BEIJING, China — Liu Jiang, the co-founder, president, and chairman of China’s publishing stalwart Trends Media Group, has died at age 62. Trends Media Group has confirmed the news of his passing on Saturday and stated that the cause of death was illness.
Liu co-founded China’s first ever high-end fashion publication Trends Magazine in 1993 alongside Wu Hong, and inked a partnership with Hearst Magazines in 1998 to publish Chinese editions of Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar and Esquire. Since then, Trends Media Group has grown into a 12-title magazine empire, and Liu has pushed for the digitisation of its offerings since 2010.
Liu made his last public appearance at the group’s annual gala, where he said, “time doesn’t stop, and neither does Trends Media, but we will continue to create unlimited possibilities and bear witness to change and creation with the fashion industry.” In addition to helming the group, he authored two poetry collections of his own.
Though it remains unclear who will succeed Liu in his various roles at Trends Media, Wang Feng, previously GQ China's editorial director, has been the group's vice president and chief content officer since May 2018.
Since hearing the news, China’s top names in media have taken to social media to express their condolences.
“Rest in peace. The fashion industry is a tiny place, and China’s is especially young. There were only a few people I could call my seniors,” Elle China’s editor in chief Xiao Xue wrote in a post on Weibo.
“I can’t believe that Mr. Liu has passed away so suddenly. As a newcomer to the industry last year, I was lucky to meet the godfather of fashion, and receive his guidance and mentorship, and I remember it as it was yesterday. Rest in peace, the industry you’ve left behind is your legacy,” wrote Victor Hu, president of JD Fashion and Lifestyle.