“China Chic” on Parade in Not One, But Two Dedicated NYFW Showcases

"Tmall China Cool" parades out five Chinese fashion labels, preceding a later "China Day" showcase with three more

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3 years ago 3 mins read

In early 2018, Chinese ecommerce platform Tmall helped launch New York Fashion Week’s first-ever “China Day,” in an effort to showcase the country’s “homegrown fashion talent” and “growing creative culture” (and probably also to sell more brands abroad).


<a href="https://radii.co/article/alibabas-tmall-is-taking-over-new-york-fashion-week-with-a-china-day-this-week"> <div class="related-wrapper"> <div class="related-image"> <img src="https://imagedelivery.net/WLUarKbmUXuuhDC7PG5_Qw/articles/24c0aaf6ffe911f6fed4318ea7d4224a.jpg/public" alt="new york fashion week nyfw china day"/> </div> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-title"> <span>Alibaba’s Tmall is Taking Over New York Fashion Week With a “China Day” This Week</span> </div> <div class="related-subtitle"> <span></span> </div> <div class="related-footer"> <span>Article</span> <span>Sep 09, 2018</span> </div> </div> </div> </a>

Fast forward to September 2019, and NYFW has had not one, but two different (competing?) showcases of Chinese fashion design — the largest-ever such showcase in any major fashion week worldwide.

Last week, Tmall strutted out five fashion labels — ranging from mass market to indie names — under the moniker “Tmall China Cool,” their largest showing to date.

Rizhuo NYFW 2019 China Cool

Rizhuo at Tmall’s “China Cool” showcase at NYFW (image: Alizila)

One of the biggest names on the list was mass market label Threegun, probably best known in China for manufacturing undergarments. They were joined by returnees Peacebird — featured at Tmall’s first-ever “China Day” in 2018 — who rolled out a crossover line with food delivery platform Ele.me (which look preeeetty sick if you’re asking us. Would buy).

Rounding out the “China Cool” lineup were independent label Rizhuo, and emerging designers Songta and i-am-chen.

Later in the week, “China Day” (sans the “Tmall”) went on to showcase an additional three Chinese labels of their own. This year’s event bore the nationalistic theme “70/40” (after the upcoming 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC, and 40 years since China’s opening up, respectively).

One of the big brands on display was made for those decidedly pint-sized. Anta Kids — offshoot of Chinese sportswear giant Anta — rolled out a crossover line with US retailer Opening Ceremony (cute pics below).

Anta Kids Opening Ceremony NYFW

Images: Weibo

They were joined by womenswear brand Lily, and London-based XU ZHI (which we previously listed as one of our labels to watch in 2019).


<a href="https://radii.co/article/9-chinese-fashion-labels-to-watch-in-2019"> <div class="related-wrapper"> <div class="related-image"> <img src="https://imagedelivery.net/WLUarKbmUXuuhDC7PG5_Qw/articles/cb616c2f8b65dcba0ce4fd6219b1670e.jpg/public" alt="chinese fashion design china"/> </div> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-title"> <span>9 Chinese Fashion Labels to Watch in 2019</span> </div> <div class="related-subtitle"> <span>These nine represent some of the best and brightest design talent China has to offer</span> </div> <div class="related-footer"> <span>Article</span> <span>Jan 01, 2019</span> </div> </div> </div> </a>

(Also there was a bonus appearance by streetwear brand CLOT in the form of some limited-edition mooncakes.)

Since 2018’s first China Day, New York Fashion Week has not only become a launchpad for an increasing number of Chinese design talents, but also provided the opportunity for some substantial transformations. When sportswear brand Li-Ning debuted on the NYFW catwalk, it was the culmination of the pivot they’d made from mid-shelf commodity to a mainland China-bred leader in streetwear.


<a href="https://radii.co/article/made-in-china-2-0-how-li-ning-sneakers-went-from-beijing-outlets-to-new-york-fashion-week"> <div class="related-wrapper"> <div class="related-image"> <img src="https://imagedelivery.net/WLUarKbmUXuuhDC7PG5_Qw/articles/ed09a85d32ee290e62553ca3eacfd71d.jpg/public" alt="li-ning chinese brands"/> </div> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-title"> <span>Made in China 2.0: How Li-Ning Sneakers Went from Beijing Outlets to New York Fashion Week</span> </div> <div class="related-subtitle"> <span></span> </div> <div class="related-footer"> <span>Article</span> <span>May 22, 2018</span> </div> </div> </div> </a>

And well before food delivery got in on the action, Chinese food brands — from hot sauce to ice-cold beers — came off the shelves and onto some much-talked about crossover clothing.


<a href="https://radii.co/article/the-hottest-look-at-new-york-fashion-week-ss2019-a-chinese-chili-sauce"> <div class="related-wrapper"> <div class="related-image"> <img src="https://imagedelivery.net/WLUarKbmUXuuhDC7PG5_Qw/articles/b345d6e4ee8b08c53bd229ffc01b8a87.jpg/public" alt="lao gan ma ice cream tencent"/> </div> <div class="related-content"> <div class="related-title"> <span>The Hottest Look at New York Fashion Week SS2019? A Chinese Chili Sauce</span> </div> <div class="related-subtitle"> <span>Spicy Guizhou sauce brand Lao Gan Ma ("Old Godmother") has become an unlikely fashion icon after it was used on clothing at New York Fashion Week</span> </div> <div class="related-footer"> <span>Article</span> <span>Sep 14, 2018</span> </div> </div> </div> </a>

Header: i-am-chen at Tmall’s “China Cool” showcase at NYFW (image: Alizila)

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