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iQubator Fashion meets Louko

On August the 28th iQubator Fashion met Emilie Lobel, French woman founder of LOUKO 路口. Listening to her story gave us the possibility to deeply understand the reasons behind her style and creativity. Looking at her clothes flooded our eyes with beauty and unspeakable emotions.

 

iQubator: What brought you to Shanghai?

Emilie: My husband and I decided to come in China for a new experience in Asia, a part of a world which has always been attractive for both of us. In France I was a legal advisor, but I always loved fashion and the singular Parisian style, so trendy. In Shanghai, I seized the opportunity to start my business in a creative world that pleases and motivates me. My goal was to propose high quality garments, French design and tailor-made, thanks to the small team of tailors who works with me. Then I started to design and produce styles and up to this moment 2 collections have already been brought to the public, in France and in China.

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Qubator: How many collections per year do you do?

Emilie: Two collections per year, fall-winter and spring-summer, each collection usually has 30-35 pieces. I propose a collection and then details can be changed according to my customers’ needs and desires. This way my customers can be somehow involved in the creation process and this I find very important. It gives everyone the possibility to have something special and unique at the same time.

iQubator: Is there an arts style that inspires you more than others?

Emilie: Yes, I am very fond of Art Deco. My creations are all inspired by this visual arts design style born in France in the beginning of the 20th century.

iQubator: Where does your personal style come from?

Emilie: Certainly from Paris. I used to be a business woman myself, so now I mainly design clothes for active business women. My clothes are elegant, but also comfortable, perfect for long busy days, but also for a drink with your colleagues or friends right after work.

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iQubator: How can your customers find you?

Emilie: I very often attend designer markets in Shanghai, but customers can meet me at my show-room based in the ex-French concession where I organize private sales as well. People can reach me by email contact@louko.fr, or via Wechat ID: LOUKO_clothes
For France, my clothes can as well be found on the online store: www.louko.fr and for China, customers can buy them on Wechat.

Fashion find-French Fashion in Shanghai

French Fashion is really a hot topic in China. We came to visit Madame Shanghai (No. 284 South Xiangyang Road, inside Shanghai French Concession) the other day during this hot summer in Shanghai. There iQubator team met Justine, the founder of Madame Shanghai, and also did the interview with her.

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Entrance of the shop

iQubator: When did you start your business in Shanghai?

Justine:I arrived in Shanghai seven years ago. But first it was for my school, I was in a business school in France and I came to Shanghai for a two-year exchange program. For two years I was doing international management. I loved Shanghai so much so I decided to stay longer. I worked in foods and hospitality industries first, and then I went on to study Chinese. About two years ago I had the idea of opening this shop. In Shanghai there are many fast fashion chains such as H&M, Zara, but there aren’t many independent designers or smaller brands. Between the mass production fast fashion and the luxurious brands such as Louis Vuitton or Chanel, there is no middle ground. So I opened Madame Shanghai. All the brands I carry in my shop are quite famous in France. You see many French girls dressed in these brands. I wanted to introduce these brands to the Chinese market. The store was officially opened nine months ago.

iQubator: Why did you choose to start a career in Shanghai, China?

Justine: During my first two years of studying in Shanghai, I loved the city so much. When I first arrived, I was only 20 years old, so I feel like I have grown up here in this city. It’s my home now.

iQubator: Where do you find the brands and products?

Justine: When I decided to open the shop, I asked my friends in France to help me select the brands because I was in China for 5 years and I was not aware about the trends anymore! To buy the collections, I go to Paris twice a year, to meet directly with the brands at their showroom, or during fashion fairs.

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iQubator: How do you think the brands in your store fit the Chinese market?

Justine: I’m still discovering and learning. When I first opened the shop, I got positive feedbacks from the customers. It’s really popular among the expat community because they know of the brands, and the Chinese customers started picking up and liking it more and more. The brands are French, young, new and colorful.

iQubator: What differences do you find between the foreign and the Chinese customers?

Justine: The Chinese customers are very interested in the quality, they always ask about the materials and the fabrics. They are also very interested in styling. For example, if they find a skirt that they like, they will ask me how they can find a top that goes with it. They are more picky, and they ask more questions. The foreigners are more independent, they don’t ask many questions normally.

iQubator: How do you explain your style?238301517987452014

Justine: I think my style is really French actually! Which means, it is really simple. I love confortable but fashionable clothes. Black is my favorite colors to wear, it is easy to match with everything. This summer, I love jumpsuit, they are really convenient when I don’t know what to wear in the morning!

iQubator: How is the sales going?

