How to Apply Traditional Culture to Modern Fashion? A View of a Costume Designer

Introduction: This session will repeatedly emphasize the importance of traditional culture to the design of comprehensive universities. Unlike domestic art institutions and foreign art institutions, market recognition is the most important to schools, so innovation should also be rooted in Chinese tradition, closer to life. Hope to chat with students in major colleges and universities about the difference between courses, look forward to the industry predecessors to share ideas.

Subject: How to apply traditional culture to modern fashion

Participants: Lengyun Group No.9

Time: 2021-5-22

Moderator – Yutong – Wuxi – Fashion Design Student – China 211 colleges Jiangnan University clothing design undergraduate students, the fashion industry has a lot of love. Participated in the “Alshan Wenzheng”, “Vance Cup” and other design competitions. Hope that can engage in clothing design work for the domestic outstanding independent designers, and stylists.

What Elements Are Included In Traditional Culture?

1. Pattern design

(1) Guizhou from the river non-residual poverty-relief creative design works

The Miao Yi Autonomous Prefecture in southeastern Guizhou Province from Jiang County is a designated poverty alleviation work linked county of Jiangnan University, a university directly under the Ministry of Education. According to the characteristics of the non-material cultural resources from Jiangxian, following the specific requirements of the Ministry of Education for poverty alleviation work, Jiangnan University poverty alleviation work, in particular, listed a piece of cultural (non-residual) poverty alleviation work, guidance, and training from all ethnic groups in Jiangxian non-genetic inheritors, non-relict traditional process products innovative design and production and sales.

These are the uses of the transformation of the pattern by the schoolmaster’s sister. The first picture we can see from the original local pattern to secondary creation, design theme: “non-residual integration into contemporary life”, before and after brewing and design for up to 8 months, and finally completed more than 70 pieces from Jiang Wencheng product design program, design program involving about 300 sets of creative products specific design effect map, to provide from Jiang non-genetic inheritor in product design and innovation reference and application.

Concept: the concept of product design into landing products that can be sold in various tourist destinations In Guizhou, transforming into production. To design inheritance and development of the new era of traditional technology, to design and guide the market from the river cultural creative product consumption, to design and enhance the production efficiency and product added value from the traditional process, to design and improve the economic income of traditional process practitioners, to attract more embroidery ladies engaged in innovative traditional process products production and sales. I think you must have a certain understanding of local folklore, as well as history and culture, you can make secondary creations of local products, to help them achieve poverty alleviation. But in fact, many people should be on the pattern of deformation, because if it is completely original, it is unlikely, after all, to combine folk traditions.

Audience Linchong:

I think the pattern design must first have traditional cultural elements, and secondly, we need to consider how to combine with the layout of clothes. Wouldn’t it seem a little simple to print a picture of these ethnic minority winds directly on a T-shirt in a square or rectangular shape?


Some people extract colors from local works, and then some based on the colors of the original work, are fine-tuned by lightness and purity to become another whole new set of design pieces. It may be that the teacher asked for the form of creation is the deformation of the pattern, and then just a simple collage on the prototype, this is just a basic scheme. Because it’s just a competition, but if you’re going to design, to help with local products, it’s going to take more research.

Audience Wangqian:

The culture behind it is also a medium of communication with consumers, but the good-looking graphics will inevitably appear thin.

Dr. Lengyun:

So how to apply the traditional pattern to contemporary design? Through secondary creation?


I think secondary creation is an aspect because it just becomes more modern, in line with the modern aesthetic. But if you want to help the local economy, think more diversely. Traditional patterns can be applied to home textile clothing, because with distinct national cultural characteristics, so it can be more closely integrated with the feelings of the nation while protecting the heritage of non-relict culture. China has more nationality, and we have a responsibility to pay for reflecting the cultural diversity of all ethnic groups.

Should be the cause of this year’s COVID, from WGSN, COLORO, and other well-known color prediction platform can be seen with the previous years less light saturation of the epidemic color, this year’s popular color is more inclined to saturation of the color. This year’s revival of the Art Nouveau movement has also given more designs geometric and streamlined forms. The aesthetic transformation of the Art Nouveau movement ranges from Baroque complexity to modern minimalism. This “less is more” style is becoming more and more popular.

This is the spring and summer of 2021 Shenzhen International Home Textile Art and Home Decoration Exhibition. I think a lot of the works inside have a distinct art nouveau movement form expression, can see the Chinese Pattern and Western colors, and some patterns of the combination is very perfect.

