Shanghai Fashion Week goes online as the city just recovers from COVID outbreak
Updated 20:35, 18-Jun-2022
By Chen Tong

Shanghai Fashion Week has moved entirely online as the city is still resuming normal activities from its COVID-19 outbreak. The event was postponed in late March. 

Li Weigang, founder of outerwear brand Rico Lee, had only one week to prepare for the online debut. Li's brand was planning for an offline show for the autumn and winter season, but it was all disrupted when the outbreak began. 

Rico Lee is a local Shanghai fashion brand with a design center and production center based in the city. As COVID-19 restrictions were enforced in March, sales of its spring and summer collections were also affected. 

With the autumn and winter season orders already postponed for over two months, Li hopes to do his best for the online show.

The words "20 Years of Shanghai Fashion Week" are displayed on a building. /Shanghai Fashion Week

The words "20 Years of Shanghai Fashion Week" are displayed on a building. /Shanghai Fashion Week

"We want to do our best for the digital show because Shanghai Fashion Week has always been our partner and given us a good platform to present ourselves. We want to at least let buyers across the country and even abroad know that we have made a good collection," said Li. 

Almost the same thing happened to other local brands. 

Ji Cheng was planning for an offline show with 20 models. Though Shanghai has lifted COVID-19 restrictions since the beginning of June, the brand's founder Ji Cheng says finding back her booked models has been difficult as many of them have left Shanghai. 

So Ji decided to use two types virtual backgrounds to provide better visual effects on mobile phones. The number of models has also been cut to only three to show 36 looks. 

Ji said though preparations have also been urgent, presenting an online show also has its advantages. 

"With virtual backgrounds you can do things that cannot be done on [a] real stage, like using changing neon lights and moving objects. It's very fun and my first time to try it," said Ji. 

Some 40 fashion houses are attending the three-day digital Shanghai Fashion Week from June 17 to 19. 

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Shanghai Fashion Week's establishment. And it is the very first time for the fashion event to move online. 

The size of the online event of course cannot be compared with pre-outbreak editions, but the online debut is expected to help designers present their latest collections as soon as possible.

(Cover image: Techs add post-production effects to the models' walk. /CGTN)

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