The Chinese designer who shows during haute couture in Paris first entered the global consciousness when Rihanna wore her yellow gown to the 2015 Met Gala. Guo’s 2016 appearance in the documentary The First Monday in May made her an emblem of Chinese fashion in both her home country and internationally.
In China, Guo is best known for designing dresses for the hosts and performers at CCTV’s New Year’s Gala, a televised annual event which pulls in approximately 700 million viewers, along with the ceremonial garments used in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
After graduating from Beijing Second Light Industry School in 1986, the Beijing-born designer spent a decade working for both state-owned and private companies. In 1999, she launched her own business, Rose Studio, a couture house which creates lavish gowns for Chinese celebrities and private clients, out of its 3000-square-metre studio in the city’s 798 Art Zone. Today, she employs nearly 500 artisans.
In 2015, Pei was one of the few contemporary Chinese designers to have works exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fashion, China: Through the Looking Glass, the exhibition to which Rihanna wore her now infamous gown with a voluminous yellow train which took over two years to make, but became a viral sensation immediately.
Named one of Time’s 100 Most Influential People of 2016, that same year Pei became a guest member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and showed her first collection on the Paris schedule.