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Entrepreneur turns Chinese culture into eye-popping couture

By Sun Yuanqing | China Daily | Updated: 2015-10-30 08:55

Entrepreneur turns Chinese culture into eye-popping couture

Designer Liu Yatong (center) at his debut runway show in Beijing in September. The collection is a tribute to Chinese culture. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Liu Yatong is not a trained fashion designer, but that doesn't prevent the former marketing director from having a slot in the tricky world of fashion.

The marketing expert-turned-entrepreneur debuted his runway show in Beijing in September, ahead of the ongoing China Fashion Week.

The collection opened with extravagant gowns with a bold color combination of black and gold, a symbol of royalty in ancient China. The show continued with a second chapter of ready-to-wear pieces with traditional patterns and modern silhouettes. Supermodels Sophia Kao and Jessey Meng, also close friends of Liu, ended the show.

Highlighting Beijing-style embroidery, which was a privilege for the imperial family in old times, the collection is a tribute to Chinese culture, Liu says.

"China-inspired fashion can actually be both stylish and wearable," says Liu, who is in his early 30s.

The front row at the show was filled with more than 30 movie stars and business tycoons, all of whom are personal friends of Liu.

Born in Xi'an and raised in Lanzhou in northwestern China, Liu got his first fashion epiphany from style magazines that his family brought from Hong Kong. He majored in human resources and psychology in university, while devouring biographies of Christian Dior and Coco Chanel in his spare time.

In 2003, Liu started working as a marketing specialist for Sohu, one of the earliest major Chinese Internet companies, and later made his way up to marketing executive and director at two other Internet giants, Alibaba and Tencent.

Asked about his secret of climbing corporate ladders, he says his mantra was: "Never complain and never surrender".

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