Over the past ten years, China has seen its fashion industry explode. Countless high-end designers, from in and outside the country, have established their own ateliers or taken advantage of China’s specialized factories that give new meaning to tags that read “Made in China.” But, although China is becoming increasingly hospitable to homegrown high fashion in terms of retail and production, the country presents a complex landscape in other ways: widespread gender discrimination and the government’s Great Firewall, which blocks numerous foreign websites, create borders that not all Chinese designers want to work within. So, while many designers are building empires at home, others are flocking to places like London and New York, where they feel more comfortable pushing social and political boundaries. The following list takes a look at the increasingly diverse landscape of Chinese designers, at home and abroad, and how they are shaping the world’s perception of what it means to be a designer and Chinese.

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Tags: feng-chen-wang, xander-zhou, china