A center of fashion, creative synergy
Updated: 2011-04-21 07:53
By Gan Tian (China Daily)
While 798 Art Zone is well known as a center of the arts, it has also become in recent years the center of the capital city's fashion industry.
Every March and November, models, designers and fashionistas gather at D Park in the zone for the industry's showpiece event, China International Fashion Week.
Opened in March 2007, D Park is operated by the China Designers Association (CDA).
There are five old mills in the area, three of which have been transformed into venues hosting shows during Fashion Week, while the rest are offices and studios rented by fashion companies, model agencies and PR companies.
CDA officials looked all around Beijing before choosing 798 Art Zone as its center of operations.
Its artistic environment and the developing infrastructure of specialist stores and offices were an obvious attraction.
It is not only the ideal location for fashion events, but also a showpiece area that creative types are happy to visit and spend time in.
CDA moved its headquarters to D Park immediately after it opened and in addition to photographic and advertising studios, it is also home to top-tier designers such as Guo Pei, Liu Wei and Yang Ziming.
And it is not only during Fashion Week that fashion related events are held, there is something going on every day of the year, such as product launches or meetings.
These happenings have developed a creative synergy in 798, which means the area's galleries have become more involved in the fashion industry.
For instance, Journey of a Dress, an exhibition of Belgian-American fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg, is currently being held at The Pace Gallery Beijing, which opened in 2008.
The founder, Arne Glimcher, says fashion has always been paired with art, since both of them reflect culture.
"The worlds of art and fashion have always been good friends. (798 Art Zone) is similar to the Soho district in New York, where, if an artist opens an exhibition, there are always people from the fashion industry involved," he says.
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