Angelica Cheung—the most powerful fashion editor you’ve never heard of

Magazine spread featuring Angelica Cheung

Everyone in the West knows Anna Wintour. But the editor-in-chief of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung, is celebrating 14 years of relentlessly phenomenal success.

Her magazine is so dense with ads, it could choke a camel. Angelica—who as a little girl, grew up in Beijing with her own copy of Mao’s famous Little Red Book—now edits arguably the world’s most important fashion magazine. Though the youngest of Vogue’s various editors-in-chief around the world, her edition is more than twice the size of its US and UK sister publications, with Vogue China reaching approximately 1.6 million readers in print and online.

Though many Western global fashion gurus thought China was not nearly ready for a top-tier fashion magazine, when Angelica launched Vogue China in 2005, its first printing of 300,000 copies quickly disappeared off the newsstands—and a second printing was needed to meet demand. Every year since then, Angelica’s magazine—one of 16 global editions—has made a profit.

But more impressive than Vogue China’s phenomenal financial success, has been Angelica’s steely determination to painstakingly nurture China’s own young designers, models, fledging fashion writers and photographers. She could have taken the easy route and simply built up the work of the West’s premier designers, and rehashed hoary old Asian fashion clichés like embroidered slippers and silken cheongsams (that “our readers’ grandmothers would wear”). Which is exactly what many of the West’s high priests of haute couture pressed her to do.

To read the full version of this feature, order your copy of ALHAUS magazine No. 4 today.

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