For the SS21 collection designer Shangguan Zhe draws inspiration from diverse ethnic cultures while retaining the cool style of SANKUANZ. High-shoulder suits channeling traditional Mongol costumes carry a grasslands hero spirit, while shirts and tailored pieces feature spins on Mandarin collars and ancient shawls in a wardrobe blending ethnic codes with nods to pop culture symbols.

Dressy looks are either stiff and constructed or loose and sensual, such as laser-cut tuxedo suits or long draped gowns inspired by Pieter Hugo’s images of marginalized African communities dressed in soft and fluid fabric knotted around the body, paired with military uniforms or on long printed dresses draped at one shoulder that exude effortless grace.

Honing a balance between modern and primitive elements, uniform references rub shoulders with casual streetwear pieces emblazoned with the brand’s signature elements, including the Othala Rune symbol and metallic daggers, which evoke ceremonial props, tribal motifs in crystal studs and pop-culture prints on T-shirts, all symbolizing fusion and collision between different cultures in the context of globalization. Following the teaser for the Solution sneakers unveiled in this collection, the brand’s collaboration with adidas Originals continues to gain momentum, with a new capsule set to launch in October 2020.

The collection’s incisive interpretations of ethnic and pop culture elements are captured in the powerful video work Phosphorescence by artist Zhang Ding, generating a digital world peopled by phosphorescent forms.

Zhang Ding: “Reality disintegrates into phosphorescent beings.”