Audience Linchong

The application of traditional culture to modern clothing, the purpose is to focus on the transmission of culture, or as a blue sea, in the commercial development of a type of clothing style?


I think there is a need to inherit and innovate on traditional culture. Therefore, international trends are also an essential factor, which will be more able to carry forward our traditional culture, rather than stick to their own. I think every brand will change to a certain extent after coming to the Chinese market to meet the needs of the local market. Therefore, the degree of traditional culture ratio should be different degrees of differentiation, some brands may be more trending, some brands may be the older audience, so it will be more traditional. So, if you want to create a brand yourself, will you choose a more traditional element, or will you be a little trendier?

Audience Wangqian

Combine local culture with design forms that are more in line with market demand. Culture is content, design is the carrier. It depends on the market in which it is sold.

2. Traditional Chinese colors

On the study of Chinese color, what we did at that time was to study the color of Tangka, which may not be the same as the general sense of Chinese color, because it is a very distinct regional ethnic characteristic. I think everyone’s impression of Chinese color should generally be the color of Chinese painting. But the color of the nation, the characteristic of the nation is also an essential part, which is also I think the national style.

Color Tang is painted Tang card, and color Tang in the green Tang set elegant and beautiful, giving people a clear and peaceful, natural, and beautiful enjoyment. Green Tang often uses a variety of techniques on a picture for multi-level, multi-step depiction, the composition is complex and undisturbed, rich in color, and unified. Its traditional drawing method is all-natural plants, mineral pigments, rich colors, dense lines. Green Tang contains blue, turquoise, red-green Thangka. And the blue tone is the largest painting school of Sichuan-Tibet Tangka – the common color of the Ying-Tang faction in drawing the Green Tang Dynasty, so the market is widely circulated is the blue Tangka, turquoise, red-green, respectively, Sichuan-Tibet three Tangka painting school of the remaining two factions – qin-Ze faction and the Green-Tang common color of the Chi faction. This is my summary of the Green Thangka, this kind of thing can not be painted on the clothes, so only through the color on the canvas to understand it, if you want to apply it to the clothes can only be created by yourself.

Audience Wangxinzhi

It’s very creative to use local culture to melt into clothing.


This is the color difference between the major painting schools, can anyone see the difference?

Audience Linchong:

It feels visually different.

Audience Wangqian:

The color scheme is very different. The first one is very bright and has high contrast.


It can have different effects on different media, and that pigment is mineral pigment, so the overall purity looks very high.

It represents a very rich meaning, so this may also be his color characteristics are very distinctive.

Audience April

The Ying Tang painting school had a bit feeling of a Qing Dynasty Qianlong period.


Because different schools of painting are a process of historical evolution, it happened to be a point in time when the Qing Dynasty worshipped Buddhist culture.

These are the production process; this process has a great impact on color. Is anyone very interested in the history of Tibetan Buddhism? Thangka’s history can be comparable to Chinese painting, the history is also very long, and at present, no one is used in clothing, I know only Mr. Guo Pei. Mr. Guo Pei had an haute couture show before, inspired by Thangka. But I think in today’s world, we can apply these elements to clothing because there is a lot of minority clothing in the Southwest region is affected. People are not very impressed with Thangka now, but I believe there are a lot of people who know it because it influence on Chinese culture is very far-reaching. If we can apply it to clothing, I believe there will be a certain audience. In addition, there are so many inspirations and elements that can be tapped into Chinese culture, not just Thangka.

Audience Wangqian

Yes, some traditional color schemes are also international.

Audience Linchong

I’m thinking about how to apply traditional culture to clothes and how to make more customers like them.

Audience April

Commercial thinking is needed, not just artistic.

3. Traditional Dyeing and Weaving Process In China

Next is the traditional process of dyeing and weaving. Has anyone learned to dye?

Audience Wangqian

I’ve done a cultural project that combines blue dyeing with embroidery.

Products and dyed fabrics were converted from the project at that time.


Tie-dyeing has a long history in Chinese folk, it is the dyeing fabric part of the stranding so that it can not be the unified coloring of a printing and dyeing technology. The technique of lidding is ever-changing and interesting, people can use yarn, wire, rope, and other forms of fabric combination after dyeing, and then the stranded lines one by one removed, thus forming a different shade, layers of color halo, and wrinkles. The picture above should be a picture of the teacher leading his classmates to dye and weave in the elective course. Because this course is not my own experience, I would like to do such a process, but there is no opportunity.

