Chinese fashion

Chinese fashion

The future of fashion may be tier-2 Chinese cities
Buddhism and Hermès are unlikely bedfellows, but a former monastery in Chengdu has become a center for selfies and handbags, thanks to the brightly lit Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li mega-mall.  While the pandemic has contributed to China’s role as a future fashion leader, with cities to rival Paris and Milan, that doesn’t mean all the attention should be focused on Shanghai. Far from it, in fact. While Western luxury brands have traditionally poured all of their resources into securing the best sites in Chinese international hubs, these cities are becoming saturated and cripplingly expensive.  The next big frontier arguably lies in capturing the market in so-called tier-two and tier-three cities. “G
The man who brought Western fashion to China
French fashion designer Pierre Cardin, who died on December 29, 2020 at the age of 98, was a pioneer for Western fashion in China.  In 1979 he became the first Western fashion designer to stage a fashion show in China, soon after the country adopted its reform and opening-up policy. In 1983, he opened a Beijing outpost of his Parisian restaurant Maxim’s about 3km from Tiananmen Square. The high-end establishment is where many Beijingers had their first taste of authentic French food without having to set foot in France. After his death, the China team of Pierre Cardin hosted a memorial service at the restaurant to honor the entrepreneurial designer. The dining hall was arranged with festive
Instagram crashes through China's Great Firewall to woo wealthy shoppers
Banned in China but popular among the country’s elite, American-owned social media site Instagram is a ‘gold mine’ for international brands to reach the country’s luxury shoppers, according to experts. Launched in 2010, Instagram is part of a long list of websites and apps banned by the Chinese government. Facebook, Google and Twitter were blocked, followed a few years later in 2014 by Instagram. In its place, Chinese-owned social media sites have sprung up, gaining millions of followers for a local audience. But experts believe that many international brands are missing out on the vast captive audience of some of the richest, most sophisticated customers in the country, as Instagram has ris
Why stylish pedestrians from China are showing up on your feed
Every Tuesday and Thursday, Inkstone Explains unravels the ideas and context behind the headlines to help you understand news about China. Videos of stylish people walking on the streets of China are cropping up on social media out of seemingly nowhere. A couple in matching black and white outfits, paired with a bag by an avant-garde Japanese designer. A buff man wearing a white tank top that exposes his defined biceps, with a guitar bag on his back. A woman dressed in traditional Chinese hanfu and elaborate makeup while holding a fan. The videos have racked up millions of views on TikTok and Twitter in the space of a few months. street fashion in china is a whole nother breed and i love it
Chinese retail is getting a nationalistic boost
In China, nationalism sells. Months of a grueling trade war with the US and geopolitical spats with Asian neighbors have stoked nationalistic fervor among millennials, who are flexing their spending muscle, splashing out on Made-in-China brands at the expense of foreign icons. Dr Yu, a skincare business unit of the century-old Shanghai Jahwa, is one of the top names among the “patriotic” brands that Chinese consumers are gravitating toward to counter Western brands.  The unit, whose products are co-developed with local doctors, saw a seven-fold increase in sales to $8.6 million in December.  “The millennials are more faithful to Chinese brands which are capable of delivering equally good qua
Designing clothes for China’s working women
When Alicia Lee launched her own fashion label, more than seven years ago, it was something of an uphill struggle. In many ways the design part was the easiest. Finding distributors and factories prepared to commit to smaller production runs was the trickiest part. It was particularly difficult for the Beijing-based designer, who was located some distance from where most China garment factories are. Being in the capital, however, did offer one huge advantage – the concentration of media organizations there made it easy to cultivate contacts from fashion and lifestyle magazines. “When I launched in 2012, the designers here got a lot of attention,” recalls Lee. “It was easy to get exposure wi
Made by ‘mermaids’: China’s unique fish-skin fashion
You Wenfeng is one of only a few people who know how to create clothing from fish skin, a skill of the ethnic Hezhen people – who were once so skilled plying the waters of the nearby Heilong River that they are said to be “descended from mermaids.” The 68-year-old woman from Tongjiang, a city in China’s northeastern Heilongjiang province near the border with Russia, fears the loss of the ancient tradition. But that may start to change. She has started teaching others her craft. The exotic aquatic leather has also caught the eye of international fashion designers working for the likes of Dior and Prada.
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
After KFG and Plada, Chinese lookalike sparks ‘disgust’
Chinese brand “Cherlss & Keich” has denied it was a copycat, after consumers complained of being tricked by its close resemblances with Singaporean fast-fashion brand Charles & Keith. On the Twitter-like Weibo, some users said they shopped at stores that looked almost the same as Charles & Keith’s only to find the brand name on the products was spelled differently.  The Cherlss & Keich brand is run by a leather product company in the southern city of Guangzhou. In photos posted on social media, the designs of its products, shopping bags and the storefronts all bear close resemblances to those of the Singaporean brand.  But an employee at Cherlss & Keich denied the company had copied from th
How a Chinese student became one of the world’s most sought-after models
In the space of mere months, David Yang went from a novice model to being featured on a billboard in Times Square in New York. Yang’s whirlwind rise to fame began when he received a call from his agent while in Kyoto, Japan. The model was told to fly to London to get a US visa and to book a ticket to New York for a potential shoot with H&M. Within weeks, Yang found himself on a beach shooting the images that would ultimately see him become the campaign poster-boy for the Swedish fast-fashion retailer and taking up prime real estate on a billboard in New York’s famous square. Two years later and Yang still can’t quite believe the life-changing series of events that happened to him. “It was a