Justine: It’s getting better and better. In July it’s a bit slow because many people are on holiday.

iQubator: Through which channels do you promote your store?

535846396854562511Justine: For my foreign customer group, I mainly focus on Facebook and Instagram. And for the Chinese, I have two WeChat accounts. I have a personal account and an official account for my store. I would post articles and interesting sources about my store.

 

iQubator: Do you have promotions in the store?

Justine: I mainly organize events, and I have a rooftop terrace. Where I gather some friends and customers, and I offer wine onsite. I also participate in the designer market. I just participated one in The Cut last Sunday.

 

iQubator: What is your favorite piece in the store?

Justine: Can I only pick one?! (laugh) I will pick top three.162452048592468890

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iQubator: If you were a color, what would it be and why?

Justine: My favorite color is actually pink… You can see that everything is pink around me, from my pens to my iPhone case! It must be my inner child speaking. I never dress in pink though!

iQubator: What is your soonest project coming up?

Justine: I’m hoping to start some sales and offer some discounts, get the sales going during the slow month.

iQubator: Have you thought of opening up another store or expanding into other cities?

Justine: At the moment, I want to focus on this one and maybe move to a more convenient location. But in the future, of course I expect growth and expansion.

 

 

Interview with the designer Fernanda Sung

A few weeks ago, iQubator went to a design market in Shanghai. There, we had the luck to meet the lovely Fernanda Sung, a beautiful, young lady from Brazil. She is a jewelry designer and is quite new to the Chinese market. Not only her cheerful appearance but also her gorgeous designs were standing out in the crowd. We had to ask her for an interview and she was so kind to accept it. This week’s designer talk with Fernanda Sung.

iQubator: First of all thank you Fernanda for coming today! So let’s start with the first question, and let’s start from the beginning.  When did you start to design your own jewelry?

Fernanda: I started designing jewelry when I was still in Brazil. I loved accessories since fernanda products 5I was a kid, and I really liked to work with my hands so I was always doing this kind of stuff. Professionally, during college I majored in accessories and jewelry design. In the beginning I had two other business partners which were my colleagues so we came up with a brand and started to work with a supplier and tried to understand the industry a little bit. We were working together for about 1 or 2 years and then afterwards, when we graduated, I moved to Italy to study packaging design and when I moved back to Brazil, I set up my own brand. After a while, I moved to China to study Chinese. I was working a full-time design related job, but I wanted to go back to my passion so I quit my job and officially launched my own brand.  So I guess on and off, I have been designing jewelry for about 8 years.

 

iQubator: What brought you to design?

Fernanda:  Since I was a kid, I liked drawing and crafts in general, so I’ve been always doing this kind of stuff. I heard about this jewelry design course when I was applying for college and I decided to just go for it. From there on, I fell in love with designing. Most of the times, I do fashion oriented jewelries but back in Brazil, I used to have more diverse products so I work with local communities  doing crafts and more conceptual. I think a little part of me have always loved design and creative, and there are just so many possibilities. It’s not just about the jewelry, it’s about everything. It’s about the way you see things and present them.

 

iQubator: Where do you draw your inspirations from?

Fernanda: I guess most of my inspirations come from nature, from Brazil. I think especially for jewelry. I also really like art deco so I had a collection that is in Brazil that was inspired by art deco. I guess for the most part it comes from growing up in Brazil and the closeness that I’ve always experienced with Brazil. I want my collections to send out happy messages that are derived from the nature of the planet and humanity.

iQubator: How do you think your brand fits in the Chinese market?fernanda products 4

Fernanda: Oh wow that’s a tough one. I think adapting is the key. In Brazil, people wear really big pieces and that’s not really what goes on in China; jewelries here are usually very delicate. But one thing I like about the Chinese market is that there so are many people and different styles in China so there’s potential for everything. I’ve been trying to make some products little bit smaller than what they would be in Brazil, add a bit more delicacy in them. Another good thing is that Chinese consumers are quite adaptive as well. Sometimes people want to have a big piece or something that brightens up their day. So in the Chinese market, it’s a constantly learning and changing process.

iQubator: Here’s a more personal question; what do you have in your closet?

