Louise Xin on the story behind putting up a couture show inside the European Parliament
The Paris-based Chinese-Swedish award-winning fashion designer has quickly made a name for herself also as an activist, fighting for Uyghur rights in China and workers rights in the fashion industry. This week, she wrote a new chapter — in the heart of Brussels, and in a spectacular fashion.
30 Mar 2023

Last year, Xin was selected as a so-called Sakharov Fellow by the European Parliament.

— During my visit there, they asked if I could do a fashion show in the Parliament, she says. This was in June 2022 — and a year later it happened.

Louise Xin. All pictures: Alain Rolland

Xin had created a new collection specially made for the show and, as always, the couture section of the brand is not available to buy but rental only.

How was the reception?

— I’m blown away by all the love we received from the whole Parliament building. Media has been interviewing non-stop for hours after the show. The most meaningful part for me of the whole experience was that the child labour survivor from Nepal, Nasreen, and the Uyghur camp survivor, Gulbahar, felt that this was meaningful for them. That was the real thing that truly mattered, the people to which the show was dedicated. We all cried together and it was a very emotional experience, Xin shares. She continues:

— NGOs, expert groups, and people from all around the world flew in to participate in the show and our panel discussion. I believe in the power of uniting people together, learning from each other, and seeing different perspectives. I don’t have the answer at all about how we can move forward — I and my brand can only play a small part. So many companies out there have amazing solutions, innovative ideas, and the resources to build a better system, and I hope that we can all come together to rewrite the story of people who make the clothes and those who wear them. In my speech after the show, I said: ”Clothes are something we wear every day but they are also doing exactly that; telling the stories I mentioned. Nasreen and Gulbahar’s stories are two of millions, two women coming from two different parts of the world. But we are all together here today, together with all of you united, we will write a new future.”