Audience Linchong

I’ve seen some dyed T-shirts at some stalls in Four Seasons Qing, Hangzhou, and I feel the color of the fabric is like a rainbow.

4. History of Chinese clothing

History of ancient clothing

  • The history of Qin and Han clothing 
  • The history of social clothing in the north of Wei Jin City 
  • The history of the five generations of clothing in the Tang Dynasty 
  • Song Yuan clothing history  
  • The history of clothing in the Ming Dynasty 
  • The history of clothing in the Qing Dynasty 
  • The history of modern clothing 

Do you know the characteristics of Chinese clothing history? Han clothes, cheongsam is very hot. Today I would like to focus on the cheongsam, have you ever heard of “province”? This does not pronounce as “sheng”, read sang three sounds, this is a part of the cheongsam.

The location is probably on the side of the cheongsam there. Today’s cheongsam is usually improved, so the requirements for body size are very high, but the traditional platform cheongsam province is very loose and belongs to the body of all girls can be applied to the flat cheongsam.

Audience Linchong

So, at that time, the cheongsam audience did not pick people.


Now everyone’s misunderstanding of the cheongsam is too deep, always feel that we must be particularly good-looking people to wear.

Audience April

Traditional Chinese clothing is wide and large, will not highlight the figure and there is no tailoring.


Now the cheongsam form is very rich and diverse, you can choose according to their own hobbies profile.

In these pictures, we can also see a form of cheongsam change, influenced by Western culture. Sleeve tailoring, as well as provincial tailoring, have all changed dramatically becoming more in line with women’s curves. The article is also from the original peony, including some large flowers into some abstract lines and graphics, these are influenced by the Western Art Nouveau movement.

People’s minds are also a certain leap from the previous kind of broad cheongsam. Chinese women’s tradition is not convenient to show their bodies to outsiders, but now we dare to show their bodies, wear somebody shape clothing, can see the beauty of women’s curves. Just now a lot of people are talking about Chinese clothes, but I think Han clothes and cheongsam meaning is very different. Cheongsam has more political connotations, and our Zhongshan dress is the same, but the Han clothing I feel more like the Chinese nation’s traditional complex. And I think, for example, in the diplomatic occasion to negotiate affairs, Chinese can wear cheongsam Zhongshan clothes, but the Han clothing is open to discussion, this is only my personal opinion.

The Presentation of Traditional Culture In Clothing

1. Folklore Museum Exhibition Display

These are old-fashioned cheongsam, Zhongshan dress, as well as water country clothes and new Chinese clothes. Water town clothing should be the characteristics of Jiangnan culture. This side looks like rivers and lakes are particularly dense, and then there are a lot of bridges.

2. Graduation works show


The show above is the graduation work of our undergraduates, and then the separate photos taken below are graduate students’ graduation works. The theme of this graduation design is “melting”, culture and natural ecology harmonious blend, the use of silk in the hands of weaving life’s beauty and health. On the one hand, its diffusion is “integration”, which means that the society learns to integrate and keep pace with the times based on inheriting excellent traditional culture. On the other hand, “melting” is the understanding of the meaning of the word “melting”, meaning that the events of the past year brought to people’s trauma, will eventually be healed by the healing of time.

Audience Linchong

I think these photos are more of a reflection of what you say about the second paragraph, there are some obvious elements of traditional culture.

3. Excellent Domestic Design Brand on The Traditional Cultural Elements of The Use

Finally, back to the definition of Chinese tradition, I think many designers have been in the definition of the Chinese style in a very superficial degree, such as just to give examples of some figuring elements, such as dragon bamboo fans. Have you ever seen Rauf Laurens’ dress designed for Fan Bingbing? That dress should be very famous.

I don’t think a Chinese designer can understand the Chinese style the same way as a foreign designer. Just the use of some very figuring elements. It is not only the use of elements but also deep into the like clothing layout, tailoring. And I think if you pile up this so-called Chinese element, you will end up making the garment look bad, that is, it will not achieve the desired effect.

Audience April

This pursuit is to attract attention, how to let others remember how to come so that a dragon robe like this foreign think of the Chinese elements.


This is the 2015 Armani show, I think their understanding of the Chinese style at that time, although stuck on a more superficial basis, the made is still very good-looking, there is Chinese low-key connotation.

Audience Linchong:

I think girls wear it to show a modern sense of classical Chinese temperament.


Overall, for the Chinese trend, my advice is not to build too much, not to gimmick too big on design.