Fernanda: Normally, I like to wear a lot of skirts and dresses. My summer clothes are usually very colorful, so I have all these flowery dresses and just colorful pieces. And during the winter I wear all black because it’s so easy, it fits the season and I think it also goes really well with my designs; I try to wear my own design as often as possible. I like to match bright shoes, with a basic outfit. If I have something colorful it also pops comparing to the black color.

fernanda products 3iQubator: Among your collections, what is your favorite piece and why?

Fernanda: Haha it’s hard to pick a favorite one. Currently I really love my new collection, especially the ones with tassels because I love the colors. It’s a very trendy look at the moment.

The previous collection that I really love was my art deco collection that I made in Brazil. They were bigger pieces, there was an onyx stone and they were all gold coated, so it was like black and gold. They were beautiful and it was really a nice experience to work with them because in Brazil I used to have a little different brand purpose than in China. It was nice to have that collection, that is a little bit more special and it’s also not an absurd price for what it is.

iQubator: Are you planning to go back to Brazil in the future?

Fernanda: I don’t think I will live in China forever. Don’t get me wrong, I love China.  But I think the place I’m going to settle down eventually is going to be Brazil since I have my friends and family there. But I actually really like Shanghai so I just want to stay here for some time. I don’t have any plans to go back now. I’m starting my brand here and I’m very excited about where it will go. I want to settle down everything here first, and eventually I will go back to Brazil. It’s a place close to my heart.

iQubator: How do you explain your style?

Fernanda: For the jewelry I like to say they are pieces that whimsical, bright, and happy. And this also relates to my personal style. I always like to make people smile. I like to believe if you’re nice to people, you just smile to them and brighten up their day, the energy passes on forever. Everybody has their bad days and I’ve probably not been nice to someone, but I try to keep it positive and I try to make my pieces also about that. So I would say a little bit whimsical and playful sometimes they have a smart twist, like those animal earrings, that the tails are also the hooks.

I was in China and I was watching this documentary, it was a festival for Brazilian fernanda products 4documentaries and one of the women who was talking, was wearing one of my earrings! And I don’t even know her. It’s just really amazing to know there’s a bunch of people who are going to buy your product and they’re really going to wear it. Because sometimes it’s just an impulse but I want people to wear it every day and become their favorite piece and feel special when they have it. The style is also about that, it’s about feeling special.

iQubator: If you want customers to reach you how should they contact you?

Fernanda: I’m building my website, I’m selling into shops in Shanghai, one of them is called “Hey Jewel”, they are in Huating Lu near Huaihai Lu. They are a jewelry boutique so they sell jewelries from designers from all over the world. They also have a Taobao shop so anyone can find my pieces online. They’re selling the newest collection right now and the animal collection. The animal collection will probably be in other shops soon too because everybody just loves it. So I have these two shops, also people that I meet I add them on Wechat. That’s why I am going to open a Wechat shop as well. So they can reach me through either my website or wechat, or they can find my collections in those two shops as well.

fernanda products 1iQubator: Do you design from home or do you have a studio?

Fernanda: I always make the first piece in my home studio. I make the mother mold by hand and I make it on my own. I like to make the first piece by hand; it adds something special and since the pieces are very organic I don’t like doing it on computer.

I make the first piece and then I have a supplier in Shanghai and they take a mold and reproduce what I’m doing. I also have a few pieces that are 100% handmade. This one, just on production took maybe 2 hours. And you might think, okay, it’s a ring, 2 hours it’s not so much, but if you think there are so many and you have to solder and cut and send it. There are a lot of processes involved. And sometimes I just have to leave the product in salt water and that also takes some time. I prefer to work with my manufacturers; they also guarantee that every piece is going to be the same. And of course I’m very strict about quality control.

iQubator: Was it difficult in the beginning when you came to Shanghai?

Fernanda: Yes. Actually, like I said, I started my brand here after I’d been here for a while but I think it’s always hard to start up a brand even in your own city, your own country and if you’re abroad it’s even more difficult. My Chinese is basic, I can speak. I speak Chinese to the suppliers but there are still some parts of the production where you have to get it right. It’s about everything, my network here is not as good as it was in Brazil, my knowledge and my network with the suppliers is not as good as in Brazil, the words itself, how to explain is different.

