From its inception in 1978 to its prominent place at Paris Fashion Week, Shiatzy Chen’s rise is the epitome of persistence and innovative fashion vision. This Taiwanese luxury brand, turning 45 this year, remains a testament to its founder and design director, Wang Chen Tsai-hsia or as she’s more commonly known, Madame Wang.
The tenacity of Madame Wang is palpable as she shared her insights from backstage post her brand’s Paris Fashion Week showcase. With an aura of elegance, Wang wore a navy brocade top paired with shorts and white sneakers, all from her brand’s collection. Her dedication is evident through her rigorous routine – from early morning exercises, daily work commitments, to evening fitness sessions. Though occasionally attending social events, she’s happier immersed in her work.
The presence of Shiatzy Chen at Paris Fashion Week underscores Wang’s unwavering resilience. Recalling its debut in 2008, Wang reminisces about the challenges Chinese businesses confronted when entering such a renowned event. This season marked the brand’s 31st show in Paris, with attendees witnessing a spectacular array of 68 unique styles at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. With an eclectic mix from flowing separates and tasseled flapper dresses to men’s tailored ensembles, the fashion line demonstrated dynamism and creativity. Further enhancing the collection was the serene finale featuring exquisite embroidery on organza and sustainably produced hemp outfits, an artistic collaboration with Brazilian talent, Daniela Busarello.
From a single store in Taipei, the brand has evolved dramatically. Today, it boasts an annual turnover of US$70 million, numerous outlets, and further expansions on the horizon. According to London-based influencer Wei Sijia, with a significant following on Chinese social media platforms, the success of Shiatzy Chen can be attributed to the increasing interest in Chinese fashion elements. It offers an exclusive high-fashion avenue for this expression.
Celebrities and fashion icons, including Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh, sat in the front row, underscoring the brand’s stature. The showcase garnered praise for its neo-Chinese fusion with contemporary styles, accentuated by classical embroidery.
Harry Wang, the brand’s CEO and Madame Wang’s son, envisions the brand championing an “Asian fusion aesthetic.” As Shiatzy Chen approaches its 50th anniversary, Harry is enthusiastic about their forthcoming ventures, including relocating to a new headquarters and unveiling new stores in prominent locations like mainland China, Tokyo, and Singapore. Catering to the younger demographic, they also plan to introduce a leisure line by 2025, offering a more affordable range.
This familial touch in a predominantly conglomerate-driven industry provides a sense of authenticity. As Madame Wang reflects on her journey, emphasizing her efforts to balance work and life, it’s evident that the brand’s success is built on passion, resilience, and unwavering dedication.