Chinese New Year is upon us, and 2017 is a big one. It’s the Year of the Rooster: the most motivated of all of the 12 Chinese zodiac symbols.

So, while 2016 (the Monkey) was a depressing year of drear, 2017 is all about pushing on. According to Chinese zodiac, those born in the Year of the Rooster make their careers a priority. We asked three London-based Chinese designers about their goals for the year ahead.

Huishan Zhang: Dog  Huishan Zhang's spring/summer 2017 collection

It’s a big year for Zhang who was recently shortlisted for this year’s Vogue Fashion Fund. Zhang’s first collection after graduating from the BA at CSM was snapped up by Browns and he has been building a loyal clientele ever since. He says he wants to hit the ground running: “The Rooster is the animal that wakes up the earliest and I will use this as my mantra for the coming season​. I am preparing for my London Fashion Week catwalk show​ and I am up for this year’s Vogue Fashion Fund.”

Zhang’s upcoming autumn/winter 2017 collection will reference the Chinese Painter Qi Baishi​ work which specifically reflects, “when people miss their loved ones the most.” Lucky for Zhang, he is headed home to his hometown Qing Dao in China this weekend, and intends to party for the full 15 days of the celebration. “Every night there is a different party or get together,” he tells us. No doubt he’ll fit some work in along the way.

Xiao Li : Rabbit  Xiao Li's spring/summer 2017 collection

Since launching her collection of bubble gum bright space age knitwear in 2014,  Xiao Li has won an armful of awards including the Loro Piana award for best knitwear collection and the Diesel International Talent Support prize. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the LVMH prize. She’s obviously no stranger to hard work.

“We will have our first on-schedule presentation during London Fashion Week and just signed with a new showroom during Paris Fashion Week. So, it is a new start for the brand,” she says. In an ode to family, the starting point for Li’s autumn/winter 2017 collection was a coat from her father. “Every time I wear it I feel like I am getting a hug from him,” she says.

Ryan Lo: Snake  Ryan Lo's autumn/winter 2016 collection

While Ryan Lo may have “a major show next month and a very exciting collaboration with one of [his] favourite brands,” he’s more tongue in cheek when it comes to symbolism. The designer muses, “Roosters remind me of an episode of Sex and The City.” (We know the one).

For autumn/winter 2016 Lo put on a fully-fledged Queen of China themed show, complete with floral tissue arches and the Disney soundtrack to Mulan. The collection comprised oriental brocade eider-down puffer coats and obi belts. “You only need to look at this collection to see that I was so homesick,” says Lo. But he knows just how to find a piece of home right here in London “a hot pot from China Town!”

Text by Abigail Southan