Zhihan was born in Jilin, China. Her first encounter with fashion was during a modeling contest held in her hometown in 2004. One segment of the competition involved each contestant being given a piece of fabric, which they then had 10 minutes to cut and drape around themselves, with the objective of creating the most striking look possible. At that moment, Zhihan knew exactly what career she wanted to pursue for the rest of her life, fashion design.
Zhihan received a BFA in Fashion Design from Northeast Normal University in Changchun, China. Her creativity and hard work did not go unnoticed, garnering her several prestigious design competition awards. In an international design competition held in Tokyo, Zhihan was awarded one of the accessory division’s top prizes for her work inspired by the architect I.M. Pei’s glass pyramid which sits in front of the Louvre.
In 2015, Zhihan moved to San Francisco to broaden both her fashion vision and design skills. The Academy of Art University, one of America’s top fashion design schools, is known for being quite rigorous and demanding, which has allowed Zhihan to hone her multi-tasking, organizational, problem-solving and team building skills. Her goal upon entering the Academy was to become a complete designer, one who was not only able to conceive of a collection, but then could bring it to life technically. Once again, her talent, determination and passion for excellence did not go unheralded. She has received many accolades, amongst them having been chosen as one of Levi’s Made & Crafted competition top 8 finalists from a field of 500, as well as being selected to show her portfolio in New York as part of the CFDA’s Fashion Future Graduate 2018 Showcase.
Zhihan has recently received an MFA in Fashion Design from the Academy of Art in August of 2018. As she begins her professional career, Zhihan hopes to work for one of America’s top fashion brands. She sees herself as part of a highly creative and dynamic design team, one where she can use all of her skills and talents and continue to grow creatively. Her dream is to someday build her own brand, where she can share her own personal fashion vision with the world.