The Designer Shuting Qiu is Making Clothes for the “Virginia Woolf Kind of Woman”
For her Spring/Summer ’21 collection, the designer Shuting Qiu was thinking about art—Russian art, to be specific. “I always get inspired by the Russian artist Natalia Goncharova,” she says. “I get inspiration from her paintings and color combinations. And in the meantime, she was also a costume designer. I was inspired by the shapes and patterns for the Summer ‘21 collection.”
The Chinese designer has quickly become a fixture in the fashion world. After graduating with a B.A. in fashion from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, her collection “She Lives in a Wonderland” earned her some valuable street cred. Since then, she’s been shortlisted for the LVMH award, won the VFiles Runway 10, and most recently, was a finalist of the H&M Design Award in 2020.
Qiu knew she wanted to pursue fashion when she was just 10-years-old. “My mom would always buy fashion magazines,” she says. “She liked to know more about fashion, and she always liked to go shopping, to dress up. It was then I knew I wanted to be a fashion designer.”
Her eponymous clothing brand was founded in 2017, made up of fabrics that incorporate bright colors, lively textures, and colorful patterns. “I think this is my identity,” she says, citing her lifelong hobby of painting: “Painting, for me, is like eating every day. I always do it.”
Most recently, Qiu released her Fall/Winter ’21 collection as part of the Milan calendar. When asked who she makes clothing for, the answer is simple. “I make clothes for the Virginia Woolf kind of woman. My consumers are independent women who are also artistic.”