It’s definitely a challenge but I’m also enjoying it. Shanghai is a very business oriented city so once you put yourself in this position that you want to make it work, things happen really fast.

iQubator: So we met at the design market, is that how you usually advertise?

Fernanda: Yes, I went on holidays and came back from Brazil. I spent almost 2 months there. So I came back at the end of March and since then I’ve been trying to apply to more and more markets. It’s really nice to get to know people because it’s not just clients, people that go there to buy immediately but there’s also a lot of interesting people that are just curious, maybe they work at a magazine, maybe they are like you (iQubator). It’s really nice. I’m trying to do more and more of this kind of markets to get to meet more people.

iQubator: Do you advertise through other channels as well?

Fernanda: I’m starting to work with social media. But it’s a learning process.

iQubator: If you were a color, what would you be?

Fernanda: Oh god, I don’t know. I never had an answer for ‘what’s your favorite color?’ because it depends. But this time I will choose green, a bluish green kind of similar to turquoise. I also chose it for because it’s a bright, happy and positive color.

iQubator: What are your upcoming projects and plans?

Fernanda: I’m looking forward to experiment with other materials and silver.  Like I have this collection that is not only silver, there are these tassels. Actually in China there are so many interesting materials to work with and I think my next project will be a new jewelry collection with some other material, and silver of course but just trying to explore more varieties. I’m excited.

 

 

 

The Little Dior Theatre in Shanghai

Today The Little Dior Theatre is held in IFC Mall in Shanghai for one month. It takes us back to an event that struck Parisian hearts and minds in 1945.From the tiny Bar ensemble to miniature ball gowns, they encapsulate all the essence and spirit of Dior in the delicate proportions of a doll’s house.7f025a97jw1esc6bbugsqj20qt11utgg

There are 11 sections of the mini exhibition.

  1. The New Look

February 12,1947,”The New Look” was born. Among all the silhouettes in this revolutionary show, the Bar ensemble left the strongest impression.

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  1. The Dior Allure

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3.The Dior Garden

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4.Miss Dior

It was the first perfume that Mr.Christian fulfilled.

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  1. From Pink to Red

This section is very special. All the dolls look like a lipstick. The dolls go up and down, and turn around and around. “Rouge Dior” also inspires Raf Simons to continue with the Dior Spirit.

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6.The Dior Ateliers

Everyone is amazed how Dior produce each works. From garments to watch,  from lipsticks to shoes.

Each works is a work of art.

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7.Dior &His Artist Friends

The film on the screen is playing all the time, telling the story of Dior and his artist friends.

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8.Versailles:The Trianon11

9.Paris

Paris represents a sense of finish and perfection.It is there,more than anywhere else,that quality of craftsmanship is really understood and we must preserve this tradition”,wrote Christian Dior.

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10.J’adore

It’s one of the most popular and classic perfumes in the world.

There is a button in front of the visitors as well. When you press the button, you will smell the fragrance of J’adore.

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  1. The Grand Dior Ball

“To make each woman a princess ”. Dior made it!

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Little things make a big difference. Each detail of the exhibition shows the reason why Dior can stay successful in the past few decades. The answer is, striving for excellence.

 

 

 

 

Fashion Hub in China

sfwChina has a fashion market which is full of opportunities.

The Chinese fashion industry is set to become the world’s second largest fashion market by 2020 and will account for an estimated 30% of the global fashion market’s growth over the next five years.

It makes a major contribution to the Chinese economy and the fashion market is a US$90 billion industry. The annual growth rate of fashion & textile industry was 12.5% in 2007 and as the foremost city in Asia, Shanghai acts as an international hub for trade, finance, transport, and fashion. It is the reigning fashion capital of Asia, ranking 10th worldwide, above both Tokyo and Hong Kong [Mode Shanghai 2010].

 

Shanghai’s contemporary fashion design and our impressions of its Fashion Weeksfw2

With more and more young designers and models, Shanghai Fashion Week was originally aiming to build up an international professional platform, to attract top design talents from all over the world. It is held twice every year in Shanghai, one in April and one in October. Shanghai Fashion Week also serves as a platform for designers that are aiming at the Chinese market and it acts as an indirect sales channel since it attracts many buyers during the event. The iQubator team attended some of the shows during this past season of SHFW and there were some really unique and breath-taking designs.

