Alibaba’s Tmall Hosts Third Annual NYFW China Cool Day: A Fusion of Heritage and Innovation
On September 4, 2019 Alibaba hosted its third annual China Cool Event in collaboration with New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
- Five Chinese fashion brands – Peacebird, Threegun, Songta, i-am-chen and Rizhuo – showcased their spring-summer 2020 collections at Spring Studios.
- Emerging Chinese brands Songta and i-am-chen’s runway shows were bold and colorful statements about the future of Chinese design.
- Two contemporary Chinese brands, Peacebird and Threegun, used the NYFW runway to merge traditional and contemporary designs with an emphasis on streetwear, youth culture, textures and modern tones.
- Modern brand Rizhuo mixed traditional Chinese fashion with modern Chinese styles to present a contemporary, luxe apparel collection.
- The China Cool event also included a three-day pop-up exhibition that featured cross-collaborations between designers and consumer goods brands, including qipao from Chinese snack company Hsu Fu Chi and clothing brand Tyakasha and a trench coat inspired by Hegii, a toilet and bathroom furniture manufacturer.
On September 4, 2019, Alibaba’s Tmall hosted its third annual China Cool event at NYFW. The Tmall x NYFW collaboration began in 2017 when Alibaba selected two US brands from NYFW, Opening Ceremony and Robert Geller, to be featured in Tmall’s 2017 second annual “See Now, Buy Now” fashion show. Since then, the partnership has evolved. Last year, Tmall selected three leading women designers to be a part of NYFW, selected because they represented the contemporary Chinese consumer. This year, the show featured five brands: two very well-known Chinese brands, Peacebird and Threegun; two emerging brands, Songta and i-am-chen; and, one modern brand, Rizhuo.
Emerging Chinese Brands, Songta and i-am-Chen Presented Vibrant Collections at NYFW
Emerging Chinese brands Songta and i-am-chen presented their shows together: bold, unafraid statements about the future of Chinese design.
- Songta is a new brand that launched only four months ago. It presented a playful and ironic runway show at Spring Studios on September 4, 2019. Show highlights included the runway show itself, in which some of the models skipped down the runway and made funny faces at photographers while other models were overly serious – reflecting the brand’s fun and ironic patterns and silhouettes.
- i-am-chen, founded in 2017, presented a vibrant, unique, and artistic, layered knitwear collection. Highlights include the models’ makeup and accessories; some models had pearls attached to their faces under their eyes while others carried clear, colored lucite vacuum cleaners down the runway.
Traditional Chinese Brands Peacebird and Threegun Showcased Reinventions
Two contemporary Chinese brands, Peacebird and Threegun, used the runway as way to highlight merging their traditional designs with contemporary.
- Peacebird, a major multi-brand men’s and women’s retailer, operated 4,427 stores in China as of 2Q19. The Peacebird NYFW show celebrated youth culture, riding the trend of streetwear, denim and sports. Show highlights include ombre denim puffer jackets, a “street version” of the M&M’s logo on sweatshirts and jackets and models wearing sports medals as accessories.
- Threegun, a major Shanghai-based men’s and women’s underwear brand founded in the 1930s, presented a modern view of under- and outerwear, including sheet sheath dresses, heavy smocked cutout jackets and cropped mock tops. The NYFW runway collection included a range of textures from mesh to sheer to heavy poplin. Show highlights include Threegun’s use of layered, tonal colors throughout its collection for a modern effect including white with black, tan with black, and white with tan.
Modern Brand Rizhuo Mixed Traditional Chinese Fashion with Modern Chinese Styles to Present a Contemporary Apparel Collection
- Rizhuo merged traditional Chinese fashion and modern styles into one collection, mixing black and white and fusing modern and traditional Chinese fashion while layering looks with corseted belts, ties, and hats. The collection was inspired by poet Wang Wan’s By the Beigu Mountain and the melancholy sentiment of returning home. The collection presented a market for Chinese fashion that is not stereotypical but rather that blends natural, traditional elements with modern styles. For example, some of the designs were so intricate (and based on traditional elements) that the designer had to explain to models how to wear and tie the garments.
The China Cool Event included a Three-Day Pop-Up Exhibition with Chinese Designer Collaborations
In addition to runway shows, the NYFW China Cool event included a three-day pop-up exhibition in downtown New York City featuring collaborations between Chinese designers and consumer goods brands. The concept behind the pop-up exhibition was a celebration of the respect for authenticity and heritage combined with innovation and fashion. Walking into the pop-up store, the audience feels a natural atmosphere supported by simulated bird sounds and configurations of mountain scenery. The major brand promoted by the pop-up was Dabao, a women’s skincare brand that has expanded product categories within skincare.
Other pop-up brand collaborations included Chinese candy company Hsu Fu Chi working with the apparel brand Tyakasha; Chinese snack brand Qinqin and fashion brand Muzkin; Dove Chocolate and Hefang Jewelry; and, home furniture brand Ziinlife and Chow Tai Seng Jewelry.