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Shanghai designer builds fashion bridge for stronger China-US ties

Editor: Qian Ding 丨CCTV.com

02-07-2017 15:02 BJT

By Tom McGregor, CCTV.com commentator and editor

Taoray Wang, a fashion designer based in Shanghai, stays neutral on global political affairs, but she’s playing a crucial role to thaw icy tensions between US President Donald J. Trump and Beijing. On Inauguration Day, President Trump’s daughter, Tiffany, wore a white double-breasted coat, designed by the Chinese fashion princess.

Tiffany Trump

Tiffany Trump on Trump's Inauguration Day

Ms. Wang has captured attention from well-known American fashion reporters for blazing a trail to jumpstart better relations between Trump and China. In the aftermath of the publicity buzz, she granted an exclusive interview to CCTV.com Panview, by WeChat.

“Fashion is a universal language that transcends politics, regions and cultures,” said Wang. “We have a lot more in common as nations and fashion provides common ground for dialogue.”

She sees fashion as method to bring “fusion” among cultures and countries, as a way to “open up to each other” for win-win diplomacy.

Populist fashionista

Wang also envisions a new populist movement for the fashion sector. It’s a time when globalist elite fashion designers are “currently going through a substantial shift.”

“I am not interested in people, class or background,” Wang told CCTV.com Panview. “I will serve any customer who is interested in the brand. We don’t put barriers to our customers.”

She feels a special kinship to the “forgotten woman” and her brand “strives to achieve value for money for our customers through high-quality and durability.”

She cherishes a conservative-oriented populism that emphasizes ‘customer first’ values. Meanwhile, she’s not a trend-follower, but a trend-setter.

“Throughout my career, I have focused on design that goes beyond the trends,” said Wang. “I don’t follow trends, I prefer a new classic, ageless look.”

She wants to bring a style for the “forgotten woman” that is “powerful, feminine and edgy.”

Customer first brand

President Trump loves to say, “America first,” but Taoray Wang says otherwise. She supports a ‘Customer first’ approach, providing her clients with Made-to-Measure (MTM) service.

“TAORAY WANG is all about serving our customers. We are a customer-centric brand,” she said. “MTM is all about listening to the customer’s needs in terms of their choice of design, fabric and other details, while giving the customer advice on what suits their image.”

She added, we find “how best to bring their beauty by maximizing the design and cut through the combination of tailored service coupled with styling.”

Wang believes the business strategy “fits well,” since her team must keep “listening and serving the customers” to connect glamour with populism in the fashion industry.

Despite her her down-to-earth principles, she’s still respected by elite fashion designer icons and had featured her designs at New York Fashion Week.

Bringing jobs to USA

Wang is softening the blow of potential China-US trade discords. She announced plans to open a shop next year in the Soho Arts District of New York City, which means more jobs for the local community.

She pointed out that her fellow Chinese fashion designers have boosted the US labor market by setting up operations there as well.

“The Chinese fashion designers with a presence in Soho right now are Vivian Tam, Alexander Wang, Philip Lim, and others,” said Wang.

The shop may likely to attract other members of the Trump family, since the Trump Soho luxury hotel will be located nearby.

Taoray Wang and Tiffney Trump

Taoray Wang and Tiffany Trump

Nonetheless, Tiffany is Wang’s only Trump customer, but she hopes to design a dress or overcoat for First Lady Melania Trump. If so, she could become a real fashion bridge builder to bring China-US ties to a new golden era.

Looking into children’s wear

Wang is pondering the possibility of introducing a new line of children’s wear. She took a favorable view of President Trump’s granddaughter Arabella posting a video of herself wearing a traditional Chinese silk dress and speaking Chinese.

Arabella, Ivanka’s daughter, has captured the hearts of millions of Chinese citizens for wishing them happy Chinese New Year last year.

When asked if she would design a special outfit for Arabella Trump, if the young girl visits China, Wang said, “When the time is right I think so.”


(The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com)

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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