By Chiewling Tan
Fashion Friday is a brand new weekly column that will appear on Shanghaiist every Friday, 9am on the dot. Here’s where you’ll find the latest on what’s hot, what’s not, meet designers, and get your fix on fashion events going about in town.
We recently chanced upon a great fashion blog, AnyWearStyle.com who’s a fashion platform to document the rapid evolution of fashion in China – from emerging Chinese designers, photographers, creatives, to international brands doing pioneering events in China.
The blog was born out of a previous bilingual China-centric fashion website Yitrends.com, but with a more creative and forward-thinking approach in mind. The very cool thing about AnyWearStyle.com is that they also have an online store – AnyShopStyle.cn!
The brains behind AnyWearStyle.com are Alice McInerney from London and Li Yang from Beijing. When Alice was researching an article on emerging Chinese fashion designers back in 2009, there were no resources she could find online, so she decided to create one herself.
We had a chat with Alice McInerney and Li Yang to understand a little more about their interesting fashion venture; how they differentiate themselves amongst a big pool of online fashion blogs and what they have in their bags of goodies to offer to Chinese consumers.
Shanghaiist: Why did you name your blog, AnyWearStyle.com?
AWS: We didn’t want to be too gimmicky and too China-focused with our branding, because that has its limitations. AnyWearStyle is about fashion and design we think is interesting and relevant, regardless of location. As we’re based in China, inevitably our focus is on supporting the emerging talent here, and our online store is a reflection of that.
Is this your full time job or is this a part-time gig?
AWS: Alice is also fashion editor for Time Out Beijing and a fashion and styling consultant, alongside freelancing for various publications ranging from Wallpaper* to LUXE and is responsible for all the editorial and creative output.
Li Yang is a marketing manager for an IT company and a consultant for a Beijing investment company and looks after all our marketing and technical support.
Nowadays there are tons of fashion blogs out there; it’s kind of hard to keep up! What do you think is the USP (Unique Selling Point) of your fashion blog? What makes you different from others?
AWS: Absolutely, there are some fantastic blogs out there, but these tend to focus primarily on one city. With AnyWearStyle, we cover the whole of the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan for our China-scope, and then have writers across the world all with unique points of view.
We have had interviews with inspiring fashion luminaries as diverse as Diane von Furstenberg and Sarah Rutson to up-and-coming designers such as Richard Nicoll, Viking Wong and of course, Chinese designers.
Creativity is really important to us too. We shoot all the images for AnyShopStyle ourselves, and will soon start shooting our own editorials too. We have a fantastic Hong Kong-based illustrator Yolande Parry, who changes our Twitter and Weibo backgrounds monthly, and we’re always on the lookout for talented creatives to collaborate with.
Tell us a bit more about your readers? Are they mainly expats? Or do you have a fair mix of locals?
AWS: As both our websites are bilingual, we have a fair mix of Chinese and international readers, but naturally, due to the population of China, we have a strong Chinese readership.
How do you envision AnyWearStyle will be doing in 2 years time?
AWS: We have a few crossover projects in the pipeline with some really exciting creatives here, more will be revealed in 2012. We want both projects to grow organically, and have close relationships with all the designers on our books, and we really want that to continue as we grow.
What are some of the hottest products in your online store – AnyShopStyle right now? (Share some pictures with us as well!)
AWS: We love the wool and cashmere coats by new label LUVON by LULIU. It’s a 5-piece limited edition collection and the quality is really luxe.
LUVON by LULIU cashmere coats to keep you warm this winter!
We also really love the ‘Knit Fever’ collection by Hong Kong brand wear-and-tear. It’s a playful take on jewellery.
Knitted jewellery for those who appreciate quirky jewellery.
You can’t go wrong with the quirky ‘Open my eyes, close my eyes’ cashmere mini dress by London based designer Yang Du. It’s perfect for flirting under the mistletoe.
Gorgeously cool Yang Du’s eye lash cashmere mini dress!
Do you have plans to start a physical “AnyShopStyle” store?
AWS: While we have an office, we aim to open a showroom in 2012. However our push is still very much an online one, with pop-up events across China.
Can you let us know any up and coming events for this holiday period that AnyWearStyle/AnyShopStyle will be doing?
AWS: We’ll be launching some fantastic Christmas jumpers by a new Beijing designer on our books, Leo Kong that will launch just in time for the festive season.
We’ll also be offering a fantastic promotion for all our subscribers to both AnyWearStyle and AnyShopStyle (so get subscribing on our homepages!). For the whole month of December, just in time for Christmas, we’re offering 20% off on selected items. So get subscribing and all will be revealed soon in our next newsletter!
Chiew Ling Tan is Shanghaiist’s resident fashion columnist and purveyor of all things beautiful. The creative services director at advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty by day, she’s also the co-owner of a multi-label fashion boutique nana & bird and an accomplished jewellery designer. Reach her at [email protected] with your story ideas.