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Design students leave mark on fashion week

Updated: 2021-10-15 09:24 ( China Daily )
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The 2021 autumn/winter collection of Momonary released at the 2021 AW Shanghai Fashion Week in April.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Donghua University alumni have become a common sight at the annual Shanghai Fashion Week.

Among the latest under the spotlight are Zeng Yue and Fu Fanding, the founders of fashion brand Momonary that released its 2022 spring/summer collection last week at the TRI art place in the city.

Momonary's presence in the industry has grown quickly since its founding in 2019, and this eventually drew the attention of Labelhood, a designer-incubation platform, which helped the brand make its debut at the fashion week last year.

Zeng, who earned her master's degree from Central Saint Martins in London, was the winner of Donghua's 2018 Cutting-Edge Designers competition. The award presented her with the opportunity to display her designs at the London Graduate Fashion Week that same year.

Donghua University has cultivated many students like Zeng and Fu every year since 2015.

According to Wang Zhaohui, vice-dean of the College of Fashion and Design at Donghua University, the institution set up the Donghua Cutting-Edge Designers program in 2015 to cultivate talented students with a global vision.

"Ten senior students from our college are selected as part of the program every academic year, and each student needs to design six sets of clothes that are released at the Donghua Cutting-Edge Designers event at Shanghai Fashion Week," Wang says. "The top designer selected then participates in the international design competition at London Graduate Fashion Week that year."

According to Wang, the first cooperation between the university and Shanghai Fashion Week was in 2016. Twenty-four designers got to showcase their works at the event.

To date, 72 Donghua University students or alumni have participated in Shanghai Fashion Week. Among them, 11 have been named Cutting-Edge Designers, two have won international fashion awards and nine have established independent designer brands.

According to Wang, 30 percent of those selected from the program have received postgraduate offers from top international fashion institutions, such as Central Saint Martins, the Royal College of Art and the University of the Arts London.

"We have been actively building a platform for students to connect with society," says Wang, adding that designers can transform the textile, clothing and fashion industries.

"Let the young talent wear the halo of Donghua's Cutting-Edge Designers to better and faster fit in the domestic and international fashion markets. This is the value of the program."

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