the fashion awards 2018 will celebrate 100 of the world’s most exciting next gen talents

As the British Fashion Council announces NEW WAVE: Creatives, i-D exclusively reveals the 20 China-based creatives.

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Oct 15 2018, 2:31pm

Today, the British Fashion Council have announced that this year’s Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski will celebrate the global community of young creative talent with the launch of NEW WAVE: Creatives.

After the Fashion Awards dropped its Team GB prefix in 2016, the London-based ceremony, in partnership with Swarovski, has recognized creativity and innovation in global fashion, celebrating exceptional individuals whose imagination has broken new ground across borders. From Gucci’s Marco Bizzarri to Raf Simons for Calvin Klein, the focus has been honoring the individuals, brands and businesses whose imaginations and creativity have broken new ground globally. As it shifts attentions onto the talents of today and tomorrow, NEW WAVE: Creatives is the next step.

“The Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski are a celebration of an incredibly diverse industry; through the event we aim to shine a light not only on designers but also on all of those who contribute to the creativity and innovation of our industry,” Caroline Rush, Chief Executive British Fashion Council, explained in a statement. “This is why we are delighted to be launching NEXT WAVE: Creatives this year, to highlight and celebrate those creatives from all around the world and inspire new collaborations and encourage an even younger generation to consider the many creative roles that make up the fashion industry and follow in their footsteps.”

So, alongside their picks for Designer of the Year and Model of the Year, the 2000-strong industry insiders that make up the Fashion Awards Voting Panel were each asked to nominate the behind-the-scenes trailblazers that they believe to be the most exciting working today. Shining a light on this year’s emerging talents, the hot 100 list includes everyone from image-makers to hair and make-up artists, set designers to creative directors, models to digital influencers. Get ready to meet the visionaries changing fashion from the inside out.

As NEW WAVE: Creatives is set to collate the new world order, it was fitting that the first 20 names were unveiled at an event at The Middle House Shanghai. Against the backdrop of Shanghai Fashion Week and the BoF China Summit, the China-based selection represents the unstoppable creative youthquake that has dismantled exclusionary structures, bypassed firewalls, subverted Made in China, and redefined what creativity looks like in Shanghai and beyond.

Before more young creatives from the shortlist are unveiled in London and New York over the coming weeks, we asked nine of the finalists to tell us what excites them most about the future of creativity in China.

Anny Fan, digital influencer with 3m Weibo fans and her own fashion brand, Style on Top

“I’m quite excited to see that the future of creativity in China is becoming younger. There are talented creatives that are under 20, or even teenagers claiming their part in this industry. Youth is power and creativity.”

Luo Yang, photographer who has contributed to Modern Weekly, Numero and Dazed.

“Everybody is making efforts to make creativity and fun happen. The most excitable thing in the future would be that creativity in China would be more open and gradually forms its own attitude.”

Mr Bags, digital influencer with 3.9m Weibo fans

“The creative power in the fashion world of China needs smart masterminds, and more strategic plans to meet the demand of the market — and stimulate an even bigger boom.”

Xin Miao, make-up artist who regularly contributes to L’Officiel Malaysia, Numero China, Vogue China and ELLE China

“What really excites me is that nowadays, China is totally synchronized with the world. And after years of just absorbing, young Chinese artists are creating aesthetics with Chinese culture and contemporary art, which becomes a new style. Ancient eastern elements seem vivid again in the fashion industry.”

Leslie Zhang, photographer who regularly contributes to Nylon China, Vogue China, Marie Claire China, and GQ China, among others

“What excites me is that people are now trying to have a deeper connection with what has become the contemporary Chinese aesthetic. It’s driven by self-discovery of memories and experiences from the last 30 years. This is unique to my generation.”

Fan Zhang, hair stylist who regularly contributes to Vogue China, ELLE China, Numero China and Madame Figaro China, among others

“This is a great time for China. There are a lot of new opportunities for us to work with -- lots of people who have vision, originality, creativity and most importantly, passion. Of course we're all still learning, we're creating more and more. The world is getting smaller and smaller, and I think we're all looking forward to increasingly collaborating with different artists from all around the world.

Jumbo Tsui, photographer, designer and co-founder of two fashion brands, SANS TITRE and Dents de sagesse

“I have to say, there are opportunities and challenges — as always. The whole industry is reaching two extremes — either “too conceptual” or “too easy to understand”. It’s so hard to say which one is wrong, not only in China, but also all around the world. Being "too creative” is not always right, but being commercial isn't something to be ashamed of. People in this industry should learn to respect a variety of styles. There is an old Chinese saying that, ‘heroes emerged in troubled times’. What a wonderful description that is about today.”

Fan Qiong, stylist who regularly contributes to Marie Claire China and Cosmopolitan China, among other fashion magazines

“Creativity in China in 2018 looks like originality, and a sense of possibility. The internet has opened up knowledge massively, and increased how receptive people are to new things. The most exciting thing for me is when a new creator uses their professional field to change an aesthetic — living states, values, environments.”

Jing Wen, model

“Today’s generation in China has grown up in a civilization with a long history of Confucianism, but at the same time China’s reform and opening up has only been happening for 40 years, and that's driven a lot of curiosity, and a hunger for information. We all know that China has a huge geography and the population is nearly 1.4 billion, but unfortunately many people ignore the fact that this country is extremely diverse. In the future, I think the biggest challenge is how to reduce the damage to this planet but still able to meet people's needs at the same time. It's not just China, it's the world.”

NEW WAVE: Creatives will be celebrated at The Fashion Awards 2018 in partnership with Swarovski on Monday December 10 at the Royal Albert Hall, but also during a series of satellite events leading up to the ceremony, in London, Shanghai, and New York.

This article originally appeared on i-D UK.