Huishan Zhang is a world class fashion designer from Qingdao. Though he left China at age 17 to study in New Zealand, he is proud of his Chinese upbringing. Zhang believes that “‘Made in China,’ if combined with ‘Designed in China,’ can be high quality and good. Not the cheap stuff, or the fakes.”
View Qingdao native Huishan Zhang’s latest designs on his official website.
Zhang’s star is rising as he climbs toward the sky from his studio in London. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, he worked in Dior’s couture atelier after being sought out by Delphine Arnault, the daughter of LVMH owner Bernard Arnault. One of his growing claims to fame is being the creator of a dress worn by Gwyneth Paltrow.
His most recent collection was inspired by the cheongsams worn by Maggie Cheung in the film “In The Mood For Love” directed by Wang Kar-Wei. Zhang says he finds “cheongsams are very sexy—the body is outlined, but there’s nothing on show”.
Huishan Zhang has big ambitions. And there is no reason why the 28-year-old from Qingdao, on China’s east coast, will not fulfil them. His first collection for autumn/winter 2011/12 sold out within a month at Browns where it was given the hallowed windows during London Fashion Week last September. ‘I really want to have London as a very solid base,’ Zhang says. But in the next five years he aims to create an international business.
‘I want to become a leading Chinese luxury lifestyle brand, not only for clothes; it’s all about a modern new Chinese lifestyle.’
‘The Chinese and Western ways are very different,’ he says. ‘The Chinese want to see the result, they don’t care what the process is. The West, they care about the result but they want to see the whole process of research and inspiration.’
His parents have funded and supported him through college. ‘Chinese parenting is about your parents supporting you the whole time. We are the first generation to have the one-child policy.’