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Traditional with a twist

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2013-06-18 10:31

Traditional with a twist

Brand New China's fashion show Blossom is presented by Beijing Modern Dance Company performers. Jiang Dong / China Daily

Traditional with a twist

Above: Ding Youqiao's summer collection is inspired by women's apparel from the Southern Song Dynasty. The BNC fashion show gathers the latest works from its designers, including Li Wei, Fan Ran and Ding Youqiao (works pictured from left to right). Photos Provided to China Daily

Traditional with a twist

Up-and-coming designer Ding Youqiao is one of a stable of local talent promoted by Brand New China in Beijing. Chen Nan takes a look.

Ding Youqiao's resume looks glamorous. At the Academy of Arts and Design of Tsinghua University, she was an A-list student and won scholarships every year. After graduating in 2007, she won the golden prize at China International Fashion Week. During her studies at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, she won first prize in a competition run by Louis Vuitton, which enabled her to work as an intern at the luxury brand in 2009.

However, when Ding graduated and returned to Beijing, she felt at a loss. She knew what she wanted to do but didn't know where to start until she saw reports about Brand New China, a store based in Beijing.

"It (BNC) is a great platform for young designers to start," says Ding, who founded her brand, Jo, in 2011.

Ding, together with other Chinese designers, presented her latest collection at BNC's 2013 Summer show. The collection was inspired by women's apparel from the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).

By using black, white and blue, Ding says she hopes to give consumers a cool and comfortable touch for the summer.

"While studying in London, I developed a special love for traditional Chinese clothes. Though I lived in an environment full of Western culture, I was eager to explore the fashion elements of our own tradition," she says.

Thus, she focused on establishing a style called Qing Zhong Shi, or light Chinese style, when she returned to China.

While doing market research, Ding found most people believe traditional items of clothing are not seen as trendy. So, she went for a traditional look, with a twist.

The experience of working at Louis Vuitton also taught Ding how important detail is in design.


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