A well-known fashion critic in China, Tang Shuang’s unique point of view and straightforward writing style have contributed to her significant social media following. Her foray into fashion began at Modern Weekly in 2008 as assistant fashion editor. After that she moved to The Outlook Magazine followed by Numero China as senior fashion editor where she oversaw styling, features writing and interviews. She became a regular columnist on The New York Times China website and re-entered the fashion space as editor-in-chief InStyle China before taking the role of vice publisher at Vogue China. Currently, she works as an independent fashion writer and creative consultant while exploring personal projects that include a video series, The Future of Chinese Fashion, and the podcast, Let’s Talk. And she can still be read as a regular columnist on Ladymax China.
In what way is exploration such a natural part of the design process?
Design has always been inspired by culture, embracing global exploration, and tapping into music, art, architecture and technology. The enthusiasm for seeking something new is the ultimate drive, and design is the expression of that.
What are some of the themes and ideas that you would like to see designers exploring through the next few seasons?
Metaverse is being predicted as the future. What does this trendy concept mean for fashion though? I am not quite convinced yet, but I would like to keep an open mind.
Meanwhile, I think there is still plenty of room for sustainable fashion and fair trade clothing. Improving the current situation will not come about just with words; it is necessary to change the system.
How do you, personally, explore what’s new and exciting in fashion?
It really depends. Well-curated physical stores and exhibitions always excite me. The sad truth is that it’s more and more difficult to find real excitement these days.
How have the past few years shaped how your exploration through media and the virtual world？
The pandemic has changed our lives in many ways. I do feel a lack of inspiration due to the travel restrictions. Online platforms such as Instagram and YouTube are still useful tools, but you cannot really call it exploration when all the information that comes to you is basically manipulated by algorithm. You can only feel the true beauty of exploration when things cross your path unexpectedly.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity.