AlienAnt, which was founded in 2019 by Yuchen Han, won the Rising Voices Award in partnership with Ugg. The prize, which is targeted at designers at earlier stages in their careers, includes RMB 100,000 (£12,000) and a collaboration with UGG. This year, Yu decided to extend the Creative Impact Award to five semi-finalists rather than just one in an effort to broaden access and support for emerging designers. Winners include Louis Shengtao Chen, Private Policy, Ruohan, Victor Wong and Yirantian – all receiving RMB 50,000 (£6,000).
Along with Yu, the jury included OTB chairman and founder Renzo Rosso; designer Diane von Furstenberg; Vogue chief critic and BFC ambassador for emerging talent Sarah Mower; vice secretary general of Shanghai Fashion Week Madame Lu; designer Jason Wu; Farfetch president of APAC Judy Liu; designer Iris Van Herpen; Harrods managing director Michael Ward; and EVP of the FHCM Pascal Morand, among others.
“This year’s winners are all very different, and perhaps it is this that sets them apart and is symbolic of what is happening in China,” says jury member Tasha Liu, who is known to be a champion of emerging designers and founded boutique and independent showcasing platform Labelhood. “Designers are stepping into their individuality and creativity with bold confidence. They are not being swayed by the market demands and trends. The advantage of Chinese brands is that they can benefit from the myriad and intersection of sales channels available to them, from boutiques and department stores to Tmall/Taobao, Xiaohongshu and Wechat as well as direct-to-consumer. This offers greater and dynamic opportunities to engage with new and diverse customers.”