However, different from the Fashion Weeks held in Europe, it seems that Shanghai Fashion Week is more focused on Chinese designers. While these Chinese designers get to showcase their new collections and shine under the spotlight, there are many foreign designers based in China that are hoping to bring a flare of the exotic flavour to the local fashion scene.

Fashion Finds in Shanghai

As mentioned in our last post, there are many foreign designers based in China that are hoping to bring a flare of the exotic flavour to the local fashion scene in Shanghai. iQubator wants to give some of these designers the opportunity to reach out to our followers and talk about themselves and their brands and it’s worth taking the time to read what they have said. Meet very interesting and creative designers with us. – This week we had a nice chat with Alexandra Rolfe a British designer with a passion for the 60s, collars and all things vintage. Her and her partner have their own shop which is also her studio space in a lane on Shaanxi Nan Lu, called “Select 18” which is definitely worth visiting. Here you travel back in time to find unique rarities and very special pieces.

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iQubator: When did you start designing your own clothes?

Alexandra: Moving from East London to Hong Kong I soon realized the shopping environment was completely different and I was surrounded by lots of brands and small independent shops which didn’t stock many sizes.  I regularly went back to London to buy vintage clothes to wear in Hong Kong although sometimes I did feel abit out of place! I just couldn’t find clothes that were me.  After many years of travelling in China visiting factories for my job I got a better understanding of production and learnt a lot.  This inspired me to create my own brand for the future.  At week-ends I would take a trip over to Shenzhen where there are some very good tailors and started creating my own designs plus an extra couple of pieces to sell in my boyfriends store in Hong Kong.

iQubator: Did you also study fashion design?

Alexandra: I studied BA Fashion & Textile management, which is the whole fashion business cycle. It starts from design process through to production to merchandising, buying to marketing and in the final year concentrated on management. In my 3rd year we needed to do an industrial placement, which I got at Oasis Stores (http://www.oasis-stores.com/?lng=en&ctry=GB&) I opted for buying and once graduated I returned to the Oasis as Assistant Buyer and worked my way up before moving to Gap (http://www.gap.com ) and later to Hong Kong for a German brand called Colloseum (http://www.colloseum.net )

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iQubator:  Did someone inspire your designs?

Alexandra: Frankly a lot of my inspiration comes from the past, as I love the 60’s I am very influenced by Mary Quant. I love collars or any kind of neck details and so did she. Naturally Twiggy was very iconic during this period too. I love typical shift dresses, the shape is easy and classic.  Alexa Chung Is someone I always feel would wear my designs so well, she has a thing for collars and has a very British aesthetic. In general I like her effortless style.

iQubator: Where would you look for inspirations?

Alexandra: I find old cities inspiring, for example Shanghai is full of art deco references, which I would love to merge the details into future collections. A lot of old things captivate me whether it be a building, tiles or even a book.  There is always elements which fuel new ideas.

iQubator: How do you think your brand fits in the Chinese market?

Alexandra: From what I can see fashion demand is veering towards uniqueness.  My style is niche but this important now. I have great customers who get the look and are experimental and are open to try which is great for me.  My brand is very personal to my style and my journey, it’s authentic and now is the right time to share with Chinese girls.

select182iQubator: What do you have in your closet?

Alexandra: I have only dresses from my collection and lots of special vintage pieces, which I have been hoarding for years, even they don’t fit I can’t throw them away!

 iQubator: Only dresses?

Alexandra: I would say 99% are dresses, the odd skirt and blouse but I rarely wear!

iQubator: Even in winter?

Alexandra: Yes (laughs). Of course coats for winter though!  I haven’t worn Jeans since I was at university and I used to wear ‘Cheap Mondays’ the days of being super skinny!

iQubator: What do you carry with you all the time?

Alexandra: Lipstick. I always have my red lipstick it completes my look.   Apart from that nothing particularly out of the ordinary!

iQubator: So your red lipstick is your favourite piece?

Alexandra: Generally I wear only MAC, I have a new one from them which is called ‘Retro matte’

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iQubator: If you were a colour, what would it be and why?

