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Carrie Hammer features role models, not runway models, at Shanghai show

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When American designer Carrie Hammer made her mark at last month's glossy Shanghai Fashion Week, it was not just with the clothing on show but with the models she used. Because her models were not professional runway models but women at the top of their professions across Asia. Thus the name of her show: Role Models not Runway Models.

U.S.-based Hammer didn't start out as a designer. She was in digital ad sales in New York. "You know those ads on the internet that you have to sit through before you watch a video? That was me," says Hammer. She became a designer out of frustration at searching for professional outfits that were comfortable and attractive.

Hammer, who started her company nearly four years ago, told CNBC, "I ask my clients what they want. They say they want simple things like pockets. My biggest joy are from emails and photos from my customers who say 'This is me on a panel. I felt amazing.' "

Meet some of the stars of the Shanghai show.

—By Pauline Chiou
Posted November 26, 2015

Aaron Berkovich and Marcella Davie | Peking Productions