The designer has successfully established a cult fan base domestically and internationally, and is at the forefront of a new wave of young Chinese designers that are crafting a new menswear aesthetic. In addition to his own label, the eponymous designer is also menswear director at The New York Times’ T Magazine China Edition.
Zhou studied industrial design in China before studying fashion design in the Netherlands. He established his label in 2007, and although Beijing-based, he shows seasonal collections during London Fashion Week Men’s — making him the first Chinese designer to do so.
Xander Zhou is currently sold in about 20 multi-brand stores throughout East Asia, Western Europe, North America and the Middle East. Longstanding stockists include 10 Corso Como, Dong Liang and Shine in China, GR8 in Japan, Opening Ceremony in Japan and the US, Boon the Shop and Addicted in Korea, and Machine-A in the UK.
In addition to design, Zhou has also consulted for brands, and helped facilitate relationships within the industry: “I will introduce [Chinese commercial brands] to the stylists, photographers, model agencies and other partners I have met through my work abroad, and help them to establish good working relationships,” he told BoF. “These past years have seen some successful collaborations that were well received by the advertisement and fashion industries.”
The designer believes that the key to his success is his authenticity. “I have always tried to stay true to my vision — in my designs, in my styling, and also in my personal style,” he told BoF. “By doing so, I have attracted a certain kind of customer, who could be described as sophisticated luxury consumers. But I believe that what appealed to them in the first place is that I did not deliberately try to woo them. I just keep doing my own thing, and hopefully that will appeal to more and more people.”