Alexandra: Probably green.  There are lots of different shades of green, which I like to wear and it works well with white collars.

iQubator: What are your upcoming projects or plans?

Alexandra: At the moment I am shaping up my brand and will launch a new name soon.  I came to Shanghai with the first priority to set up the store and this became the platform to sell my collections and understand Chinese customer.  We have been here almost two years now, I have learnt a lot and now ready to take my brand to the next level. I plan to develop as an independant lifestyle brand

iQubator: Are you more focused on having physical stores or online shops?

Alexandra: Online is naturally important here but I would also like physical stores as I want customers to understand the brand from walking into our stores and build an emotional connection

iQubator: Was it hard for you to find this store in the beginning?

Alexandra:  Before we physically settled we did a few pop ups, the last one before we found this space was in XTD which we did for 3 months and was great exposure.  Here a friend introduced us to this location.  We were toying with should we set up on the street front or a lane house.  As this is a really great space we took it and decided we have to work a lot harder on the marketing side.  Its still very central and even we are in the lane, it’s a beautiful lane, which attracts a lot of people and tourists.

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iQubator: Do you have more Chinese customers than foreign customers?

Alexandra: 80% is Chinese, we have a lot from different parts of China also many Taiwanese and Hong Kong

iQubator: So do you manufacture in China?

Alexandra:  Yes only China – I have some good connnections from my previous job, which I co-operate with and a tailor locally to help with small quantities.

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iQubator:  How is your average pricing?

Alexandra: Prices range from 600 – 2000 for wool coats

iQubator: Do you have some peak seasons, where you do sell more than usually?

Alexandra: I generally find A/W very good and as soon as the sun comes out summer dresses are snapped up

iQubator: Where do you usually advertise?

Alexandra:  Now we have our official WeChat account, this is the biggest channel for advertising.  Word of mouth is also very good and magazines

 

We thank Alexandra for sharing her story with us.

 

MICAM Shanghai 2015–New venue,New start

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2Last week in Shanghai, the word “fashion” was trending hotter than ever. From March 18th to 20th, MICAM was held in the new Hongqiao National Exhibition and Convention Center in Shanghai. It ran concurrently with Intertextile Shanghai and CHIC. MICAM is a leading international footwear fair, and it is held every year in both Milan, Italy and Shanghai, China. It provides an ideal platform for all professionals from shoes and fashion industries to showcase their products and network with one another.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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During this year’s MICAM Shanghai 2015, iQubator Fashion represented British Footwear Association. BFA has been committed to promoting British talent and skills within the footwear industry for over a century. It currently represents over 100 key footwear companies that employ over 9000 people. This time during MICAM in Shanghai, iQubator teamed up with BFA and represented four brands: Base London, French Sole, Morena Morena, and Estate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1787The day before the exhibition started, iQubator arrived at the exhibition center and helped setting up for three brands. Next day all the empty booths from previous day were all decorated with these brilliant designs and came alive. During the exhibition, there were visitors from all over the world. Many Chinese locals came to check out the designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Most of the brands at the MICAM exhibition are from Europe, and these brands’ designs not only are highly influenced by its original European style, but also have a shot of Asian flavor to them. These brands carefully selected the styles that they bring across the globe to showcase to Chinese consumers, and the exhibition itself had a great turnout. The crowd that visited included consumers, designers, distributors, agencies and more. There were over 100,000 people attending the event including visitors and exhibitors. The large number just goes to show how China, and Shanghai is becoming the next fashion hub of the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9iQubator got to meet many brilliant designers from not only Europe but also across Asia, including many Chinese local designers. In the CHIC fair, there were several fashion shows going on. The audiences got to witness the designs come to life first hand, and many were extremely impressed. The interactive fashion shows generated even more buzz for the exhibition. iQubator staff was busy taking notes, but didn’t forget to capture some photographs. For more photos from the exhibition, head to our Facebook page to check them out: https://www.facebook.com/iQubator?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harmonizing Colors at SpinExpo 2015

IMG_7274As the weather in Shanghai warms up we review the past few months and wish it would have been as colorful as the trends for the upcoming spring and summer 2016. We visited the SpinExpo which is held from March 9th to March 11th and got some impressions what is ahead of us – and it’s very promising. The SpinExpo mainly presents knitwear and yarns but we also discovered some astounding designs by knitwear designers from all over the world.