Audience April:

Don’t be Chinese for the sake of the Chinese trend, don’t turn upside down.

Moderator’s Conclusion

I. What elements are included in traditional culture?

The culture behind the design is also the medium of communication with consumers, and we need to multi-faceted in-depth research on the background of consumer life, to make meaningful and temperature patterns. Color is not only the color of Chinese painting, but Chinese color is also the need for multi-faceted extracted from all ethnic groups.

2.  The Presentation of Traditional Culture in Clothing

The exhibition of outstanding graduates’ works of the school, and the exhibition of folklore halls and so on. Excellent brand: Xia Zi Chen, Jiangnan cloth. For the future development of Chinese style, designers should improve the aesthetic art working with western techniques. Chinese clothing brands should be younger and create fashion topics.

How Can Traditional Clothing Stall Vendors Upgrade the Business Models to Make Profits?

How Can Traditional Clothing Stall Vendors Upgrade the Business Models to Make Profits?

Introduction: The traditional wholesale model of the stalls continuously relies on the sales channels to the second and third-tier markets to achieve profits, contrasting with the increase in rental, and forming a strong contrast to before. Many stall owners with years of practice in the clothing wholesale markets have complained that it becomes more and more difficult to do businesses. Under such an uncertain economy environment, how to break the traditional model to achieve profitability?

Subject: How to upgrade the business model to achieve profitability in the traditional wholesale markets Participation: LengYun Fashion Group No.3

Date: 2021.5.15

Moderator: ELAN – Shantou – Wool knitting design ODM.

Background: work in the first-line wholesale market as a salesperson and is familiar with the operation of the wholesale market. Own a factory with 7 years of experience in wool knitting development and design.

Baize – Ningbo – Second reporter: graduated from clothing design and engineer. In 2019, worked as an assistant garment pattern maker. In mid-2020, after the company introduced 3D modeling software, now full-time work in clothing 3D modeling. Hope that the garment industry will achieve digitalization soon.

Current Situation of The Wholesale Stalls

1. Wholesale Markets’ Selling Mode

Let me briefly introduce the current wholesale stalls’ sales model. In the heat of the Tik Tok, Kuaishou, Taobao live, some owners chose to accept the changes of the new era, integrating with the platforms to start their live streaming sales. However, most of the conservative owners chose to work with different streamers to increase sales. Although accepting the changes of the new era and actively expanding the sales channel, current wholesale markets still heavily rely on offline sales.

Second reporter Baize: Will it be too expensive for the stall owners to cooperate with the popular streamer?


There’s a problem, but if you do it yourself, the cost is greater, and there are some owners who gave up because there is not enough online traffic. However, if the streamers bring the fans, they can quickly cash out on the sales. So, a lot of stalls choose to work with some streamers.

Second moderator Baize:

Without any fan base, attracting traffic is a real problem. But in the long run, if you can do it, is their own customers pool, comparing to cooperating with the streamers, the cost is more controllable, the conversion rate will be relatively higher.

Audience Zean:

Also, the general asking price of the famous streamer is not sky-high, and generally acceptable. If he or she were a popular streamer they will work directly with brands’ marketing. So, I think the streamers’ costs should be the prices that the stall owners are willing to bear.

Audience KK:

You say that until now they still rely on offline wholesale, what is the percentage? Who usually comes to pick up the goods?


Usually, the second and third line of the in-store wholesale, or some retail stores. Now some wholesale claimed that they are direct wholesalers they can pick up the goods with minimum quantities. And now they can unpack before buying the goods, in the past the goods were never unpacked before buying.

Audience Jean:

Big wholesale markets like the Thirteen Factories, the Four Seasons Green accept a minimum of 5 pieces.


It used to be all first-handed, full size and color, now it is not necessary. Lack of product differentiation is also a part of the reasons. If the customers do not purchase at yours, they can also get similar styles at others stores. Now customers will not wait, if the platoon is too long, they will ask for a refund. This year, the stalls increase prices, but then in fact the whole market is not always doing good, many owners said that the only good season is after the Chinese New Year. These are the difficulties facing the wholesaler now.

Reporter Baize:

So, what’s the reason for this year’s increase in the price of the stall? Is it related to the COVID?


The specific reason is also not clear. According to our industry assumptions, it could be that stall owners who did not take over the stalls have boosted their confidence in the market after the COVID outbreak, and there is more stalls owner think alike, and then the stalls naturally price increase. Take the Shantou market, it is a wool production center since last year many factories have started cross-border e-commerce. Although the factory business of cross-border e-commerce is booming, the profits are low. Cross-border e-commerce is likely to attract more factories’ attention this year.

