Shanghai fashion week was your debut runway collection, how does it feel to have such a global stage for your first solo show?
It was nerve-wracking and also very exciting because this is my debut, my first ever collection. I also haven’t been able to do a fashion show in my home country because I’ve been studying abroad for over six years. Coming back to China and showcasing my work on such a global stage in Shanghai has a very familiar, yet strange feeling because I haven’t been home for such a long time. I’m very unfamiliar with the whole industry in China, it’s grown and changed so much since I’ve been away.
It was a very weird feeling. It was overwhelming to be welcomed back and to get so much help to create my vision. Having the capacity to actually have a physical show was amazing because I didn’t get to do one when I graduated from my BA. It meant a lot and it was an outstanding experience.
“The style of my first collection has worldwide influences, I don’t feel like it conforms to the usual Asian taste level, but it’s not entirely European either. I want my brand to be diverse in its exploration of cultural influences. ” – Louis Shengtao Chen
You were born in Beijing, has your Chinese heritage shaped your design identity?
I think it’s more about my exposure to other cultures. I am Chinese and at Central Saint Martin’s I was welcomed into a range of international cultures. I think one of the key points of my work is that the style of my brand is not focused on my Chinese heritage, I want my brand to be more global, ranging from the actual design of my garments to the models I use. The style of my first collection has worldwide influences, I don’t feel like it conforms to the usual Asian taste level, but it’s not entirely European either. I want my brand to be diverse in its exploration of cultural influences.