Chinese-born and Dior haute couture-trained designer Huishan Zhang has been making waves since before he graduated from the BA fashion course at Central Saint Martins in London. He later also earned an MA in pattern cutting there. Handpicked by Delphine Arnault initially to work on leather goods whilst he was at the prestigious school, Zhang eventually began working at the Dior haute couture atelier.
"For me, working in the Dior Couture atelier was the most incredible opportunity. I was not only able to be surrounded by the most inspirational and talented people, but was given the opportunity to learn and apply couture techniques that I have since developed into the Huishan Zhang brand,” he told Interview magazine.
Born and raised in Qingdao, China, Zhang moved abroad at the age of 17 and has since lived in Paris, New Zealand, and London. He is most influenced by his Chinese heritage, particularly aspects of his native country’s craftsmanship and design, but he has taken these initial inspirations through his own very global lens to produce typically feminine, refined silhouettes. He won the now-shuttered Dorchester Collective Fashion Prize in 2013 and had launched his label just two years earlier.
His debut 2011 collection was picked up by Browns, the same boutique that carried John Galliano and Hussein Chalayan 's graduate collections. Zhang told The Telegraph that he aspires to build the next leading luxury Chinese lifestyle, not just fashion, brand. Since 2011 his business and studio have been based in London.
London based luxury brand Huishan Zhang was launched in 2011. As a Chinese-born, London-based designer, Huishan has mapped out his signature style, finding inspiration and direction through his national identity. Creating a luxurious brand where Eastern heritage meets Western influences, his collections create a romantic, sophisticated and ageless philosophy with feminine details, strong lines and directional design.
Huishan studied at Central Saint Martins College and graduated in 2010. During his studies Zhang was handpicked by Delphine Arnault to spend his 3rd year working in the House of Dior - Paris, working in leather goods and Dior's Haute Couture Atelier.
Since its inception, Huishan Zhang has grown significantly and now has 4 collections per year which are stocked worldwide at stores including Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Joyce, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales, Moda Operandi amongst others.
The brand has a loyal VIP following, with recent appearances on Gwyneth Paltrow, Felicity Jones, Naomi Campbell, Natalie Dormer, Emma Roberts, Naomie Harris, Gigi Hadid, Saorise Ronan and Elizabeth Moss.
Huishan has been named as one of the BOF 500 People Shaping the Global Fashion Industry. In 2014, he was awarded the International Chinese Designer of the Year at the Elle China Style Awards. In 2015, he was a finalist for the LVMH Prize. Huishan was also a recipient of the 2016 BFC Fashion Trust and has been shortlisted for the BFC Vogue Fashion Fund in 2017 and 2018.
London's V&A Museum selected his couture ‘Dragon Dress' to become a permanent piece in the T.T. Tsui Gallery – making him the first Chinese contemporary fashion designer to receive this honour.