Only a few years ago, Shanghai Fashion Week was a noticeably feminine affair, not only because the bulk of the designers showing were designing womenswear collections, but also because of a pervasive femininity popular in Chinese fashion at the time.
Today, there are still more womenswear collections on the catwalks, but the menswear designers are growing in number, as are the number of “co-ed” collections featuring both men’s and womenswear.
Menswear designers at Shanghai Fashion Week aren’t just becoming more numerous, they are also making huge strides in creativity and quality.
“In some ways, the menswear designers are doing better than women’s,” said Cui Dan, fashion director of GQ China, the sponsor of a full day of menswear programming at Labelhood, Shanghai Fashion Week’s sister event, which features the best in China’s emerging independent design scene.
The trend for co-ed shows is being seen at fashion weeks all over the world, with high-profile brands such as Burberry and Gucci choosing to show their men’s and women’s collections together.
A pioneer among the current crop of brands going co-ed was Croatian-born, Milan-based Damir Doma, who was in Shanghai to present his autumn/winter 2017 collection as part of the Shanghai International Fashion Showcase event for international designers.