Three Rising Chinese Brands with Captivating Identity Narratives to Watch

These rising stars in the Chinese fashion scene—, Short Sentence, and Yueqiqi—are challenging societal norms by weaving narratives that resonate with modern consumers. Each of them has a unique perspective, varying from Gender-fluid fashion to grounded minimalism and maximalism rooted in tradition, bringing a unique perspective to the forefront of the fashion industry. Keep reading for more about their creative input, craftsmanship, and vision.


Is it possible for men to show vulnerability and softness in clothing? Yes, that’s the answer. Through experimental and innovative tailoring techniques, fabrics, and concepts, PONDER.ER brings gender-fluid fashion to the forefront, breaking the boundaries of traditional definitions of male masculinity.  The founders of the brand, Alex Po and Derek Cheng were forced to question what is the idea of “masculinity” and how to show the frail beauty of men without concealment, by their life story and experience of growing up in a rather traditional Asian environment. Clothing is a tool for self-exploration and the courage to challenge social stereotypes, which was the original intention of the establishment of Ponderer. It also shows that the brand is well on its way to success by being one of the semifinalists in the LVMH Prize.

In the 2022aw collection, “FORMULA UNCATEGORISED”, PONDER. ER explores the relationship between gender and the image of masculinity. In social perceptions, men are usually associated with the love of speed, and dangerous sports such as auto racing, which is how they traditionally exhibit their manliness. Therefore, using the brand’s signature fabric technique and the craftsmanship of the hooked nylon tape, the brand decided to recast the elements of the racing sport into soft and genderless elements.

In order to examine the complex relationship between gender and fashion. The duo takes the textile innovation and experimental fabrics as its key point, giving familiar clothing styles a new look. The “smocking” technique has become the core style of this label, with every pleat being different in shape and movement. 

 Alex Po and Derek Cheng are proud to invoke a soft revolution. It’s also a way for boys to show their masculinity by daring to be themselves, when they are confident in wearing clothes and going out on the street.


Yueqiqi is a staunch believer in promoting Chinese handicrafts. In her designs, you can sense a modern embodiment of Chinese tradition. Maximalism style and intricate accessory design are her way of storytelling. The designer likes to draw traditional Chinese literature from moderness. The romantic, funky atmosphere radiates from the brand’s DNA and its philosophy of love. Since 2019, its original beaded weaving technology and wondrous aesthetic continuously attracted fashionistas and artists which are the core elements in YUEQIQI’S design, it also brought her as one of the semifinalists of LVMH.

This retro bold style is made up of vivid colors, knitting, tassels, and beaded designs. She seems to bring people back to their memories with her elegant, retro, and nostalgic style and the use of Chinese traditional objects in her designs. Besides the clothing, other categories of the brand, such as the malleable earrings, handbags, and even candles have firmly drawn a complete picture in the audience’s mind.

Yueqiqi has been diving deep into the subject of love in previous collections. In the 24AW series Machines of Loving Grace, she branches out to explore the balance and harmonious symbiosis between human beings, nature, and technology. The collection uses recycled materials to produce mechanical three-dimensional flowers and patterns in the shape of fungal fossils and mycelium, such as discarded headphones from an airplane or polyester.

The goal of Yueqiqi is to break the boundaries of women’s clothing culture through the continuous exploration and experimentation of traditional crafts and fabrics.

Short Sentence

“We pursue styles that we want to live in”, Short Sentence is one of the most grounded and diverting fashion brands from China. The brand that values the functionality of fashion and the integration of fashion into daily life scenes. It gives a fun flavor to minimalism by implementing bright contrasting colors, funky striped designs, and high-quality tailoring without excessive design. The style of the brand is not overly exaggerated and fashion-forward but still manages to show through the wearer’s personality, because the inspiration for the collections comes from real people in daily life scenarios. From clothing to accessories, all items indicate the message of the brand, simplicity yet eye-catching, everyday but not ordinary. 

Designer Guan Lin’s understanding of minimalism is reflected in the name of the brand. The name ‘Short Sentence’ comes from traditional Chinese poetry, which means a short sentence of five or seven words can convey a rich meaning. 

 “A classic design is a way of sustainability.”

For Guan Lin, the clothes should not be limited by seasons or trends. The brand’s philosophy presents a recognizable narrative through color combinations, material splicing, and yarn blends of different raw materials. Guan Lin’s design language contains thoughts about DNA, also her love of modern art, she often takes inspiration for new collections, such as Katherine Bradford, Bea Camacho, Barbara Kruger.  The designer allows her customers to become unique individuals and live a vivid life in a diverse and inclusive world of Short Sentence, and her goal is to see how people actually incorporate these items into their everyday lives. She thinks clothes are expressions and labels, but they’re not limited. Everyday life is a source of inspiration, which is why the brand is connected to a person’s mind and soul in every collection.

*Header image: PONDER.ER SS22 by Oscar Chik