Especially eye-catching were the designs by the MA fashion knitwear design graduates from Nottingham Trent University in the UK. Futuristic and unique, these designers did not neglect attention to the minutest detail in their pioneering styles.

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Friendships. Conscience. Senses. Experiences.

This year’s SpinExpo presented the themes for the upcoming spring summer 2016.

Friendships explore the colors associated with interacting groups of friends and families, focusing on the ideas of warmth, generosity and love.” – Spinexplore.com

If we were asked to express the warmth we have for our friends and families through color, these would definitely be on our list. While exhibiting warmth, familiarity, comfort and generosity, these colors don’t play it safe. The vibrant hues remind us that around friends and family you can always be yourself; a little bit crazy.

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Conscience highlights the increasing awareness of the environment, from our forests to our seas with strong emphasis on conserving precious resources” – Spinexplore.com

These knits and yarns focuses our awareness on our surroundings and Mother Nature. Perfectly presented with aquatic blues and fresh, lively greens, they are a reminder of eye catching tropical birds and and sweet, ripe fruit.

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Senses delves into the colors and feelings associated with travel, exploring new cultures and habitats for a holistic experience of enjoying our surroundings.” – Spinexplore.com

These colors reminded us that spring is finally arriving and awakens our senses. We were presented with great browns and sandy colors along with nudes and rich burnt siennas and berry tones.

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Experiences creates a new focus on the new worlds we are discovering through technology and science and how it begins to affect all corners of our world.”– Spinexplore.com

From weaving techniques to newly engineered yarns, incredible innovation could be found at every booth. We especially took a shine to the luminescent  Angelina Fiber used by Meadowbrook Inventions from the USA. Silky smooth, sparkling metallic yarn woven in countless ways into the knitwear blends had stars in our eyes.

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iQubator had a great time peaking at the trends in knitwear and yarns at SpinExpo along with the innovations present in the industry. From the unique and excellent knitwear we saw we expect great things from spring 2016!

“Stuff” by Jasmine at K11 Pop-Up

Shanghai is becoming the fashion hub of Asia. As the biggest city in China, Shanghai never lacks talents local or otherwise. Every corner you turn, chances are high you will meet someone with a unique story; someone to amaze you. That’s just how we felt when we met Canadian jewelry designer Jasmine.jas shop

We found her pop-up store on the basement floor of the famous art mall K11 in Shanghai. You can’t miss it, as the layout of the store and beautiful displays lure you right in. There Jasmine sat wearing a fierce red feather headpiece. It was a vintage French piece, like the others in the shop being sold by a friend.

She stood up to introduce herself, a small and delicate woman that soon exhibits a huge amount of energy. In a pair of burgundy shiny leather knee high boots and a vintage blue velvet dress paired with a pair of dark green tights, something about her outfit makes you want to get to know the owner of this unique look.iqnjas

Jasmine has lived in Shanghai for more than ten years, and she started selling her designs at this pop up shop in December. Among the vintage hats from France and the USA and ornamental preserved flowers, Jasmine and her daughter Nicole sell her handmade and one-of-a-kind pieces. We sat on the chaise lounge while she described her studio in Shanghai, a collective where every artist contributes materials and they all share ownership. Jasmine contributes gemstones and has become a de facto dealer only sourcing directly from mines she acquires each type of gem from the best region. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, she is of Vietnamese and Malaysian origin. Even though she grew up and was educated in a western environment, you can still see the Asian culture influence in her designs. She quickly flips from Russian, to Chinese to English with her daughter and begs off when we asked her how her Russian is. Clearly a multifaceted woman, we asked how she started making jewelry. Working with projects where she can control the process from start to finish is something important to her about jewelry design. “It’s a way to get all this in my head out.” She said to me. Her pieces are each completely unique as the stones she uses are left mostly natural.

After chatting with us, she patiently showed us most of her designs in the store. We were in awe of the craftsmanship and all her designs carry a personality. In the times of fast fashion, we are always looking for something unique to stand out from the rest, and Jasmine’s jewelries are exactly that. If you are in the neighborhood, don’t forget to check out her shop. There’s no better time than now to discover some new styles.

jasmineTo contact Jasmine send her an email at bellevillebellevie@gmail.com or give her a call at 135 2460 8707