By: Katelyn Criner
Taking place from October 8th-16th, Shanghai Fashion Week successfully took place showing off designers’ spring 2022 collections. Several designers made a statement for their brands by incorporating inclusivity and gender-neutral pieces into their shows, challenging the traditional norms of fashion.
As seen above, Niu Yu, 24, strutted her way down the runway while walking for the sports brand, Pony. Yu, who lost her leg in the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake, confidently walked with a prosthetic leg down the catwalk.
Yu decided to walk for Pony in order to destigmatize the prejudice against diabled persons.
“I was touched by something they said and agreed,” said Yu. “They said that traditional views have always connected sports with healthy legs, but sports should be a kind of spirit. Even if I do not have a leg, I still deeply love sports forever.”
Sultry Virgin, an up-and-coming fashion label, made its appearance at Shanghai Fashion Week this year. The label focuses on dismantling the male gaze and encouraging women to wear what they want. They identify an importance for challenging preconceived gender notions and sexuality.
“For us, it’s not about opposition to the gender binary — there is no hostility toward men — we just want girls to be proud of who they are,” said co-founder Wang Quige.
Masha Ma, founder of her own brand MASHAMA, is a Chinese designer who has slowly built her way up to making her name recognizable on the runway. Opening Shanghai Fashion Week, a first for an independent designer, the collection impressed the crowd with sophisticated and elegant designs.
MASHAMA was created to give Chinese women a new way to dress, promoting her pieces as a gender-neutral clothing line.
With the world evolving, many are in the efforts of making the fashion industry more diverse. We still have a long way to go, but some are starting to pave the path.