"Space age furniture and the dystopian science fiction novel, Brave New World." This was the inspiration point for Liushu Lei's ('Shu Shu') and Yutong Jiang's ('Tong') Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, which was presented at Shanghai Fashion Week today. The two designer's have made their brand, Shushu/Tong, a global name for their feminine and futuristic clothes, which has resulted in backing from Alexa Chung, Susie Lau and Anne Marie – just some of the world's familiar faces that are donning the brand head to toe.

In the past year especially, Shushu/Tong as a company has grown by 50%. Liushu Lei notes that the key to their success is through developing a strong relationship with their customer base – whether it be through their own ecommerce platform or through brand representatives. "
We launched our own online shop with TMALL and that has really helped us during this difficult time. You feel safer with your own store; it allows us to be more in control of our business and it really has given us the strength to keep doing what we love to do. Another key reason for our growth over the past year is that we have continued to build relationships with VIPs, influencers and other influential personalities. We feel this is really important and we love that they love the brand and have been so supportive of us." 

Their latest collection is abundant in the ultra-girly silhouettes they're known for, but positioned alongside embellished latice skirts, checked capes and tomboy shorts. "We have a lot of cute 3D dots in the new collection," says Lei. "There is a lot more brighter colours compared to last season; pinks, oranges, yellows and blues." With such a happy colour palette and fun styles on offer, it's hard not to feel optimistic that we're on the way to pre-pandemic normalcy when viewing the collection. And after such a momentous year for them (and for the world), what does Lei want from 2021? "To be better than 2020!" Don't we all!

For more of an insight into one half of the duo's every day, we put forward our 8Qs for him to answer.

What is a book that you always come back to and why?
The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin. It is a science fiction novel and the story is so good that I have read it multiple times (and will definitely read it again in the near future).

What is your morning ritual like?
I start every morning by walking my dog and drinking my coffee. That makes me ready for the day ahead and I know that no matter how hectic the day will be, I still have my calm morning to take some time for myself.

What is the best piece of advice you've received?
Keep doing what you’re good at.

What is an ongoing goal of yours?
Be an animator. I always wanted to be an animator growing up and then I realised I was more interested  in what they were wearing. It is still my dream to be an animator and I hope to explore this further in the future.

What's your party trick?
Non-stop drinks.

If you could travel anywhere right now, where would it be?
Paris! I really enjoy the work trip to Paris during fashion week every season. I’ve missed that we haven’t been able to travel there the last few seasons and I'm hoping we will all be back there for the next one. The atmosphere in Paris during fashion week is just amazing. I can’t describe it, but if you have been there over fashion week then you will know what I mean.

Name something that you're grateful for.
All my friends. They really help me in many ways, especially over the last year.

Name three things that you can't live without.
My phone, my bed and my dog.

Shop Shushu/Tong below:

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Tags: ShuShu/Tong , 8Qs , aw21 , fashion