In response to the increase in fashion and entrepreneurship exchanges between China and the UK, the Chinese edition of WWD, a partnership with China Mind Next since 2019, hosted a webinar working with the British Fashion Council on the last day of the Fall 2021 edition of London Fashion Week to explore how British and Chinese designers are navigating the new normal.
Over 260,000 people from around the world participated in the digital event.
At the first panel discussion, fashion media veteran Angelica Cheung, who is also BFC Ambassador in Asia and partner at investment firm Sequoia Capital, joined Stephanie Phair, President of BFC, and Caroline Wilson, Ambassador British in China, to discuss the importance of collaboration and how to work together on common goals to create a more sustainable and innovative industry.
“We face bigger issues now, but I won’t say we were any different before COVID-19. What the pandemic has done is it has accentuated these topics, ”Phair from London said. “One of the topics we are focusing on after the pandemic is sustainability. It is truly more urgent than ever to move from awareness to action now. This can only be done through wider collaboration and we are seeing the success of many transnational alliances, and I am happy to say that there is enormous interest in both China and the UK ”
Speaking from his home in Beijing, Cheung said, “What I see in the changes is that due to the challenges, the industry has become much more creative and innovative. Also, I think because we have a little time to think, people have become more pragmatic and to think about the meaning of it all.
“Last year in China we were at the worst time of the pandemic, but you saw new innovations. The live broadcast, for example, started with people refusing to do anything at home during the lockdown. All of the salespeople and managers used their camera phones to communicate digitally with the community. In a way, even though we are physically separated, we probably spend more time talking and teaching through digital channels, which brings people together in the end, ”she added, drawing a result positive of the pandemic.
Wilson added that “the digital explosion in China and the advanced nature of the market here offers so many opportunities, which I know the UK fashion industry is absolutely determined to take advantage of. We see China as a very important strategic partner, not only for selling to Chinese consumers, but because of China’s position in the global supply chain. This, combined with the sustainability debate, it is very important for the UK and China to work together.
The second round table British designer Anya Hindmarch and Yushan Li and Jun Zhou of Shanghai-based label Pronounce with CEO of Tomorrow Stefano Martinetto and Kevin Jiang, President of International Fashion and Lifestyle at JD.com, discussing how the Fashion takes digitized action in the new season’s presentations to professionals and consumers.
Christopher Raeburn, Creative Director of Timberland and Raeburn, discussed how to make the UK fashion industry circular with Dylan Jones, President of BFC Menswear and Editor-in-Chief of British GQ at the third roundtable. Raeburn also presented his enduring designs to the public from his spacious studio in Hackney.
Finally, President Ambassador of the BFC David Beckham, who enjoys enormous popularity in China, spoke to designer Richard Quinn, recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II First Prize for British Design, and BFC CEO Caroline Rush to explain why he is now more important than ever to support young talent.
Rush stressed that international markets like China are very important to the UK fashion industry.
“The purpose of London Fashion Week is really to connect UK designers to a global audience. Building partnerships in international markets has never been more important when we can’t travel. Normally, we will welcome people to London, whether they are Chinese designers like Pronounce and Danshan, or the media and retailers, ”she said.
Beckham added that “there is so much that I miss about China. I can’t wait to be back. Apart from the food, I think that just being able to go back to China to highlight all that we are doing in such a difficult time, to be able to share our vision and the creative side that we all do with our friends in China is such a One. important part. “
During the webinar, he shared an anecdote about his wife Victoria Beckham during the lockdown. He said when she insisted on finalizing the fall home drive the only thing he could help was “make scrambled eggs and avocado, and keep making sure that ‘she drinks enough water.
“In the end, she was really happy with everything she did. Everyone was challenged by this, but I told them that ‘this is when your creative side comes to fruition, and this is what you have to keep telling people because when you are put in a situation like the one we are all in, sometimes it is your best job that comes out, ”” he added.
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