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The Designers Who Are Making Knitwear Cool

  • May 06, 2021

Designer: Rui Zhou

Age: 27

Home: Shanghai

A graduate of Tsinghua University in Beijing and Parsons in New York who cut her teeth with internships at DKNY and Alexander Wang, Ms. Zhou always knew she wanted to set up her own shop. She’s now based in Shanghai, and her second-skin cutout bodysuits have found their way onto Solange Knowles, the cult Korean girl band ITZY and Dua Lipa, who wore a barely there mesh iteration in violet and green for the January cover of Rolling Stone.

“My work is an exploration of the intimate tension between fabric and the body,” said Ms. Zhou, who is a finalist for the LVMH Prize this year. A designer who prefers to work on mannequins rather than to sketch, she added that, as with the Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetic, her focus was often on the beauty that comes from imperfection.

Her weblike elasticized knits, often held together with tiny iridescent pearls, both expose and protect the skin, baring as much as they cover. They may not be conventional outerwear, but Ms. Zhou said she is now stocked in 20 stores worldwide. EP

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