Chinese Fashion Designers: Questions of Ethnicity and Place in the Twenty-First Century
Abstract:As Asian-American fashion designers have become better known in the USA and globally the media has highlighted their achievements collectively. What, this article asks, are the implications of second- and third-generation Asian-Americans having attracted such attention? If new, young fashion designers are being identified on the basis of their ethnicity how might they enter into or negotiate a position within a larger global fashion world, and what impact might this have on the identification of other Asian designers, not least those from mainland China, whose work is little known in the West? The argument is framed by the concept of habitus, seen from two perspectives, one the significance of place in the global fashion industry, and the other related to the discourse of “ethnicity” that surrounds the designers. Examples are discussed of Asian-American and mainland Chinese fashion designers whose work has become known more widely through the press, exhibitions, and commercial activity. We are, it is suggested, at a point of transition regarding the wider knowledge and reception of Chinese fashion designers.
Document Type: Research Article
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Publication date: May 1, 2012
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