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Great Danes of design
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A Danish-Chinese affair celebrates Danish design and the collaboration between Danish and Chinese designers and fashion houses. NE Tiger shows its couture silks, satins, brocades - and furs.

Many functional and aesthetically pleasing objects we use and enjoy in our daily life are created by Danish designers. However, sometimes we take their origin for granted, or may not even know it.

"The Danish Footprint" exhibition recently celebrated the rich heritage of Danish design and the extensive collaboration between Danish and Chinese designers and fashion makers.

The one-day affair was held at the newly restored 1933 creative zone, once the largest slaughterhouse in the Far East. More than 2,000 visitors, including HRH Prince Joachim of Denmark, attended the event.

The exhibition on the second floor showcased the iconic products of more than 25 Danish and Chinese design and fashion houses. They included the Danish royal porcelain provider Royal Copenhagen, high-end audio and video products manufacturer Bang & Olufsen, Danish clothing leader IC Companys and shoe maker ECCO. Chinese luxury fashion brand NE Tiger and Shanghai designer Li Hongyan also took their latest collections to the exhibition.

"This is the first Danish design and fashion promotion in China," says Prince Joachim. "There are many talented designers in both Denmark and China. I think it's always good for creative minds to get together.

"Today, Danish design products in tableware, clothes, furniture, jewelries, eye glasses and shoes can be purchased in many Chinese cities," he continues. "One Danish brand name, Bestseller, has more than 2,000 shops in China. There is no doubt that Danish design products have excellent market opportunities in China. The future should be bright!"

Danish fashion companies are indeed doing well in China. Apart from Bestseller, which operates fashion brands such as Only, Vero Moda and Jack & Jones, IC Companys, another large fashion group in Denmark, has also expanded rapidly since it entered the Chinese market in 2005.

A joint fashion show of the group's two brands, InWear for women and Cottonfield for men, introduced the collections for next spring and summer.

InWear's new collection features clean, casual or constructed lines, high-tech fabrics, digital computer-like prints and colors, such as silver metallic, gray and gray-blue. Silhouettes go the extreme in big pants with a tiny top - and vice versa. While for Cottonfield, the spring and summer look is a refreshing flashback of classic contemporary style, colors and outfits.

And Danish jeweler DYRBERG/KERN wants to tell every woman, "Hey, you look like a million." In this new concept designers have created a collection of bling bling inspired by the ultra-cool design decor in science fiction films, disco glitter domes, the liquidy lines and the ripple effect in water. Also on display were the brand's men's collection of braided leather necklaces, conspicuous chain bracelets and finger rings.

Leading shoe maker ECCO, as the title sponsor of the event, also presented its autumn and winter and high winter collections that combine style and comfort.

The event ended with a gala banquet for 250 guests hosted by NE Tiger and a fashion show of the luxury brand renowned for its exquisite fur creations. The tableware was provided by Royal Copenhagen.

NE Tiger was the first Chinese member of The Purple Club, an alliance of the world's most trend-setting luxury fur retailers set up by fur provider Kopenhagen Fur in Denmark. NE Tiger presented a show of its latest "Hua Fu" (Chinese couture) collection of finest brocade and silk with decorations such as the top-quality Kopenhagen Purple fur, hand-crafted embroideries, crystals and beads.

The haute couture in bright colors like Chinese red, bright yellow, emerald green and royal blue were displayed by 39 models. At the end of the show, Zhang Zhifeng, founder and art director of NE Tiger, presented Prince Joachim a one-of-a-kind dress specially designed for the Denmark royal family as a gift. The masterpiece is made of Chinese brocade and Kopenhagen Purple fur.

"Kopenhagen Purple is the world's most exclusive fur quality," says Heidi Nyby, retail marketing manager at Kopenhagen Fur, which includes the elite Kopenhagen Purple label.

Purple was reserved for royalty in the old days, and Kopenhagen Purple is likewise reserved for only the best retailers and consumers, who are members of the company's Purple Club.

"NE Tiger is without comparison among the most luxurious fur design houses in Asia of the day," she continues. "Its fur garments and exquisite gowns are sought after by celebrities worldwide. We're honored to have it as a member of The Purple Club."

(Shanghai Daily December 19, 2007)

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