The Yu Prize is a dedicated fashion prize established in 2020 by Wendy Yu in association with Shanghai Fashion Week and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM) to identify and support the careers of emerging Chinese fashion designers.
Last year, the Yu Prize celebrated Chen Peng, the designer who most recently created the costumes for the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Thanks to the support of the Yu Prize, his brand Chenpeng is now stocked at Harrods and has received a 1,000,000 renminbi cash prize. In March 2022, Chenpeng was also showcased at the Sphere Paris Fashion Week showroom in Paris together with six other emerging designers, including the 2019 LVMH Prize Winner Thebe Magugu, curated by the FHCM.
“Together with our Prize partners, it is our mission to come together to form a foundational eco-system for our creative community and to present promising Chinese designers with career-enhancing opportunities both locally and internationally, enabling their future success in this evolving industry,” said Yu, a globally recognised investor, entrepreneur and philanthropist who has been dubbed the “fairy godmother of fashion”.
The Yu Prize x Li-Ning Grand Award 2022 goes to Alex Po and Derek Cheng of PONDER.ER for demonstrating all-round excellence and potential in fashion. The duo, graduates of Central Saint Martins in London, have been granted a 1,000,000 renminbi cash prize, a collaboration launch with Li-Ning, the opportunity to showcase at the Sphere Paris Fashion Week Showroom in Paris for two seasons, a 12-month mentoring program with OTB Group, retail space at Harrods, and promotional support on Xiaohongshu.
PONDER.ER co-founders and designers Alex Po and Derek Cheng expressed their gratitude, saying, “Thank you very much to the YU PRIZE and Li-Ning for this honour and opportunity. In receiving such recognition from the Prize partners and jury, we feel even more motivated to continue our hard work and introduce our collections to new markets and customers. In the spirit of “Dream to fly”, the theme of our upcoming collaboration with Li-Ning, and in winning the YU PRIZE 2022, our dreams of flying are indeed coming true as we connect our creative world and ideas with reality.”
Additionally, designer Yuchen Han of AlienAnt won the Yu Prize Rising Voices Award 2022 in partnership with UGG. Yuchen Han will receive a 100,000 renminbi cash prize and his collaboration with UGG will be put into production, launching to market next year. “This collaboration is an amazing opportunity for our visions to come together.” said Yuchen Han, founder of AlientAnt.
The Yu Prize Creative Impact Award 2022 in partnership with YUMEE awarded five of the 2022 semi-finalists: Louis Shengtao Chen, Private Policy, Ruohan, Victor Wong and Yirantian. This award recognises the unique approach of the collective to the creative assignment set by Luxury Chinese makeup brand, YUMEE. They were tasked with designing a digital pattern inspired by Chinese art and beauty for application to YUMEE’s product range. Each winning designer will receive a 50,000 renminbi cash prize. “I believe in the strength and power of a collective,” explained Yu, who is also the founder of YUMEE. “I was very impressed by Louis Shengtao Chen’s avant-garde romanticism, Ruohan’s effortlessly chic contemporary minimalism, Private Policy’s unique interpretation of inclusivity, youth culture and sustainability, Victor Wong’s out-the-box thinking and futuristic designs, and lastly Yirantian Guo’s integration of Chinese cultural heritage with her modern aesthetic.”
The Yu Prize was launched in 2020 as a new initiative to support emerging Chinese designers and developed specifically to align with Yu Holding’s mission. An annual award and incubator program, the Yu Prize is dedicated to celebrating and supporting the journeys of the most promising and pioneering Chinese fashion talents. In association with Shanghai Fashion Week and the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode (FHCM), the shared vision is to discover unparalleled creativity, provide critical support for the domestic fashion industry in China and provide a platform for international exposure and collaboration.