Xander Zhou is a Chinese designer based in Beijing. He made himself a brand and stands for an alternative and visionary view on humanity, gender, and equality. By exploring the relationship between function and form, he embarks on a path on which he must move between non-conformity, wearability, and innovation. This makes the designer unique and gives him the standing he enjoys in the industry. As the first Chinese designer to run at London Fashion Week, he is at the forefront of a whole movement of young Chinese designers on their way to international recognition.
Xander Zhou distinguishes his deliberate blurriness between gender boundaries in which he can move freely and thus give accustomed forms and pieces a new context. With his constantly evolving collections, he is both a trendsetter and a synonym for the Chinese generation of a self-confident youth and even further beyond.
After Xander Zhou first studied industrial design in Beijing and then finally turned fashion into his passion in The Hague, he founded his brand in 2007.
For the start-up of his brand, however, he returned to Beijing after completing his studies, saying that the circumstances there were much easier for such a project, as there was not the equal need to prove oneself in China, as in Europe or America. As a graduate with the idea of owning your own brand, you have to work your way into the established circles to get settled in the Western industry. This is not the case in China, where there is neither no support for young aspiring artists nor restrictions or borders. Moreover, "Made in China" has recently moved away from the clichè of low quality and exploitation, heading towards higher quality standards, redefining what it means to be a chinese designer. His aesthetics is a blend of streetwear and cou-ture, pushing boundaries of what is considered wearable.
Xander Zhou, born in 1982, began studying industrial design in China after finishing school. But fashion had always inspired him and so he came to the conclusion to study fashion in the Netherlands, in The Hague.
Xanders first experiences were buying a second-hand sewing machine and starting to change his own clothes with it. For him, it was never enough just to distinguish himself by brand, cut, color and combination but it was necessary to transfer his own spirit and thoughts into his clothes to create an overall picture.
Since trends - in his opinion - suppress judgment, he tries to stay completely out of the current and instead remains true to his ethos.
The vision that Zhou wants to bring closer to his customers is forward-looking and mature yet playful, which is also reflected in his own person.
His way of tailoring is characterized by the traditional form of craftsmanship. The approach, however, has a different attitude, since Zhou is inspired by the youth and their "Don´t give a fuck" view of the world. This leads to the fact that he doesn’t see certain things doggedly, can gain some distance and can work with focus and without prejudice. He calls his way of work “Don´t give a fuck-tailoring”.
For the young Chinese, authenticity is of the utmost importance and the key to his success. The youth culture behind him, which he is preparing the way for, supports this assumption, which offers Zhou the strength and motivation to continue developing and expressing himself in ever new creativity.
Spring / Summer 20 “Supernatural Extreterrestrial”
After his futuristic FW19 collection, Zhou is turning into another direction for SS20. His new vision is medita-tion and exploring another reoccurring theme. What happens to our consciousness when our physical body is no longer a thing?
The collection mainly consists of robes and skirts to keep his mindset of gender fluidity.
Traditional garments, skirts, and bright colors are the main part of his vision for this year's Spring/Summer collection and everybody is waiting for what's coming next.
Fall / Winter 19
Zhou's FW19 collection was full of futuristic statement pieces. Abstract concepts combined with fine gar-ments and yeti-like creatures bring the consumer into another galaxy. Prosthetics, flippered models and clones give a strange but impressive view on his collection. The designer says that this collection is his fantasy but also his fears of himself and the future. The collection includes long-sleeved knitwear, graphic polo necks, short-sleeved shirts, transparent coats, shiny leather pants, and crazy color combinations. This collection questioned evolution, and what it means to be a human, in times when the border between what is real and what is not keeps blurring day by day.
Spring / Summer 19 “New World Baby”
With a dystopian perspective on humanity, Xander Zhou comes to the runway and presents his summer collec-tion in London. In his vision, the male pregnancy is nothing extraordinary and this cyberpunk / extraterrestrial atmosphere is supported by the plastic baby bellies attached to the models.
The silhouettes are unisex as usual and underline Xander Zhou´s mindset.
Fall / Winter 18 “Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co II”
Although Xander has in the past moved away from his Chinese roots, he now returns with this proud heritage-inspired winter collection.
Large prints with stereotypical graphics such as dragons, Chinese writing symbols, and the Ying Yang symbol can be found throughout the collection.
Spring / Summer 18 “Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co”
With a new interpretation of ordinary workwear, Zhou embarks on a journey into the extraordinary. Everyday office life is a thing of the past and the young Chinese designer makes the usual button shirt a great challenge. Daring and exposed cuts are part of the look of this collection and symbolize the Beijing label that transcends gender boundaries.
Fall / Winter 17 “I´m Carrying A Secret Weapon”
The name of this season's collection is reflected in its cut because the voluminous silhouettes could hide eve-rything under their cover. Any secret weapon could be hidden under those coats and jackets, which are often wide but short in length. Through the targeted cut of the collection, the male body is deformed into a new shape, a recurring element, often played by Xander Zhou.