Edgy women’s wear from Mandarin General
It’s no secret that every Western fashion brand is jockeying for space or exposure in China. As a result, shopping in cities like Beijing or Shanghai have become homogenized with the same run of stores whether its high street specials like Zara or luxury brands such as Hermes and Chanel.
Online however things are getting more interesting with multi-brand retailers looking to offer cool designers with an edge. One of my new finds is AnyShopStyle.cn, which was launched last September. The site is the brainchild of two friends, Brit export Alice McInerney and Beijinger Li Yang, as a platform to promote emerging Chinese designers whether they are based in China or around the world.
Feminine designs by Luvon by Liu Lu
“As we’re a China-based company we obviously stock lots of fantastic Chinese designers, but we wanted to keep the shop open to designers from anywhere. The priority is that they produce exciting, relevant collections,” Alice says.
One of their most popular names is Central Saint Martins graduate Yang Du whose eclectic cashmere designs have been featured in magazines like Vogue. Her autumn/winter collection is exclusive to the site and is inspired by jungle animals getting ready to board Noah’s Ark, hence the Miss Owl mini dress. It’s definitely for more for quirky fashionistas who love to make a statement.
Separates by Candy Caviar
What I also find interesting about the site is the strong focus on the contemporary market, which is growing quickly in China. My favourite is Mandarin General by Taiwanese designer Peggy Tan which features art deco style prints on cute retro dresses and edgy separates that recall Helmut Lang. Another celebrity favourite is Luvon by LiuLiu created by Beijing designer Liu Lu, which is definitely more feminine with bright colours and plenty of draping.
Men’s classics from Non.Season
There is also a small selection for the guys which is more fashion forward (Chinese men love to experiment with their fashion) such as Path by China based German designer Janine Grosche. On the more classic side is Non.Season which features preppy designs made from luxe fabrics.