December 3, 2013

The awakening of the Chinese dragon. Chinese designers determined to conquer the world and Chinese consumers refining their tastes in fashion

China fashion industry

About fashion, luxury and the already legendary Chinese market there’s been a steady flux of news over the last years: ever new stores being opened, sales of European traditional fashion houses going through the roof, taking down record after record and international shopping tourism becoming part of the consumer behaviour of the keen Chinese buyer with an appetite for European and American high fashion.

But during the last few weeks, even if the focus of the news on dynamism and the fashion industry has continued to fall on China, their content has undergone a perceivable shift. Intrigued, I decided to do a little bit of research on what appears to have been China’s so far underlying trends now becoming apparent and already seeming to set the stage for the next Chinese great impact on the world markets!

China fashion industry

>>> It is, first of all, about the anticipated and awaited for ascent of designers, brands and fashion Designed & Made in China. Designer Chris Chang’s Poesia, Exception de Mixmind, internationally promoted by China’s first lady, Trendy, whose CEO recently launched the Chinese version of 10 Corso Como in Shanghai are three among the brands proving coherence and relevance on the internal market, with some Chinese designers already in Europe: Uma Wang shows at Milan Fashion Week, Masha Mia in Paris and Huishan Hang in London.

Vogue China and iLook, the local phenomenon fashion magazine support them, Brand New China, a 100% Designed in China Beijing store has annual sales increases of over 60%, Lane Crawford and, recently, Barneys are testing the potential of Chinese designers, while CNN is taking notice of the newfound ambition of Chinese fashion.

>>>  Another news with a high impact potential is, this time, coming from the policy makers: Shenzen, the main apparel production centre in China (60% of the country’s total), with over 3 000 companies, a production amounting to over USD 26 billion and exports in excess of USD 10 billion is due to be transformed, it is foreseen for 2015, into the epicentre of a fashion centred cluster, by having its immense manufacturing capacity doubled with design, modelling and marketing features and facilities.

>>> Thirdly, the Chinese consumer’s taste for fashion seems to be heading into more nuanced different territory, with the weight of the new growth buzz shifting towards until now lesser known labels on the Asian market, such as Lanvin, Givenchy, Carven, Stella McCartney and Miu Miu, a behaviour characteristic of an increasingly mature and complex market, just as also pointed out by Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung.

China fashion industry

Vogue China is this month celebrating its 100th issue, with an edition boasting editorials shot exclusively by Mario Testino.


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Photos:, Vogue China,