LONDON — The fall 2021 edition of Shanghai Fashion Week begins in early April and the city’s fashion retailer and emerging Chinese designer support scheme Labelhood will reveal its 11th-edition lineup on Wednesday, WWD can exclusively reveal.
This season, Labelhood will return to the Tank Shanghai art space venue, which is located next to Centre Pompidou Shanghai and a short walk away from the largest fashion trade show during SFW, Ontimeshow, on West Bund.
Many aspiring Chinese designers take pride in showcasing with Labelhood, as the platform has been instrumental in nurturing generations of talent and helping to make Chinese design a part of the global fashion conversation.
Tasha Liu, founder of Labelhood, told WWD that in order to offer a clear and diverse range of designers, Labelhood will be dividing them into five categories and highlighting one group a day from April 7 to 11.
“You have designers who are selected via our own incubation project Youtopia, designers who are making their SFW debuts; designers who have been showing for two or three seasons with us, and whose styles were not accepted at the beginning but now people are anticipating what will they do next, designers who have also integrated Chinese trends with an online business model, and lastly, designers who have matured over the years and turned their passion into proper fashion brands,” she said.
Newcomers from Labelhood’s incubation project Youtopia include Anno Mundi, Fivekoh, Momonary, Sorgenti, and Toile. They will show on April 7. A Converse collaboration with Youtopia will be presented on the same day.
Louis Shengtao Chen, Ponder.er, Peng Tai, VII Victor x Wang, Club_Cylinder, Fabric Porn, and Dumpty will also be making their Shanghai Fashion Week debuts this season over the ensuing days.
Chen is arguably one of the most-anticipated names to watch out for this season, Liu told WWD.
He is a model and a student studying in Central Saint Martins MA Fashion course’s print pathway. Having walked for the likes of Gucci, Maison Margiela, and Charles Jeffrey Loverboy, and worked at Loewe and Kiko Kostadinov, he is looking to present a collection in Shanghai that can challenge the traditional notion of glamour through an experimental design approach.
Ponder.er is a Hong Kong and London-based label founded by Alex Po and Derek Cheng. Po, who is under quarantine in Shanghai since he traveled from Hong Kong for the Labelhood debut, said being able to show physically is very important for the brand, as Ponder.er puts a heavy emphasis on subtle brand aesthetics and textiles. The brand’s fall presentation will be a mix of installation with interactive elements, encouraging the audience to look at the pieces from different angles.
Emerging Chinese designers with global exposure like Shushu/Tong, Angel Chen, Rui, Yuhan Wang, Private Policy, and Yueqi Qi will also return to the showcase with local names such as Yirantian, Roaringwild, Oude Waag, Yingpei Studio, Jacques Wei, Superr, Umamiism Oyster, and Swaying/knit presenting their fall 2021 collections.
Siying Qu, who cofounded Private Policy with Haoran Li in New York, said this time nothing can stop the two from traveling back to China, even with two weeks of quarantine, to re-establish the human connection with their audience in China, after being absent from SFW for the last two years.
“Now, we finally have the chance, especially for a homecoming show to Shanghai Fashion Week with Labelhood, we want to invite our audience to experience, think, and most importantly to have fun,” she said.
This show will also be a celebration of the 19th-century Transcontinental Railroad Chinese, who inspired the fall collection and who “traveled from the Pearl River Delta area to the west coast of America, overcame extreme natural challenges and society with strong xenophobia sentiments and policies, and created a phenomenal railway line through the desert, brutal snowstorms, and on 90-degree cliffs.”
“Back then, the Chinese railroad workers did not receive the glory they deserved, so today, we will celebrate the phenomenal contribution and inspiration they brought to the world,” she added.
Shanghai Fashion Week is expected to unveil the full official schedule next week.