Taobao Hosted a Fashion Show for China’s Gen Z. Here’s What Happened

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Your favourite online shopping platform, Taobao, just held a two-week festival in Hangzhou and OMG, it was mind-blowing.

Before we go into details, here’s a brief background about Taobao’s festival: Known as Taobao Maker Festival (TMF), the annual event takes place in Hangzhou, China. Each year, merchants shortlisted by Taobao converge in this mega offline expo to display creative and unique products and share their passion with consumers. This year, it was no different. In fact, they upped the ante by showcasing over 1,000 (!!!!) new products and concepts.

This year, TMF, which celebrates the innovative spirit of young Chinese entrepreneurs, was held at two different locations: the main venue was the steampunk-esque Hangzhou Boiler Factory, and the secondary venue was the breathtakingly scenic West Lake.

TMF’s major highlight and festival kickstarter, the Broken Bridge Fashion Show, made its debut last year and returned last week with a focus on Gen-Zs. Aptly named “The Z Show”, the show is Taobao’s way of supporting young, independent designers with bold, original pieces.

FYI, You Are One of Taobao’s Primary Shoppers

Taobao and Tmall’s emphasis on Gen-Z shouldn’t come as a surprise because, according to their stats, 80% of their customers who shop for clothes on those platforms are in their 20s—you’re probably part of that demographic.

And as of the end of 2018, a majority of the 50,000 independent designers who have online fashion stores on Taobao are in their 20s and early 30s. So basically, millennials/Gen-Zs are selling clothes to fellow millennials/Gen-Zs. This sounds like a win-win situation for Taobao, the designers and shoppers like you, really.

Chinese designers are bursting onto the international scene

One word for these emerging group of Chinese designers: talented. Some of them have already made it to the likes of New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, and with more of these collections becoming available on Taobao, we’re definitely going to be seeing more add-to-carts from you guys. Not convinced? Check out the range of avant-garde to streetwear below for a sneak peek.

Li Ning

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Chinese sports brand Li Ning knows how to put fashion in athleisure.

Ban Xiaoxue

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Fun fact: The young designer, who is known for his innovative use of wool in his pieces, has won the International Woolmark Prize China Regional Award in 2012 at Paris Fashion Week. He premiered his Woolmark BAN XIAOXIE capsule collection at TMF.

Chen Peng

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You’ve seen Rihanna and Lady Gaga in his puffer jackets. Now you can own one too.

Particle Fever

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During TMF, the athleisure brand launched an exclusive collection which it debuted during New York Fashion Week in February.

Huang Wanbing/AT-ONE-MENT

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The brand aims to celebrate the individuality and uniqueness of all women through streamlined designs and clean-cut patterns.

International Brands Are on Taobao’s stage

While spotlighting China’s homegrown fashion talent, the Broken Bridge Show also featured a line-up of world-renowned independent designers such as Chalayan, Koche, Burberry and Kappa. Many of these fashion houses also launched special-edition designs at the Festival, all of which were artfully modelled on a raised platform above the water, against the backdrop of West Lake’s most famous bridge. Sounds impressive? We’ve got receipts in the form of photos.

Chalayan

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Hussein Chalayan’s balloon dress looks like a piece out of a fairy tale.

Koche

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Brief: Athleisure, but make it extra af.

Kappa

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Have you really embraced streetwear if you don’t own anything from Kappa?

Burberry

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The British fashion house showcased their designs through a video.

Naomi Campbell in the House. Enough Said.

Another surprise from the show was the appearance of runway icon, Naomi Campbell.

The iconic supermodel showed her support for the participating models by strutting down the floating catwalk in her signature sassy style.

Any doubt of the Broken Bridge Show being anything but world-class can be thrown out of the window. Thank you.

-Brought to you by Taobao-

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