Couture designer Louise Xin wins first ever 'Fabric of Life' Award

By Amelie Langenskiöld

Photo: King Kunta

The Chinese-Swedish designer was recognised for her sustainable couture creations

Initiatives towards a more environmentally-friendly textile industry, is something that we can never have too much of.


With a vision to encourage emerging young talents, and bring awareness to the impressive research projects that Swedish School of Textiles does, as well as promote Nordic fashion heritage, fashion entrepreneur Paul Frankenius founded the 'Fabric of Life Award'. And yesterday, for the first time ever, Chinese-Swedish couture designer Louise Xin took home the Talent Award.

Louise Xin Couture, launched in November 2020, is the world's first ever rental-only couture brand. Xin believes, “rental is the new way of shopping”. Her dresses are made from mostly upcycled fabrics and are sewn by hand. Her work also has a humanitarian side, with her fashion show, staged in September this year, raising awareness of genocide in Uyghur amongst other notable causes.

Xin's Stockholm 2021 Fashion Week presentation raised awareness of genocide in Uyghur. Photo: Emma Grann

“This award is so much bigger than me,” Xin told Vogue Scandinavia of her win. “It’s not about me but rather about the people the fashion show is dedicated to. This award meant their voice got heard. The fashion industry is listening and we are going to do everything we can to create a better world for everyone. A world where the fashion and the textile industry can continue to flourish but no longer at the cost of our environment and human lives.”

The prize ceremony took place in Borås, where the Swedish School of Textiles is located. This was a deliberate decision, explains Frankenuis, to further cement Borås as the unofficial fashion capital of the country. The jury featured an esteemed panel of Swedish and international industry insiders including Vogue Scandinavia's eco beauty expert Babba Riveria.

Xin was awarded for her true "respect for fabric and clothes". Photo: Emma Grann

“Xin’s work demonstrates in essence a true respect for fabric and clothes, for human values and the future of the planet. But it also embraces deep-seated ambitious artistic ideals of fantasy and magic,” Frankenius said in his speech at the ceremony.

With sustainability being something all brands need to focus on, Frankenius believes this award is an important step in creating change. “I have worked with several fashion brands, both high-end and high-street, and, despite the company, sustainability has always been following me,” he explains. “Therefore it was no question that the award needed to highlight sustainability and innovative thinking within textile.”

Xin wearing some of her creations. Photo: Louise Xin

Frankenius also hopes the award will become a tool to raise awareness to the work of the Swedish School of Textiles. “The Swedish School of Textiles has an immense research team that researches new materials and more sustainable production methods daily, the initiatives are endless,” he adds.