After a pandemic-prompted postponement, this year’s China Fashion Gala was held virtually Thursday night and raised more than $600,000.
Organized by the China Institute and Yue-Sai Kan China Beauty Charity Fund, the event welcomed 1,200 guests digitally. During the pre-event V.I.P. meet-up, Kan, co-chair of the China Institute and chairwoman of CBCF, said, “I am quite excited, because this is truly the first international event that we have ever done.”
Stephane de La Faverie, Phillip Lim, Wendy Yu and Lucy Liu were among those who accepted the Baccarat-provided awards. In addition to recognizing honorees, the annual gala is geared toward spotlighting emerging Chinese talent.
Zooming into “the cocktail hour” from his New York City home, Lim was a little more active than most — seated in a swing. “This is my library. Since the quarantine, I like to sit here because I collect books on design, photography, art and architecture. I like to say, ‘I’ll swing about things.’ It’s really about putting yourself out of context to let your creative mind jog,” Lim said. “So I’ve been doing all my Zooms and interviews on a swing. It’s like a branding thing. I’m older now, but inside I still feel like I belong on a swing.”
China Institute’s president James Heimowitz suggested, “You need to sing and swing at the same time.”
”You know, the wisest people know what not to do — sing. I want all these squares to be filled, not empty,” Lim responded.
The designer accepted his Leadership award from Lisa Ling. Grateful to be part of a gala that recognizes and promotes programs that support the next generation, Lim said he is inspired to create a sustainable balance and to use creativity as a power source for change with his own brand.
“When people ask how being Asian has affected my career, for the past 15 years my answer has always been the same, ‘The Asian influence in my design is not what you will see, but rather everything that you will feel.’ When I make clothes, I do it with love, respect and integrity, honoring my Asian heritage. In the end the person wearing my clothes feels special,” the designer said.
Before the main event, Lim told the cocktail party guests how he preferred to stay in New York City during this moment of “forced change, whether we like it, accept it, feel uncomfortable or have felt disrupted. It is something that has happened because we needed to change.“
With a neighbor, who is also a creative director, Lim said they have “witnessed riots, marches and everything. And from that we started some initiatives to give back to the city that has built us basically.”