Chinese designer Wang Tao of TAORAY WANG greets the audience during the New York Fashion Week in New York, the United States, on Feb. 10, 2018. (Xinhua/Li Muzi)
Consumers in China are increasingly individualistic in their tastes of fashion, a trend that may offer unlimited opportunities for emerging young designers world wide, said Chinese designer Wang Tao, often hailed as the "Queen of the Suit."
"Chinese fashion industry has been evolving fastly in recent years. Most interestingly, instead of just following the trends, more and more Chinese tend to choose a brand that represents their identity," said Wang in an interview with Xinhua on Saturday on the sidelines of her namesake brand TAORAY WANG runway show at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW).
Though their appetite for established brands is still there, the young Chinese customers, with income increase and more exposure to diverse cultures, are putting more emphasis on self-expression, valuing artisanship and heritage in their styling preferences, she said.
Such a shift in tastes would encourage emerging fashion designers to be more creative in artful fusion of cultural motifs and embellishments and modern shapes, she said.
"I studied history in university. I am a great fan of literature, and some of my inspirations are from western and Chinese literature classics," she added.
Wang, a graduate of East China Normal University, has grown from an aspiring designer to one of Asia's most successful female entrepreneurs. She is well-known for putting a feminine touch on masculine work attire.
"I'm always targeting leading women," she says. "I wanna make women leaders look stronger and more beautiful."
Wang's creation debuted on Saturday was inspired by Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia in the late 18th century, it blends the classic and the modern, East and West in traditional military olive green and striking Russian red.
She brought her Spring/Summer 2018 collection, named "Shanghai Baroque to New York Fashion Week in September last year. The inspiration came from a performance of the masterpieces of two Baroque musicians, Purcell and Handel, at the Shanghai Symphony Hall.
Held in February and September of each year, NYFW is a semi-annual series of events. It is one of the four major fashion weeks in the world, collectively known as the "Big Four," along with those in Paris, London and Milan. Wang first debuted her brand at NYFW in the fall of 2014.