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Straining to stay in style in Shanghai

By Xu Junqian | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-03 10:41

Straining to stay in style in Shanghai

It once attracted the world's trendsetters, but Shanghai's biannual fashion showcase is beginning to lose its luster. Xu Junqian finds out why slipping out of international style could prove a boon to the city's local talent.

As Shanghai Fashion Week, the biannual "most important fashion event" of the city limps into its 11th year, it is quickly becoming a less than glamorous event for serious fashionistas. While in previous years, the event attracted the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood to kick off festivities, the weeklong event has in recent years been losing its luster.

World-famous designers have already established their place and opened stores in China and find the domestic fashion week less than attractive. Domestic celebrities are busy being seen at the "Big Four" fashion weeks overseas (Paris, Milan, London and New York).

But organizers, fashion designers and fashion fans see the event's new local focus as a gain rather than a loss.

"As more and more retailers like Lane Crawford and Galeries Lafayette are opening their stores in China, it's crucial to 'spare a place' for and foster domestic fashion talent," says Zhang Jie, director of the commission of commerce of Shanghai's Huangpu district, the organizer of the event.

Shanghai Fashion Week has long been differentiating itself from the China International Fashion Week, its counterpart in Beijing, as the "cradle for independent designers".

This year, the metropolis is hosting 41 shows featuring 134 brands. Aside from the "group shows" presented by designers from countries like Canada, local designers make up the majority of the event.

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