Mercedes-Benz Global Fashion Engagement 2017:

February 2017

Stuttgart/Milan. Mercedes-Benz presented Chinese designer Angel Chen at Milan Fashion Week for the first time, facilitating the unveiling of her Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection as part of the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Programme (IDEP). The direct exchange will see Italian designer Vivetta Ponti show her collection at Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week in March 2017.

Chen was chosen from a shortlist of six Chinese designers to present her collection at the Scalone Arengario inside Milan’s Palazzo Reale. Her eponymous brand’s Autumn/Winter 2017 unisex collection was centred around the idea of a ‘modern tribe’, transposing tribal craft elements inspired by African tribes from Cameroon, Nigeria and Ethiopia to an urban landscape. Technical fabrics and tactile faux furs intermingled with bespoke metallic yarns and wools created in collaboration with the specialist French mill Malhia Kent. The result was an innovative textural mash-up that exploded in a riot of colour, beading and embroidery.

Educated at Central Saint Martins in London, the Shenzhen-born Angel Chen returned to China post-graduation and decided to launch her own label in 2015, in the wake of a hugely positive response to her 2014 graduate collection, entitled ‘Les Noces’ (the wedding). Citing John Galliano as her design hero, and Jean-Michel Basquiat as her favourite artist, she has since established herself as ‘one to watch’, appearing in Forbes’ first ’30 under 30’ Asia list for 2016. Her unisex aesthetic is unapologetically colourful – she never includes black in her collections – and fuelled by the under-the-radar aesthetics and sub-cultures she seeks to reveal to the masses. She leads a team of 10 working out of an office in Shanghai, though she spends time in London, Paris, Milan and Tokyo working on her collections, 70 per cent of which are produced in Japan. Her work is stocked by key retailers such as Lane Crawford, Urban Outfitters and H. Lorenzo.  

Angel Chen said: “I am thrilled to be able to present my collection in Milan this season and to receive such invaluable support from Mercedes-Benz. To bring my presentation to a European audience is an important next step in increasing my presence in the key markets such as Italy, the UK and France and I am excited about this next chapter.”

“Since its inception in 2009, the Interntaional Designer Exchange Program has been a core pillar of our global fashion engagement. To be able to present direct exchange shows across two continents and thereby supporting young talent in the next phase of their business is very rewareding for Mercedes-Benz. The IDEP highlights our global commitment to fashion and the the promotion of emerging, talented people like Angel Chen and Vivetta Ponti who represent both, craftsmanship and vision in the fashion sector, in line with our own key brand pillars”, says Michael Bock, Director Sport- & Lifestyle Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars.

As part of the direct exchange, Mercedes-Benz will present Italian Designer Vivetta Ponti´s collection at Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week. Both designers were chosen from a shortlist 11 Italian and Chinese designers by a panel of judges including Xiao Xue, Chief Content Officer at Elle China, Freda Wang, Marketing Director, Mercedes-Benz China, Carlo Capasa, President of Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Giusi Ferré, Italian author and journalist and Karla Otto, Founder of Karla Otto Ltd. Mercedes-Benz continues to honour its commitment to nurturing emerging and established designers through the brands International Designer Exchange Program which provides a unique opportunity to access key international markets.

About Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Programme

Over the past 22 years, Mercedes-Benz has established itself globally as a key player and partner at selected international fashion events. The brand is currently involved in more than 50 fashion platforms including Mercedes-Benz Fashion Weeks in Australia, Mexico, Spain and China amongst others. As part of its global fashion commitment, for over seven years, Mercedes-Benz has continued to support young and talented fashion designers through the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Programme. The programme offers emerging designers a unique opportunity to present their collections outside of their local markets to an international audience. Launched in 2009, the Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Programme is currently active across all of the Mercedes-Benz supported fashion platforms including London, Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Istanbul. The Mercedes-Benz International Designer Exchange Programme is often supported by an award programme initiated by Mercedes-Benz and underpinned by a panel of experts. Mercedes-Benz is committed to nurturing and mentoring emerging design talent, and the International Designer Exchange Programme reinforces the brand’s commitment to this. 

Milano Moda Donna took place from February 22 - 27, 2017. Mercedes-Benz China Fashion Week takes place from March 25 - 31, 2017.

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Press Contact

  • Manager Lifestyle & Influencer Communications
  • Tel: +49 (0) 711 17-77368



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