The editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung, came to New York yesterday to be honored by the Museum of Chinese in America.
“I have to confess, I’m not American, but to have this award, I guess I am becoming an unofficial Chinese-American,” Cheung said in a coral Jason Wu cocktail dress.
Everyone was an honorary Chinese-American last night, including guests Richard Perry, president of Perry Parters LP, who sat with Jenny Ming, chief executive officer of Charlotte Russe Holding Inc., and Mark Kingdon, president of Kingdon Capital Management, who sat with his daughter Jessica, a documentary and experimental filmmaker.
The event at Cipriani Wall Street celebrated the flourishing of Chinese in America (a story the museum, designed by Maya Lin and located on Center Street in Manhattan’s Chinatown, tells), as well as China’s powerful economy.
On the Chinese-American story, the exemplars of success were honorees Silas Chou, CEO of Novel Holdings Group, which owns a majority interest in Michael Kors Inc., architect Calvin Tsao, and the team behind Opening Ceremony and Kenzo, Carol Lim and Humberto Leon.
On the China story was Cheung’s Vogue China, which started publishing in 2005. Today the magazine has so many advertisers that Cheung has to produce 300 pages of editorial for each issue. By comparison, Anna Wintour at American Vogue produces about 100 pages of editorial and is considered very successful, Harold Koda, head of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, said in his introduction of Cheung.
The average reader of Vogue China is “about 30 years old, university-educated, with a fairly good income,” Cheung said in an interview. “China is a market that’s changing so rapidly -- what happened in the last five years, happened in Europe in 50 years -- so it’s hard to define specifically.”
The magazine covers the already wealthy, the emerging wealthy “in second- and third-tier cities,” and the university student who aspires to wealth.
“You need to cater to the highly sophisticated people and you need to do a lot of education,” the editor said. “Somehow they have to exist in the same magazine fluidly and intelligently.”
She also wants to create “a platform for a new generation of Chinese designers to go international,” Cheung said. She has arranged a six-week residency in New York for designer Uma Wang through the Council of Fashion Designers of America.
“If they can combine a certain kind of Chinese sensibility into what is considered a modern expression, that would be good, but I’m not actively looking for Chinese-ness,” Cheung said.
Just then, Derek Lam walked up to say hello. Other designers -- Jason Wu, Vivienne Tam, Mary Ping, Yoehlee Teng -- were not far behind. They would probably all like to be in Cheung’s Vogue as much as Wintour’s.
Cheung even has a bob like Wintour’s. “People are always telling me that,” Cheung said. “I had it 10 years before this job.”
The event raised more than $1.3 million. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- represented by partner Theodore T. Wang -- matched donations made on pledge cards at the dinner tables.
(Amanda Gordon is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
Muse highlights include Manuela Hoelterhoff on theater and Katya Kazakina on art.