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10 Women Who Are Shaping the Chinese Fashion Industry

10 Women Who Are Shaping the Chinese Fashion Industry

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

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10 Women Who Are Changing the Rules of Chinese Fashion

Today is International Women’s Day, and to celebrate, we’ve rounded up 10 young women who are game-changers in Chinese fashion.

Even though women are the majority consumers of clothing, numbers show they rarely break through the industry’s glass ceiling. Less than half of well-known womenswear brands are actually designed by women, and only 14% of major brands have a female executive in charge.

China’s fashion industry is extremely young but growing fast. And notably, Chinese women are taking more leadership roles domestically and globally.

To celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day, we’re introducing you to 10 young women who are shaping the Chinese fashion industry in 2022.

On Thanksgiving Day 2020, Xavier Murphy and his family went online for a Zoom reunion decades in the making. In South China, thousands of miles away, 93-year-old Hermede Shim Kong, Murphy’s uncle, was on the other end of the video call.

Murphy, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica and now resides in South Florida, was in his 20s when he first heard rumblings of a mysterious relative back in the ’90s.

“I thought it was almost like a myth,” he recalls. “I remember one of my older aunts saying we have an uncle — we can’t find him, but he’s in China — and that’s the first time I remember hearing about it.”

From there, Murphy pieced together bits and pieces of his fabled uncle’s backstory at family gatherings. Details were scarce, but the uncle was said to be the child of Murphy’s maternal grandmother, born before she married his grandfather and gave birth to her other children.

“As I grew older, as we started having more reunions, as I started to question my aunts about things, then it was like, ‘ok, there’s definitely something here. Let me see what I can pursue,’” Murphy tells RADII.

Unsurprisingly, tracking down his uncle with little more than word-of-mouth recollection was no easy task.

He learned his uncle’s name and that his uncle’s father, Philip Shim Kong, owned a shop in downtown Kingston. He took the clues to the Chinese Benevolent Association of Jamaica, but hit a dead end. His uncle remained an enigma.

“It is the city that chose our style. If we were not in Xiamen, we might not have pursued this music genre,” says guitarist Chen Zhenchao, who was born and raised in Xiamen, a seaside city in Southeast China that is best known for its beaches and slow pace of life. He notes that an American shoegaze band once came to perform in Xiamen, and they said the city is the Los Angeles of China — a comparison we suppose has some merit.

  • In the lead-up to the 2022 Super Bowl in Los Angeles, NFL partnered with L.A.-based artist Bernard Chang to create an unique China-inspired mural featuring the helmets of all 32 NFL teams.
  • Chinese emo rapper Cykko dropped a new bilingual track titled “Fall Down” on February 25. The genre of melodic emo rap infuses dark themes into hip hop rhythms and is growing in popularity in the East Asian rap scene.
  • RADII’s resident audio aficionado Wes Chen appeared on the latest episode of the Bund to Brooklyn podcast.
  • Wuhan University announced on Tuesday that it had withdrawn the master’s degree and diploma of Bai Xiangyu, who now works at Huawei’s South African branch, after an investigation into his reported sexual misconduct on campus. The South Africa-based Huawei employee allegedly sexually harassed almost 30 female students when he was a part-time instructor at Wuhan University.

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