After studying both visual communications and advertising at Xiamen University, in 2008, Shangguan Zhe started his own fashion line, Sankuanz, with two friends and 3000 yuan.
Early on, the label grew its profile and built up customers by selling Ze by Sankuanz, a diffusion line which has since shuttered, on Taobao.com. Today, it is known for Shangguan’s eclectic design inspirations — from Budō robes and Tibetan buddhist cloaks to Asian Games and NASA-inspired cosmological religion — and references to Chinese youth subcultures, as well as collaborations with figures including artist Xu Zhen and musician Zuoxiao ZuZhou, and brands like Vans and Casio.
In 2015, with the support of GQ China, Shangguan presented collections at London Collections Men and Paris Men’s Fashion Week. That same year, the designer was named an LVMH Prize finalist. Shangguan is also the founder of Xiamen-based multibrand fashion boutique Akipelago, which focuses on selling products by Chinese designers.