It might be hard to predict which trends will sweep China in the next decade, but if I had to bet money, it’d involve whatever first lady Peng Liyuan wears outside.
A famous singer and celebrity in her own right, she’s adding diplomat, philanthropist and fashion icon to her long list of achievements, while inspiring consumers to look to their local designers for the latest looks.
Is there a bright future for domestic Chinese designers in a market saturated with imported brands and designer knockoffs? A look at some of her recent fashion statements might hold the answer:
When the first lady wears a domestic label, stocks soar. Her clothing is often simple and timeless, but with traditional Chinese touches that draw from ancient designs. Companies like Exception, who are often credited for the first lady’s coveted wardrobe, have experienced massive. Stocks for brands like Exception, who are often credited for the first lady’s coveted wardrobe, rose 10% just a few days after her appearance. This resurgence of domestic brands loyalty and traditional craftsmanship trickles down to every consumer. Clothing, architecture and décor with a quintessential Chinese design continue to attract young people who want to own a piece of the past.
Rise of the Middle Class
The nod towards domestic fashion comes as great news for a booming group of middle class consumers who want something special. Emerging local fashion houses are outfitting celebrities with impeccably designed clothing for $300-400, and gaining a following.
For many years, brands like Coach, DKNY and Reiss that bridge the gap between high and middle class have found the most success, but there’s still a largely untapped market, especially in second and third-tier cities.
The Future of Luxury
While some fashionistas are still willing to spend most of their paycheck on luxury items, brands like Armani have expanded their lines to offer more affordable collections, and we’ll see the results of their labor in the next few years. Brands that will truly find success are the ones who invest in understanding the Chinese culture, such as their major holidays and gift-giving tradition. Aspirational brands that middle-class consumers buy to associate themselves with the wealthy (i.e. Chanel and Louis Vuitton) also continue to gain popularity, as they tap into the emotional and experiential satisfaction of owning luxury products.
Now that we’ve got you thinking about what’s hot in fashion, check out the Trends for China’s Mobile Market.