Jianhui is best known for the sophistication of his Next Pashmina collections which combine art, elegance and practical design.
Yet Jianhui’s creative journey began when he was a child growing up in the countryside in a poor village in China. Hoping that one day her son would achieve great things, his mother named him Jianhui – which means ‘building a splendid life’.
Until he was nine his parents could not afford the 20p a term needed to send him to school, so Jianhui would spend his days up in the mountains. It was there that his lifelong fascination with colour and nature were born.
He loved to look at the wonderful array of flowers. With their bright shades of pink, purple and orange they offered a total contrast to the greyness of his family’s impoverished life.
Once his father opened a village shop and the family’s fortunes improved, Jianhui was able to go to school. But each day before school began he would run to the mountains to pick a flower to clip onto his pen to remind him of the fragile natural beauty that existed close by.
At school Jianhui quickly began to excel both creatively and academically. He studied ceramics in China and then came to the UK to pursue his MBA.
On arriving in London, Jianhui became fascinated both by the city and its people, with the combination of energetic urban life in sharp contrast to the beauty of London’s many parks and green spaces.
Jianhui’s creative instinct was drawn to the jewellery women wore in colours and vibrant designs that he had never seen before. So when preparing for a return visit to China, Jianhui decided to make his mother some jewellery, but with his own distinctive twist. Using second-hand pieces he found in Portobello Road, he recreated the beautiful flowers that had captured his childhood imagination.
It is from creating these original designs that Jianhui London was born.
Over the past 7 years the company has flourished. Jianhui’s unique designs are not only loved by high-end fashion boutiques and jewellery shops around the world, but also acclaimed by MoMA, V&A, la Rinascente.
Jianhui holds an ambition that is ‘ethical by design and sustainable by nature’.