Pushing the boundaries between knitwear and silicone, Xiao Li is best known for her witty commentary on the current fashion system, using colourful, voluminous shapes, and innovative yarns and textures.
Studying BA Fashion Womenswear at London College of Fashion, subsequently at Royal College of Art, where she graduated with an MA in Womenswear Knitwear in 2013, Xiao began attracting attention back in 2012, when her structured, bubble gum knitted garments won the Pitti Filati ‘Feel the Yarn’ competition, an award for innovative knitwear. The following year, she won both the Loro Piana Award for Best Knitwear Collection and the International Talent Support Diesel Award – an accolade that led to a seven piece capsule collection in collaboration with the brand and sold exclusively at 10 Corso Como.
Inspired by modern architectural structures, and the belief that knitwear doesn’t have to be shapeless, Xiao combined classical techniques with moulded rubber reliefs to create dip-dyed pastel knitwear pieces, decoratively edged with silicone that British Vogue described as “marshmallow chic”. Working with luxurious Italian yarns and the best Chinese manufacturing available, Xiao merges both continents effortlessly in her directional collections.
Originally born in the small Chinese seaside town Qingdao, Xiao moved to London for her education and in the space of a few short years has firmly established herself as one of China’s most promising talents. In 2014, the year after she graduated from RCA, Xiao was chosen for Fashion Scout’s Merit Award, which provides new designers with business support. In 2015, having produced just three collections, she was shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize. Xiao also presented her AW16 collection as part of the Mercedes-Benz International Design Exchange Program in both London and Beijing.
With an impressive list of stokist, including Dover Street Market, H-Lorenzo and 10 Corso Como, Xiao Li is growing her international reach each season. Xiao creates four collections a year, covering womenswear, menswear, accessories and footwear.