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“Is China Designing the Future" — Fashion Culture Design Series with Simon Collins

Simon Collins, Founder & CEO of WeDesign and founder of Fashion, Culture, Design (FCD) hosted this year’s summit in China, and made his first stop at the House of Grace Chen in Shanghai.

Featured panelists in Shanghai: Grace Chen, designer & founder of Grace Chen Couture; Bao Yifeng, General Manager of Activation Liquid/Co-founder of ART021 & JINGART; and Johnny Diamandis, designer and founder of J.Panther Luggage Co and Shanghai label, AK Club. Featured panelists in Beijing: Marc Cansier, Co-founder of Marc & Chanta; and An Xiao Zuo, Actress and Fashion Blogger.

Grace Chen and Simon Collins
Simon Collins speaking at the summit in Shanghai

The panel discussion began with a private viewing of Grace Chen’s latest 2018 Pre-Fall Collection "Solitude", before delving into the theme: Is China Designing the Future? With Chinese brands representing 120 of the featured companies on Fortune Magazine’s 2018 “Global 500” (2nd only to the US with 126 brands), the topic of design, creativity and China’s role in shaping the global stage takes on a more pertinent significance than ever.

“Is China designing the future? I think that the future of design is here. I see more products and design work happening here than anywhere else that I’ve seen in the world. However, I can’t think of a Chinese brand that is truly global. Why is that?”

– Simon Collins

Founder & CEO, WeDesign

Founder, Fashion Culture Design

Former Dean, Parsons School of Design

“I think when Chinese fashion can inspire the world, Chinese people will also inspire the whole world. It’s not about a fashion style, but whether the people can become the hero or the inspiration of the world. It's something I always say, “I’m not creating clothing, I am creating a person.” The whole industry needs to create this person — a Chinese person who will be the idol of the world. Then the fashion brands will become influential.”

– Grace Chen

Designer and Founder, Grace Chen Couture.

“I think it’s such a big question. Going back to my time in Tsinghua, the students would create something and show me, and ask, 'Does it look Chinese enough?' Then I would say, why does it have to look Chinese? You’re already Chinese. So, whatever you make is Chinese. It may not look Chinese always, but does it have to?”

– Johnny Diamandis,

Designer & Founder, Shanghai label, AK Club