The 10 Designers From Asia Who Showcased At Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week – Forbes
When it comes to exclusivity in fashion, Haute Couture Fashion Week (HCFW) is as exclusive as it gets.
While the main 4 fashion weeks (New York, London, Milan and Paris) â are relatively open for new designers, HCFW is only open to those who meet criteria approved by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture â the jury who determines which fashion houses are allowed to call their creations ‘Haute Couture’ as the term itself is protected by law.
These criteria include designing made-to-order, having a workshop in Paris and employing at least 20 full-time technical people, among others.
No wonder then that designers showcasing at HCFW have been established European fashion houses.
Recently however, things have been changing and more and more designers from the Asian continent are invited to showcase as part of the uber exclusive event’s official calendar.
This signifies the newly-found openness of Europe’s fashion elite and changing perceptions towards Asia’s talented designers.
From East Asia to the Middle East – here are 10 Haute Couture designers who paraded their creations at the most coveted runway this season.
Guo Pei – China
The Beijing native is known for her couture dramatic creations where pieces take months or years to make and cost up to $800,000. She shot to fame when she dressed Rihanna at the 2015 Met Gala in that yellow gown weighing 25kg. No wonder the Chambre took notice and gave her a spot at the ultimate luxury week.
Yuima Nakazato – Japan
The Tokyo-born designer who dressed the likes of Lady Gaga is keen on pushing the boundaries in fashion as he often includes advanced digital techniques and 3D printed elements in his creations. Last year he became the second Japanese designer to be chosen to show in the history of HCFW â and the first in 12 years.
Xuan – Vietnam/Holland
The Paris-based Dutch-Vietnamese designer has earned her spot at HCFW and is increasingly getting praise for the workmanship and impeccable construction in her designs. She was invited last January for the first time to showcase as a guest member at the Haute Couture Fashion Week.
Hyun Mi Nielsen – Korea/Denmark
Born in South Korea and adopted by a Danish couple, Nielsen debuted last season with her first Haute Couture collection in Paris. She had previously honed her skills at big fashion houses like Max Mara, Burberry and Alexander McQueen, whose influence on her aesthetics can be clearly seen.
Ulyana Sergeenko – Russia
Born in Kazakhstan, Sergeenko first got acquainted with Haute Couture as a client for Valentino and Dior among others. After launching her label in 2011 in Moscow, she now counts Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga as fans and often references her Russian and Kazakh background in her ultra luxurious creations.
Elie Saab – Lebanon
Saab is the only non-European foreign member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture – an honor he’s held since 2003. His feminine creations which are often crafted with delicate lace and embroidery have been seen on countless A-list celebrities including Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, Taylor Swift and Beyoncé.
Zuhair Murad – Lebanon
With his equally dazzling ethereal creations, Murad followed in Elie Saab’s footsteps to become a staple at HCFW and a favourite of stars such as Jennifer Lopez who is often seen in his gowns on the red carpet. Closer to home, actresses Li Bingbing and Priyanka Chopra have also been spotted in his designs.
Georges Hobeika – Lebanon
Another Lebanese designer and a guest member at HCFW is Georges Hoebika, whose bright and exquisite couture designs are often donned by Middle Eastern royals.
He also dresses Asian celebrities including Zhang Ziyi, Fan Bingbing, Chen Shu and India’s Aishwarya Rai.
Maison Rabih Kayrouz – Lebanon
Although he stopped producing Haute Couture a few years ago, Kayrouz â whose relaxed silhouettes and pragmatic approach to couture are a stark contrast to his compatriots’ figure-hugging and embellished creations â retained his spot in the official calendar and showcased a pret-a-porter collection instead.
Galia Lahav – Israel
Another Middle Eastern designer who has recently been invited to showcase at HCFW is Tel-Aviv based Lahav who is mostly known for her bridal creations at home. Her intricate and sexy designs have been seen on model Ashley Graham, singer Meghan Trainor and tennis legend Serena Williams among others.