In Need Of Some Stylish Opulence? Meet Couture-Trained Fashion Designer Huishan Zhang – Forbes

Chinese-born, London-based designer, Huishan Zhang is coming up to his 10th birthday in the fashion business and he’s achieved so much in this time.

He studied at London’s Central Saint Martins and after a stint at Dior Paris in his third year (he was selected by Delphine Arnault no less), he started his namesake label in 2011. He’s heavily influenced by his national identity and his current geo-location, so expect East-meets-West romanticism and not to mention, opulence.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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His aesthetic has a global appeal, and this has allowed him to tick off much of his to-do list. Top stockists (Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Joyce, Harvey Nichols, Moda Operandi) check, celebrity fans (Gwyneth Paltrow, Felicity Jones, Naomi Campbell, Gigi Hadid, Saorise Ronan) check, and then there’s the accolades (Elle China Designer of the Year, LVMH Prize finalist and recipient of the BFC Fashion Trust) check.

And there’s more, as the V&A Museum included his couture ‘Dragon Dress’ in the T.T. Tsui Gallery, making him the first Chinese contemporary fashion designer to receive this honour. With all of this under his belt you’d think there wasn’t much more on his to-do list, but as Zhang says, he feel like he’s only just started.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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Felicity Carter: What is your first memory of fashion? 

Huishan Zhang: It was the first time I opened a fashion magazine in China when I was in high school. I was so fascinated by the world of fashion and it had the ability to take me to far away places and let my imagination run wild.

FC: What inspired you to study fashion, and why Central Saint Martins? 

HZ: I was attracted to the multicultural nature of London and Central Saint Martins was my first choice to study following the footsteps of my fashion design icons.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: Models walk the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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FC: How would you sum up the aesthetic, and the marriage between east and west?

HZ: Traditional meets modern life.

What is luxury to you?

A considered and beautifully crafted product that stands the test of time in both quality and aesthetics.

FC: Who is your customer? 

HZ: Our customer base is very varied and spans a multitude of ages and nationalities. I would say that she is cultured and well-traveled. 

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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FC: What are the cornerstones of your brand?

HZ: Quality, luxury Ready-To-Wear with couture techniques and a varied international demographic.

FC: Which was the first-ever piece that you designed and how did it come about? 

HZ: It was a modernized Chinese traditional cheongsam which I am still inspired by. My debut collection was an extension of this cheongsam and a piece is actually displayed in the permanent gallery in the V&A.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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FC: What is on your current mood board?

HZ: A lot of newness and developments of our pillar fabrics. I’m having a lot of fun with this collection. It makes me think of the better times we all have ahead.

FC: You’re stocked in the leading stores globally – which was the first stockist to pick you up? 

HZ: The ever first store was Browns in London. Mrs. B actually came to my apartment to buy the collection in person and I still remember the excitement of that day.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: A model walks the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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FC: You’ve achieved a lot in your 10 years, what else is on your to-do list?

HZ: I sometimes feel I’ve only just begun!

I would love to have a flagship in China as my heart is always split between Great Britain where I studied and live half the time, where I have my Flagship store and have part of my team and China, where I grew up, have my atelier and am surrounded by family.

We are constantly adding things to our company to-do list, so there will be exciting things in store the brand!

See more on huishanzhang.com.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 17: Models walk the runway at the Huishan Zhang show during London … [+] Fashion Week February 2020 on February 17, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/BFC/Getty Images for BFC)

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