Center.

Shen Yongfang, president of the SGIA, said that while Shenzhen designers have shown spring and fall collections at London Fashion Week for five years, it was time to bring them to “New York’s platform so they can communicate with and learn from their American counterparts.” She also noted that the city of Shenzhen is regarded as the fashion capital of China. According to Yongfang, the majority of the apparel sold in the top tier department stores is manufactured in Shenzhen. Shenzhen is home to 3,000 apparel firms, 800 individual brands and 350,000 industry workers.

Dusen Wang, the brand image director for Ellassay and one of the brand’s designers, said the experience here is “different from London because there’s more support and attention in New York for Chinese brands.” The Ellassay brand, manufactured in China and Milan, is sold in 320 shop-in-shops across China. Private equity firm Carlyle Group in 2009 invested 150 million reminbi, or $20 million, to help the high-end women’s fashion brand expand its presence in international markets.

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