2. Optimize the Physical Wholesale Stores to Give Full Play to The Physical Advantages

Because stalls face challenges from online sales, especially live streaming platforms, many stalls realize the importance of the decoration of the stalls, pay more attention to customers’ experience and service, play the advantages of the entity. Like Guangzhou’s APM, last year many stalls were doing live streaming, decoration style is mostly Korean style; the other in favor of the metal industry style, which is becoming more and more popular and in line with the preferences of young people.

Audience Baize:

So, the decoration of the stalls is for the visual effects of the live streaming?


A part of the reasons is that there is a venue for the streamers to broadcast, and another side is because people who are buying the goods now also watch the renovations. Reference to the first-line wholesaler’s decoration. If well decorated, the customers feel the competitiveness and taste. Some stall owners are afraid of live broadcasts in the stall affect the entity wholesale, some markets prohibited the stall live broadcast. Like Sha Henan City this year prohibited the stall live broadcast. Now Panyu has a lot of live broadcast supply chain bases. And what entity wholesale now has to do is to give customers a good on-site experience

Audience KK:

But the essence of live streaming sales is B2C, and your original wholesale stalls are different. The key is also two different business models. Customers who go to the physical stores mainly take many goods, need to communicate with the owner in many ways (delivery period, and style details), the purpose is clearer. And customers who watch live streaming value the experience more, or just to hang out, need to attract them in style and welcoming, their purpose is not strong.

Audience Baize:

Once heard from a host said that in the live broadcast, some of the guests in the store will bargain, which is not a good thing. I think even if you live broadcast at the stall, you must have a good soundproof place to be the live room. But if the audience can see the live broadcast with the high passenger flow, it will boost the audience’s shopping incentives. Just like offline shopping, many consumers like to “drop by”, there is a kind of attitude with the customers.

Audience Jean:

I also think that in the stall live broadcast room seeing the traffic does not have much impact on the customers, C-end customers essentially consider the style and price.

3. Wholesale stall product development model

Next, let me talk about the development model of the stall product. Now, most of the stalls are operating as companies. Although the company must hire professional designers, most of them copy the designs. In the era of the internet, the missing piece is not finding the design styles, but in many styles, how to filter out suitable for their brand positions, coupled with the creative inspiration, to make really valuable things. Can fashion designers keep up with the market and implement it into the real consumer market?

Audience Zean:

Many stall designers directly modify the clothing styles. I think the ability to modify is more powerful, but also more suitable for the mass market.

Audience Baize:

What is the difference between a modification and a copy?


Copying is to build the same product, and the modification is to change a bit based on the original design. But now the market version is copying original designs, homogenization is particularly serious. Many designers are currently design based on their aesthetic taste adding some popular elements, not tailored to the market, and the interactions with the product department involve some contradictions.

Audience Baize:

Recently in the group chat, many said the selection of the product is to understand the goods and understand the database. But now most designers do not analyze data, they are smoldering. I do not know if you have heard a designer introduce the collection, and mainly talking about his or her design ideas rather than introducing them from a consumer’s perspective.

Audience KK:

Data is important, but only half of the story. The other half still needs designers to have a sense of fashion and anticipate fashion trends.


Market goods can learn about professional brand companies, there is a professional team of buyers to analyze market information, feedback to designers, so that more accurate development, reduce waste of resources.

How To Self-Study To Achieve Traditional Model Innovation

  1. Learn new ways to promote your channels

What channels do you think can increase the exposure of the stalls?

Audience KK:

For example, online channels like 1688 can establish in-depth cooperation with brands.


Tik Tok live I know there is Guangzhou Dayuan, DANSO quality women’s wearing, these two do very well, you can search.

Audience Baize:

But for the live broadcast, as mentioned above, need to set up a special live broadcast center, increase the exposure of the entire market. The stalls do not know the feasibility of social media?


Since last year, many stall owners create personal IDs, shot a lot of small videos to gain fans, through the individuals to drive the traffic of the stalls. Some did well because the individuals got popular online, the stalls also became famous. And Xiaohongshu, in my opinion, mainly increases the exposure and market visibility, and if do a good job on the Tik Tok and Kuaishou, can indeed cash out and sell goods.

