In response to the rising style and entrepreneurial exchanges between China and the U.Okay., WWD’s China version, a partnership with China Thoughts Subsequent since 2019, hosted a webinar in collaboration with the British Style Council on the final day of the autumn 2021 version of London Fashion Week to discover how British and Chinese language creatives are navigating the brand new regular.
Greater than 260,000 individuals from all over the world tuned in for the digital occasion.
Within the first panel dialogue, fashion media veteran Angelica Cheung, who is also a BFC ambassador in Asia and a partner at investment firm Sequoia Capital, joined Stephanie Phair, BFC chair, and Caroline Wilson, the British ambassador to China, to debate the significance of collaboration, and easy methods to work collectively on widespread objectives to create a extra sustainable and revolutionary business.
“We face bigger issues now, however I gained’t say we had been completely different earlier than COVID-19. What the pandemic has achieved is that it has accentuated these subjects,” stated Phair from London. “One of many subjects we’re specializing in post-pandemic is sustainability. It truly is extra pressing than ever to maneuver from consciousness to motion proper now. It might solely occur by means of cross broader collaboration and we’re seeing the success of many cross-national alliances, and I’m happy to say that there’s a big curiosity in China as there may be for the U.Okay.”
Talking from her residence in Beijing, Cheung stated: “What I see within the adjustments is that due to the challenges, the business has turn into much more inventive and revolutionary. Additionally, I really feel, as a result of we’ve a little bit of time to suppose, individuals have turn into extra pragmatic and to consider the that means of all of it.
“Final yr in China, we had been on the worst interval of the pandemic, however you noticed new improvements. Livestreaming, for instance, began with individuals not accepting doing something at residence in the course of the lockdown. All of the store assistants and managers used their cellphone with a digicam to speak digitally with the group. Indirectly, despite the fact that bodily we’re aside, we in all probability spend extra time speaking and educating by means of digital channels, bringing individuals nearer in the long run,” she added, as she drew a constructive consequence from the pandemic.
Wilson added that “the digital explosion in China and the superior nature of the market right here provide so many alternatives, which I do know that the British style business is completely decided to benefit from. We see China as an important strategic companion, not simply to promoting to Chinese language customers, however due to China’s place within the international provide chain. This mixed as nicely at a time with the sustainability debate, it’s very crucial for the U.Okay. and China to collaborate.”
The second panel dialogue featured British designer Anya Hindmarch and Yushan Li and Jun Zhou from the Shanghai-based label Pronounce with Tomorrow’s chief government officer Stefano Martinetto and Kevin Jiang, president of worldwide style and way of life at JD.com, speaking about how the style business is taking digitalized motion within the new season’s shows to each the commerce and customers.
Christopher Raeburn, inventive director of Timberland and Raeburn, went on a deep dive on easy methods to make the British style business round with Dylan Jones, BFC Menswear Chair and editor in chief at British GQ within the third panel dialogue. Raeburn additionally showcased his sustainable designs to the viewers from his spacious studio in Hackney.
Lastly, BFC’s ambassadorial president David Beckham, who enjoys big reputation in China, spoke with designer Richard Quinn, recipient of the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, and BFC’s CEO Caroline Rush about why it’s now extra vital than ever earlier than to assist younger expertise.
Rush harassed that worldwide markets like China are crucial to the British style business.
“The purpose of London Fashion Week actually is to attach British designers with a world viewers. Constructing partnerships in worldwide markets has by no means been extra vital once we can’t journey. Usually we shall be welcoming individuals to come back to London, whether or not that’s Chinese language designers like Pronounce and Danshan, or the media and retailers,” she stated.
Beckham added that “there are such a lot of issues I miss about China. I can’t wait to be again. Apart from the meals, I believe simply with the ability to return to China to only spotlight every thing that we’re doing in such a troublesome time, with the ability to share our imaginative and prescient and the inventive facet that all of us do with our mates in China is such an vital half.”
Throughout the webinar, he shared an anecdote about his spouse Victoria Beckham in the course of the lockdown. He stated that when she was stressing about finalizing the autumn assortment from residence, the one factor he might assist with was to “make some scrambled eggs and avocado, and hold ensuring that she is consuming sufficient water.”
“Ultimately, she was actually happy about every thing she has achieved. Everybody was challenged by this, however I stated to her that ‘that is when your inventive facet comes into fruition, and that is what you need to hold telling individuals as a result of when you find yourself put right into a state of affairs like we’re all in, that’s typically your finest work come out,’” he added.