Alibaba Group’s B2C e-commerce platform Tmall has brought emerging Chinese designers to the latest edition of Milan Fashion Week, as it continues to roll out its “China Cool” project at fashion capitals around the world.
The two designers, Yirantian and Shushu/Tong, presented their newest spring-summer 2020 collections at the Milan event on Friday, joining the likes of prestigious luxury brands Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Valentino and Salvatore Ferragamo.
Tmall has partnered with New York Fashion Week since 2017, but this is its first time putting on a showcase at Milan Fashion Week, one of the most awaited appointments of the fashion industry worldwide, said Christina Fontana, director for Fashion and Luxury Europe at Alibaba Group.
WATCH: Inside Tmall’s ‘China Cool’ Show in Milan
“It’s a very exciting time for the Chinese fashion scene, which is showing great potential, energy and innovative spirit, and we are therefore thrilled to see more talented brands and young designers increasingly getting traction in and outside of China,” said Fontana.
Carlo Capasa, chairman of the National Chamber of Italian Fashion, which organizes the fashion week, added that the China Cool project has provided an innovative contribution to the event and enriched the overall experience.
Both New York and Milan are part of a series of events that the e-commerce giant has planned throughout the year, under the banner of “Tmall China Cool.” China Cool represents its “forward-looking vision for global fashion,” said Tmall, which has culminated in projects that enable fashion-forward Chinese designers to grow their brands and appeal to a global audience.
To help Yirantian and Shushu/Tong build their brands both at home and abroad, Tmall broadcasted their shows in a “See Now, Buy Now” livestream, which Chinese consumers can use to instantly purchase some items from the catwalk. It also featured their newly launched products and content from the fashion week in a dedicated landing page for the event.
Prior to the show, Tmall also provided trend forecasts to the designers to help them anticipate consumer preferences over the coming three to six months. Both brands incorporated these future trends, such as ruffles, logo-mania windbreakers or candy-colored suits, into their runway looks.
“I think this is the first step in a new chapter for us,” said Guo Yirantian, brand owner and creative director of the clothing label Yirantian. The Tmall showcase at Milan Fashion Week was her first time doing a show outside of China and a “bold experiment,” she said. It was the same for them, said Shushu/Tong co-founder Jiang Yutong, adding that they hope their Tmall China Cool show would help the womenswear brand reach more fashion editors and buyers in Europe.
While Tmall brought two of China’s most-talented young designers to Milan, the Alibaba-owned global consumer marketplace AliExpress, spotlighted young Italian designer brands – including David Grillo, Laura Strambi and Never Too Much Basic – at another showcase during the fashion week – as the platform looks to help more Italian brands expand their businesses in their home market and globally.