The designers making into the final round are Alienant by Yuchen Han; Chan Chit Lo; Didu; Louis Shengtao Chen; Marrknull by Mark Wang and Tim Shi; Ponder.er by Alex Po and Derek Cheng; Private Policy by Haoran Li and Siying Qu; Ruohan by Ruohan Nie; Yirantian by Yirantian Guo, and Zi II Ci Ien by Zhi Chen.
For the final, the 10 brands are required to create two looks — one conceptual and one commercial — inspired by the theme “Soaring Aspirations.” They will present their looks together with production samples for assessment and scoring in person at the jury presentation on March 15, which will take place at Harrods, The Residence Shanghai in Cha House.
Wendy Yu, founder of Yu Holdings and the competition, told WWD that she is looking for “talents that represent the future of fashion ‘created in China’ leading with a distinctive consistent design concept with cultural relevance and a focus on positive impact.”
“We take a long-term view, assessing designers as businesses from a 360[-degree] perspective as well as their potential on the global stage,” she added.
A panel of judges, including Yu; fashion designers Iris van Herpen and Mary Katrantzou; Shanghai Fashion Week’s Lu Xiaolei; Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode’s president Pascal Morand; OTB Group president Renzo Rosso; Vogue’s Sara Sozzani Maino and Sarah Mower; Harrods managing director Michael Ward; Labelhood founder Tasha Liu; Huasheng Media founder Xuan Feng, and former Elle China editor in chief Xiao Xue, made the finalist selections based on creative assignment submissions in tandem with the designers’ applications.
Li-Ning was announced as a new partner for this year’s competition.
The grand prize winner and some finalists will be chosen to develop a capsule collaboration with Li-Ning, which will launch in-store and online later this year.
“We want to make the Yu Prize as relevant to real life as possible, helping designers to build powerful industry connections as well as gain access to commercial opportunities.… I’m thrilled that our 10 finalists will not only gain recognition but also have the chance to collaborate with established brands and pioneering companies such as Li-Ning,” Yu said.
Ye Feng, group vice president Li-Ning said he is looking for “leaders in Chinese cultural trends” and “products that keep the needs and aspirations of the Chinese customer in mind, a careful balance of creativity and function.”
“We are scouting for emergent design excellence in the industry with various opportunities for long-term cooperation with our special projects on an annual basis. We welcome new designers to join our brand and gain experience for their personal growth,” he added.
The grand prize winner this year will also receive a cash prize, a spot at the Sphere showroom during Paris Fashion Week, a show slot during Shanghai Fashion Week, a 12-month mentorship with OTB Group, retail support from Harrods, and promotional support on China’s social commerce platform Xiaohongshu, a new sponsor this edition.
Other awards that will be given out at the awards ceremony and gala dinner during the upcoming Shanghai Fashion Week include the Infinite Beauty Award and the Rising Voices Award.
The recipients of the two awards will receive a cash prize of 50,000 renminbi, or $7,870, and the chance to launch a limited-edition capsule with Yu’s luxury beauty brand Yumee; and a cash prize of 100,000 renminbi, or $15,684, and a collaboration opportunity with Ugg, respectively.