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Yu Prize names ChenPeng as the inaugural winner

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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The inaugural Yu Prize, launched to support emerging Chinese designers, has named ChenPeng as the 2021 winner at a gala dinner held during Shanghai Fashion Week.

The new annual prize was launched by Wendy Yu, founder and chief executive of Yu Holdings in collaboration with Paris Fashion Week and Shanghai Fashion Week to provide critical support for Chinese fashion and provide a platform for international exposure and collaboration.

When the Yu Prize launched in October 2020, it had one prize, granting the winner a cash prize of 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan, approximately 110,000 pounds / 150,000 US dollars, however, the event grew to four awards granting the winners a total of 1.5 million Chinese Yuan, or 163,000 pounds / 225,000 US dollars.

ChenPeng was named as the official Yu Prize winner, from the 16 finalists, for demonstrating “all-round excellence and potential across the spheres of creativity, branding, influence, commerce, internationalisation and sustainability”.

Chen will receive funding of 1,000,000 Chinese Yuan, alongside a year’s mentoring and consulting programme from Only the Brave (OTB), retailing opportunity at Harrods, as well as a showcase at Shanghai Fashion Week and an event during Paris Fashion Week co-hosted by the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode and Wendy Yu.

Commenting on the winner, Wendy Yu, said in a statement: “I am so proud to announce ChenPeng as our official Yu Prize winner for 2021, our debut year. Chen achieves a surprisingly rare balance between creativity and business as an emerging designer.

“He has a unique design language and vision that translates effortlessly across markets, culture, gender and categories beyond fashion. He is a true talent and also has impressive operational skills. I wish him the best of luck for his future and I hope to see him play an important role in the history of fashion.”

Chen, based in London, graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2015 and has become known for his oversized puffer jackets. His collections are stocked internationally in more than 70 retailers including Dover Street Market, Opening Ceremony, Luisa Via Roma, and Galeries Lafayette, and have been worn by celebrities including Rihanna, Lady Gaga, and Fan Bingbing.

“The Yu Prize is like a community. It gives me and all Chinese emerging designers a great opportunity to be seen by the world. ChenPeng was founded five years ago and this prize is a great accelerator for our business growth and expansion, particularly in e-commerce,” added Chen.

Yu Prize honours ChenPeng, Susan Fang, Donsee10 and At-One-Ment

The second-largest prize, the Yu Prize Creative Pioneer Award in partnership with Piaget, was awarded to Susan Fang for “expressing the most extraordinary creative vision and fashion as an art form”. Fang wins 300,000 Chinese Yuan, approximately 33,000 pounds / 45,000 US dollars.

Yu added: “I’m also thrilled to see Susan Wang take home the Yu Prize Creative Pioneer Award - her work is modern whilst utterly magical and memorable. Both these Chinese designers truly reflect the shift we are looking to encourage and support in cultivating our talents, and move from ‘made in china’ to ‘created in China’.”

The final two awards were evaluated off the submission of a creative assignment. The Yu Prize Sustainability Award in partnership with Rémy Martin was awarded to Donsee10 for being able to conceptualise a fashion item centred on sustainable values.

Donsee10 brand founder Danqi Chen presented a bag design inspired by biodynamic grape harvesting created from botanical leather derived from wine residue featuring Chinese calligraphy. Judges said that her “unique approach and design ethos as a sustainable designer was in keeping with Rémy Martin’s brand manifesto of Sustainable Excellence and adds a stylish modern touch to the time-honoured heritage of Rémy Martin Cognac Fine Champagne”.

The sustainable prize awarded Donsee10 with 100,000 Chinese Yuan, approximately 10,000 pounds / 15,000 US dollars.

The final honour, the Yu Prize Infinite Beauty Award in partnership with luxury Chinese make-up brand Yumee, was awarded to At-One-Ment for presenting a three-dimensional multi-wear gown concept made from plant-based polyester, inspired by Yumee’s founder Wendy Yu and the brand’s lipstick and eyeshadow packaging. The award presented At-One-Ment founder Wanbing Huang with 100,000 Chinese Yuan, approximately 10,000 pounds / 15,000 US dollars.

The winners were selected from 16 finalists by a panel of judges including Andrew Bolton, Edison Chen, Madame Lu, Chioma Nnadi, Pascal Morand, Sara Sozzani Maino, Giambattista Valli, Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Ward and Jason Wu. The finalists included At-One-Ment, Chenpeng, Danshan, Donsee10, 8On8, Garçon by Gçogcn, Ming Ma, Oude Waag, Redemptive, Shie Lyu, Shushu/Tong, Shutting Qiu, Susan Fang, Windowsen, Yueqi Qi, and Zi Ii Ci Ien.

All finalists will be featured in a public pop-up fashion exhibition called ‘The New Wave of Chinese Fashion’ running until April 25 at HKRI Taikoo Hui mall in Shanghai.

Images: courtesy of Yu Prize

Shanghai Fashion Week
Susan Fang
Wendy Yu
Yu Holdings
Yu Prize