2. Focus on millennials’ fashion preferences

Next, focus on generation Z, the fashion preferences of Millennials. By creating a personality label, gives the brand empowerment, and creates a network of internet stars. Have you found out that now people are building an online famous store? For example, this year the outdoor trend is popular. Stores in all aspects to create own personalities, label the stalls so that more people will remember this stall. Although each stall has its positioning style but combined with the preferences of each generation of young groups, I think it is also important, after all, the market goods focus on popularity.

Audience Baize:

Generally, can attract the generation Z of the internet-famous stars, what are the characteristics?


Generation Z closely followed the fashion trends, like new things, and have their personality. So social media is also away.

3. An Upgrade in Product Development Mindset

In terms of style development, designers should focus on the market because market-oriented development fulfills the real demand for products, rather than self-aesthetic development. Many companies have good designers with design capabilities, but the styles developed are either exaggerated or do not meet the needs of the market. And the owners often go to the market, pay attention to the market, with years of experience they can grasp the market more accurately. In this regard, the owners have the responsibility to the designer to upgrade the mindset, not just to take the traditional form of copying the designs, or to design styles for personal preferences. The final product, that gets market recognition reflects the real value and achieves profitability. Companies that want to achieve the product development model should continue to explore and upgrade. Many designers are in the office, using the computer to find pictures and reviewing versions. Designers need to go to the market. Sometimes you must be creative and do something special? Is it necessary for the wholesale market?

Audience Baize:

I think it is very necessary to innovate in the wholesale market. There are risks, but you can lose your competitiveness if you keep following trends. Plagiarism costs are too low, and many consumers do not understand fabrics, only find the most cost-effective ones.

Audience KK:

Costume innovation, national trend design said quite a long time. But plagiarism in the clothing industry is so severe that original designs are hard to sustain. For example, The Tide is now very hot, I interviewed a seller, she was very attentive in doing the Australian clothing brands, the price belongs to the mid-range price. But when peers saw the market, they competed with low-end fabrics for the same design. She could not hold on and quit.


Speaking of domestic design, now more and more domestic designer brands are hit and indeed do a good job. There are also domestic niche designer brands that do a good job, but many price points are as expensive as designer brands.

Audience Baize:

This reason is very complicated, I remember Dr. LengYun especially has a video about designer brand pricing. I think on the one hand is continuous innovation, many people began to follow the trend, a style was overdoing, we must innovate again to maintain their uniqueness. After all, no one likes wearing the shirt, and today’s young people are also pursuing unique personalities. In addition, to control the proportion of goods, with an 80/20 law, there will be less risky innovative styles.

The Moderator’s Conclusion

Current Situation of Wholesale Stalls

  1. Cooperate With the Live Steamers with Still Focus On The Offline Bulk Selling
  2. Optimize The Physical Wholesale Stores, Play the Physical Advantages, Upgrade Decorations, Pay Attention To Experience And Service
  3. The Stall Product Development Model by The Hiring Of Designers, Designers Are Mostly Direct Copying

How To Self-Learn To Realize Traditional Model Innovation

  1. Learn New Channel Promotion Methods To Increase Exposure. Increase The Exposure On All Kinds Of Social-Media Platform Such As Xiaohongshu, And Tik Tok. Reference To Guangzhou Dayuan, DANSO Quality Women’s Wear As The Assessment.
  2. Focus On The Fashion Preferences Of The Millennials And Generation Z. Create Personal Label, Empower Own Brand, Create Internet Famous Stalls
  3. Product Development Mindset Upgrade, Focus On Innovation And Market-Oriented, To Develop Real Demand For Products.

The Current Situation of Women’s Clothing Market In Second-And Third-Tier Cities In China – Anhui As An Example City

Topic: The current situation and historical development of the second and third-tier markets

Participants: Lengyun Fashion Community 10th Group

Time: April 18th 2021

Publisher/Reporter: Darren – Hefei – Retail

Background on Darren: Clothing retail industry for 10 years, engaged in casual wear, affordable luxury, women’s wear brand management, operation of direct, affiliated and franchise brand management.

The Current Situation and Historical Development of The Second and Third-Tier Markets

1. Use 3 keywords to describe the situation of your second- and third-tier cities

My city is characterized by large changes in the city business centers while the traditional channels are still stable. Retailers and affiliated brands take up most of the market. Now the mall attracts large traffic, but the traffic on the street shops is unstable because the passenger flow is hugely impacted by the weather and the holidays.

The market has its ups and downs and evolution. Have you ever thought about the rise and fall of our market and its development reasons? I will share my thoughts in Anhui’s clothing industry.

