Shangguan Zhe launched Sankuanz just over a decade ago and the brand’s cult-like following has since developed both in his native China and internationally. For SS20, Zhe showed Sankuanz’s new collection in a historic metal workshop in Paris.

Following FW19’s collection inspired by the shape of orcas, Sankuanz’ Spring/Summer 2020 collection pulled inspiration from the tropes of the American Old West, i.e. the cowboy trend that has been such a hit of late. Think Red Dead Redemption but styled with industrial jewelry and flared pants.

Classic Wild West signifiers — rodeo shirts, chap pants, and fringed jackets — were rendered in the season’s key color, a flaming shade of purple, and adorned with Swarovski crystals and colorful sprayed-on graffiti. The styling was quite tongue-in-cheek, adding a welcome touch of humor via some particularly short shorts worn with deliberately clashing long coats and garish giraffe prints.

Cowboys aside, the collection also made an effort to subvert traditional men’s tailoring with unusual cuts such as a short-sleeved blazer, tribal patterns, ruched fabrics running down the sleeves, and crystalline logos. If we’re discussing the formal outfits in terms of wearability and shelf life, Sankuanz is proving far better, ahem, suited to simplicity.

Among the most striking looks in the show were the refined classic black blazer and pants combination worn as a two-piece without an undershirt, and some slick patent leather boots, showing promise for the brand’s footwear beyond the chunky sneakers and sandals for which it’s better known. Speaking of footwear, SS20 introduced a brand new collab with Timberland, updating the classic 6-Inch Boot with colorful modifications.

Words by Max Grobe
Associate Fashion Editor
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