LOS ANGELES, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Chinese American fashion designer Vivienne Hu was presented Visionary Artist Award by the University of Southern California (USC) Pacific Asia Museum Saturday for her creative contributions to boosting Asia-Pacific cultural exchanges through design and arts.
Hu was an investment banker turned fashion designer. Born and raised in China, she had her university education in Europe. She worked as financier at a leading investment bank in Wall Street, prior to studying fashion design at Parsons School of Design in New York.
In 2012, Hu launched her namesake brand, which has been selected by the Council of Fashion Designers of America as one of the resident brands of New York Fashion Week since 2014.
Her designs blended European elegance and New York street style while incorporating exotic Asian elements. At the heart of her design philosophy is the spirit of independent women, displaying both femininity and individuality in a unique way.
Last year, Hu presented a collection that was inspired by murals in the Mogao grottoes in Dunhuang, a 1,600-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwest China.
The designs captured the essence of timeless art through rich amber, indigo, green and cinnabar tones that famously colored the walls of the cave, and embraced the synthesis of expertly layered silk garments and distinctly cut knits, with tailored wool outer layers lined with furs.
The looks were praised immediately after they came out and remain among her most well-received pieces of designs to date.
"We are delighted to present Vivienne Hu for her creative contributions to furthering Asian design, fashions and arts," said Selma Holo, interim director at the USC Pacific Asia Museum, at the Gala in Pasadena, California.
Hu said that the Chinese culture was an essential element rooted in her design.
"It has always been an honor and delight to represent my culture and my roots through my design," she told Xinhua in an interview.
Hu said she had exchanges and cooperation with Chinese partners in recent years, and shared ideas with Chinese fashion designers.
Hundreds of art lovers, donors and collectors attended the annual Gala.
Established in 1971, USC Pacific Asia Museum is one of a few U.S. institutions dedicated to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum's mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts of Asia and the Pacific Islands.