In case anyone missed the mind-blowing significance of Fashion Shenzhen‘s show during SS 2014 New York Fashion Week, allow us to explain.
Most people don’t think about where their clothes come from. Sure, they’ll ponder the label, contemplate the brand, and ruminate over the boutique but rarely if ever do they think about what happens before the label is sewn on. The truth is, we couldn’t be more isolated from the process of fashion, everything from where the raw materials are sourced, to where they’re actually assembled remains a mystery. Not that the information isn’t there for us if we wanted it, we’re just kind of oblivious. We know most of our fashion likely comes from China at some point in the manufacture process…but where in China? Interestingly, most of your stuff comes from just one very specific place, that’s right, Shenzhen. Given how important this city is to consumers, it’s shocking that few of us have ever heard of the place. It has a population of ten million, six million of which live in factory dormatories away from their families all week so they can be more efficient at making your shit. Whenever anyone finally gets around to speaking about Shenzhen around here, it’s usually all doom and gloom: Suicides and poor working conditions. Imagine our surprise and delight when we saw Fashion Shenzhen on the schedule of shows during New York Fashion Week.
Fashion Shenzhen isn’t a label, but an ongoing fashion week event showcasing the very best fashion designers from one of the most important, yet unknown cities in the world. This year featured Denghao by Hao Deng and Ellassay by Guoxin Xia. It has been showing in London for five years now, but this the first ever show in New York. It is a much needed paradigm-shift away from the prevailing Western ideas about fashion in China which has come to be associated with cheap knockoffs in the public consciousness. Basically, this show was really really important, dare we say, one the most important shows during NY Fashion week? Definitely not to be overlooked the next time it comes to town.