2. My current city, Anhui’s introduction: the new and current top-three clothing center cities replacement

Our earliest clothing center in Anhui is Bengbu. Since the completion of the Jingpu Railway in the early 1920s, the railway has become the transportation center of Anhui Province, and it has established its position in the garment market with geography advantage.

In the 1980s, Anhui’s largest wholesale commodity market was built. At its peak, there were more than 3,000 merchants. More than 100 counties and cities in Northern Anhui, Jiangsu and Shandong have gathered here for passenger flow and goods. The second road market in Bengwu was once the top ten wholesale commodity markets in China before Yiwu took place.

Audience Jinxing: Where have all the clothes gone?

Reporter: There are three channels: inventory, sale, and clearance. In the wholesale center, a lot of goods are fully returned, not all were paid but return to the factory. Second market is Wuhu. Unlike the wholesale center in Wuhu, Wuhu has a commercial clothing center.

The picture above belongs to the local well-known commercial pedestrian street. The holiday traffic is particularly strong. It’s well developed now, but this commercial pedestrian street was a landmark of the city at the time. Wuhu City Business Card is Zhongshan Road pedestrian street, completed in 1999. It is a shopping, tourism, leisure culture, catering integrated commercial pedestrian street; In addition, Nanjing Road in Shanghai, the model of the commercial pedestrian street and the most recommended Hangzhou’s West Lake business circle is a model of the combination of the culture and business environment.

The third center now Anhui’s clothing center is the provincial capital Hefei. Hefei has a combination of a first-class wholesale market and commercial center. That is, the combination of the two properties of Bengbu and Wuhu. In 2004 Anhui white-haired clothing city first phase of business, the location of the back of Hefei station, convenient transportation. Subsequently, the second phase and the third phase has been built into the province’s largest clothing market, but also become a brand hosting investment center. I used to be in Baima. Anhui is one of the largest women’s clothing agents, operating agent Hangpai clothing. Many customers look for brands and buy goods in this market.

3. Types and changes of retail terminals:

Pedestrian streets and street shops: High rental and commission are also under pressure.

Community Stores: Changes in the residence demographic

Store: The main type, relying on the traffic of the mall complex

Basically, our shops are divided into three types, due to the high rent, the most pressured is pedestrian streets, and community shops.

Community stores were stable in second- and third-tier cities before 2010, but with the development of the city and the fluctuation of housing prices, the number of visitors became very unstable. The original community shops rely on customers. Now many replaced with the community, home ownership, housing sales, and changes are very large. At present, little of community shop retained. Most are private stores where the community’s members start their businesses.

What about the market in which we are located?

Audience Jingxin: I have both street shop shop and community shop. Shopping mall shop has a large area with low rent. We have two commercial shops. The biggest problem now is that there is no business.

Reporter: There is few pure community shops because now in the second- and third-tier cities, many neighborhoods occupancy rate is not high. And the mobility of people is high, buying, selling, and renting transaction are more frequent now. So, the development of community stores in recent years is not good. For many shops in the high-end community, passenger flow is very low. The occupancy rate of the middle and high-end districts is much lower than that of the newly needed districts. So, they are faced with purchasing power and passenger flow problems, as well as people’s management.

What are the good shopping malls in the area?

AUDIENCE Liang Siqi: Guangzhou Tianhe City is very busy, belongs to the kind of commercial complex.

AUDIENCE TOMORROW: To name Beijing’s SKP, Tianjie’s Lebin, Xi’an, they are tens of millions level stores.

REPORTER: Now the development is mainly shopping mall complex. With the provincial capital city and economically developed cities grow over time, it will attract more clothing brand companies to enter, Mixc City Mall, Yintai, Wu Yue and other mall brands opened more and more commercial centers, Sand Boat, Aiqin Hai and other good mall complex is also entering. The new mall policy should be supportive. After all, not all like Yintai and Mixc City Mall, they have good conditions with high cost.

AUDIENCE JINGXIN: The main shopping malls we are in have only geographical advantages.

Current Situation of The Dealer Sector

1. The Strategy of Differentiation Between Camp Distribution and Market

Second and third-tier city clothing industry is mainly made up of agent dealers, what types of local agents, distributors?

Many companies have more than 20 brand agents, these companies in the channel and shopping malls have a lot of bargaining power. Every year, Mixc City Mall’s New Year bell-ringing event invites our boss. Because we have nearly 8 stores in the Mixc City Mall.

