The three-day event was cohosted by the Jinan Municipal Government and the Asian Couture Federation.
A look from Guo Pei.
Dominique Maitre for WWD
Guo Pei was among the six fashion designers to participate in the first Jinan in Style International Fashion Week.
Hosted by the Jinan Municipal Government and the Asian Couture Federation, the event also served as the official opening of the Jinan International Fashion Creative Center located in the Shandong province of China. Held earlier this month, the inaugural fashion week was actually a three-day affair. It was the first couture fashion week hosted by the ACF in China. All six participants are couturiers. Pei is currently the only Chinese member and the first Asian member of La Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris.
Other ACF members who participated included Japanese wedding dress couturier Yumi Katsura, Songzio men’s wear designer Zio Song, South Korea-based designer Lie Sang Bong, Indonesian designer Sebastian Gunawan and Paolo Sebastian designer Paul Vasileff from Australia. ACF’s founding president Frank Cintamani said in a statement, “The Asian Couture Federation was established to represent and promote the very best couture talent in Asia and on a select basis internationally. Without doubt, China has one of the most important cultural and artistic legacies in the world, and continues to wield an important influence and impact on numerous global industries and fashion in particular.”
The Jinan in Style International Fashion Week showcased blending traditional culture with contemporary design — a worldwide trend in fashion. The setting was not only chosen to spotlight the fashion culture, but also to draw attention to how the textile and clothing industry is an integral industry to the city. Participating designers weren’t the only ones who stood to gain from the fashion week publicity. The event was also set up to try speed up the process of industrial upgrading from manufacturing to brand design, “to create an open and dynamic position for Jinan on the global fashion market,” according to press material about the event.
Pei’s husband and business partner Jack Tsao helped expedite the event earlier this month. Dividing his time between Paris, Beijing and Taiwan, Tsao is dedicated to promoting the delicacy of craftsmanship and is committed to informing the greater public of what that involves. Through his affiliations with the ACF, as well as the China Fashion Association and Design Craft, Tsao also advises emerging talent and champions their workmanship to try to bring it to a larger world stage.