Melissa Twigg

Melissa Twigg

Melissa Twigg is an award-winning British journalist getting over a serious case of geographical commitment phobia. After 12 years of living in Paris, Cape Town and Hong Kong, she recently returned to

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Fashion brands no longer see Hong Kong as bridge to 1.4 billion consumers
Make it in Hong Kong and you might just break into China. This unofficial business plan has served international fashion brands well for the last decade. But in a shift that could prove seismic for the city’s fashion industry, brands with little to no presence in Greater China are increasingly bypassing Hong Kong and making Shanghai or Beijing their first port of call. As a city that European and American brands identify with in terms of culture, language and shopping habits, Hong Kong has long benefited from its reputation as a China-light launch pad. Lane Crawford, which is headquartered in Hong Kong, has long been the first stop for foreign designers hoping the crack the China code.  The
Can Chinese fashion labels achieve global success?
China buys, produces and exports most of the world’s clothing, but most Western consumers would struggle to name a Chinese fashion brand. This begs the question: why are Chinese labels still struggling to find the spotlight? Xiaofeng Gu, a fashion marketing expert living between San Francisco and Shanghai, believes the absence of Chinese designers from the global fashion stage comes down to a combination of complacency and high cultural barriers. “China’s domestic market is so big that many brands are simply not motivated to make a global expansion,” he says. “Marketing to Western audiences is another challenge – I have seen a few shows staged by Chinese fashion brands at major fashion weeks
Big name fashion labels move manufacturing out of China
Since the start of Donald Trump’s presidency, famous brand names such as Uniqlo, Levi’s, Crocs, Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger have moved their entire manufacturing base out of China. Politics is not the only factor – rising labor costs and an increasing reluctance in China to produce low-cost goods were prompting the sourcing caravan to move on even before the trade war began. But there is no doubt Trump sped up their departure. “There is a real sense of panic,” says Sean Coxall, the president of solutions at Hong Kong-based supply chain manager Li & Fung. “We have been working with key customers on a backup plan since Trump came into office, and any company that did not do this in advance
Why China doesn’t keep up with the Kardashians (or Hadids)
A lack of connection combined with a series of cultural faux pas – and maybe just a touch of arrogance – are costing American social media influencers big when it comes to cracking China. In October last year Kim Kardashian joined Little Red Book (aka Xiaohongshu), a Chinese content and shopping platform that has more than 100 million users. The site's KOLs (key opinion leaders) are extremely powerful, directing consumers straight to the shopping pages. Kardashian has a mere 171,000 followers on the site, a far cry from the 135 million she has on Instagram, which is banned in China. Similarly, American model Karlie Kloss has 394,000 followers on the Chinese site compared to 8 million on Inst