SHANGHAI–The Yu Prize, a design competition that awards China’s young creative fashion talent, has opened applications for its second edition, with a new partner Xiaohongshu joining alongside Harrods and OTB Group.
Yu Prize founder Wendy Yu hosted a dinner on Tuesday night at the St. Regis Hotel with the 16 finalists from last year and an array of industry experts including Mathieu Delmas, managing director of Piaget China, Madame Lv, vice secretary general of Shanghai Fashion Week, Tasha Liu, Labelhood founder, Sabrina Fung, managing director of Fung Retailing Group, and Harrods’ Sarah Myler and Wenwen Li.
Last round, the event awarded 1.5 million renminbi, or $229,000 in four prizes, alongside mentorship, retailing space, and exhibition opportunities. For instance, the inaugural winner Chen Peng’s collection is due to launch at Harrods next week.
“We decided to continue to support Yu Prize also in 2022 because we share Wendy Yu’s vision and her passion for creativity and Chinese design and culture,” said Renzo Rosso, president of OTB Group, which has provided mentoring to Chen. “China is bound to become not only the world’s biggest market for fashion, but also a source of inspiration and new, surprising talents. And our group wants to be right beside them.”
Although Yu said she had not been attending shows in person at the ongoing season for Shanghai Fashion Week, she said she still had been keeping up with the new collections coming down the runway.
“I’ve gotten invited to so many shows. I feel bad if I go to one show and not the other so I watch all of them on WeChat,” she said. “I’m proud to see Susan Fang, Donsee10, Ming Ma, and ZI II CII EN. Their shows are astonishing, it’s so beautifully made. I was super proud to see the designers coming out from the Yu Prize doing such a great job.”
In addition to the Yu Prize, a new event called the Hu Fashion Forward Prize, launched by the retailer Le Monde de SHC is about to kick off this week. The HFF also honors rising Chinese fashion talent and on Friday will name its first-ever winner.