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The devil doesn't wear thermals

By Chen Jie ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-01-23 07:39:15

The devil doesn't wear thermals

Su Mang, editor-in-chief of Chinese Bazaar, has grown up with China's fashion industry. Jiang Dong / China Daily

Chinese Bazaar's editor-in-chief's derision of long johns made her a public figure. But there's more than opinions about underwear underneath Su Mang's storied rise in the country's fashion industry. Chen Jie reports.

Making thermal underwear a hot topic made Su Mang a household name in China.

Chinese Bazaar's editor-in-chief became a controversial figure shortly after declaring long johns a fashion no-no on a talk show in 2007.

"To wear or not to wear" became not only a point of debate but also a source of social media jokes.

Yet before becoming known to the general public, the 43-year-old had for a decade been known in the fashion industry as China's Chinese Anna Wintour, or the Chinese Devil Wears Prada.

Yet Su's and Wintour's backgrounds are hardly alike.

Wintour was born into a family of journalists and surrounded by a developed fashion industry from a young age.

Su was born into a family of musicians in East China's Shandong province's capital, Jinan. And fashion magazines were a new concept when she entered the sector in the 1990s.

While the London style icon adopted her signature bob hairstyle at age 14, Su began to play guzheng (a Chinese zither) in her school ensemble at that age.

She started studying the instrument at age 5, won a national competition at 9 and trained for four years at Beijing's China Conservatory of Music before joining the Performing Arts Ensemble of the Armed Police.

It was a dream job sought by many - but not Su.

She had a different dream.

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