General distribution agency companies are divided into two categories.The first category is a shopping mall platform as the main battleground of retail dealers. The main layout of second- and third-tier city centers, regional dealer, direct selling, mainly engaged in brand like foreign luxury, domestic brands, tide brand and group goods. I call this a retail dealer. This model is direct-oriented, shopping malls-based, meaning the store is their properties. The company in the picture is typical of this model.

The second category is the street shop as the main battleground of wholesale dealers. The main layout of third-tier cities and county-level market. Agent dealer formed the joint venture with a small number of direct and group buyers. I call this model as wholesale dealers.

AUDIENCE JINGXINThis is our company’s internal training session and the snap of employees. We have about 30 people.

REPORTER: This kind of training is more in the dealer company, and this is strong in the region.

2. Dealers internal management model

Wholesale dealer team composition:

marketing department (operations manager, merchandise dealder) and retail support (district director, supervisor, salesperson), merchandise and retail support, talent acquisition and training, and data.

Wholesale dealers pay more attention to two blocks: marketing and merchandise. But the three or four tier cities, in fact, is to seize the high-quality customer base, retain excellent sales staff, implement employee incentives and member maintenance. Because younger population don’t work here, there’s no strong purchasing power or loyalty.

Current Situation of Brand development

1. Historical Brand

Historical brands: Yi Zhi, Peace Bird, Hangpai women’s clothing (Hopeshow, 3Color, ChiuShui), Girdear, Amass. Peace Bird channels expanding, in the market is one of the mainstream brands, direct-run and agency stores a lot. Peace birds in the city attract younger customers, in the fourth line and county-level cities attract middle-aged customers. In the three or four lines and county areas, Hangpai (lady dress) accounted for more. These areas are relatively traditional, preferring both women and professional styles.

Friends who use Tik Tok can pay attention to the second- and third-tier cities. Because the second- and third-tier cities have huge traffic demand, there are less brands available comparing to the first-tier cities, and there are less styles. For wholesale category, their buying price is often higher than the first-line brands. General provincial agent’s purchase discount is 30%-45% discount, lower-level dealers is 40%-50% discount. Second and third-line customers are basically facing the lower-level dealers, so selling prices can not be too low. For example, brand of the new model in the current season, Guangzhou has 50% discount sale, Hefei 40% has discount, the county-level city may need 30% discount.

If the brand development speed up, the disadvantage is that the goods are prone to problems. There is no commodity planning by buyers, and if they can not find out the best-selling items, this season’s products will be a problem, negatively affecting the next quarter and resulting in the financial crisis. Girdear, Amass, you should all know, right? They are mainly members, to explore high-quality customer system. Girdear and Amass did very well. The product is not particularly competitive and the price is higher than Hangpai. But they are in the third or fourth line, so they can grasp the high-quality customer base, retain excellent sales staff, implement the employee incentives and member maintenance. Young population do not work in these cities, without strong purchasing power and loyalty.

2. Emerging strong brands

Are you familiar with the new brand of second- and third-line women’s wear in the last 5 years? What do you think of the two brands, Mai Meng and ONEMORE? Mai Meng is owned by eifini and ONEMORE is owned by GXG.



REPORTER: DIESEL is a traditional women’s brand. Hangpai is currently concentrated in the development of the region in the third and fourth lines, their policies and support is very good. Product line is not fashionable, but the style is very stable, the customer stickiness is also good. Design is not particularly strong, but the quality of production is still good, Most of the Hangzhou independent production and quality is good. So, the customer base is women over 30s. Customers who care about quality and practical use often consider Hangpai.

Mai Meng’s current development is very good and has accumulated a lot of customers. ONEMORE is in its infancy because many markets are still small. ONEMORE stores are now selling low prices, mainly to attract young customers. What local brands do you have in your area? It can be non-famous, but it’s done well locally.

AUDIENCE LIANG XIQI: Guangzhou has a love suit doing quite big.

Reporter: This channel is doing very well, mainly go to the city business supermarket and county-level shop, the price is very low. We have a lot of their stores here, belonging to fast fashion wholesale type companies.

3. Deeply cultivate in the local market

I share a brand in our region that is doing a better job.

Anhui Memorable Group Inc., which is a multi-faceted development of the integrated enterprises, including women’s clothing, trinkets, handicrafts collection shop. It is mainly a Memorable Day department store (similar to the famous products) and ENJOY women’s clothing. ENJOY is the first and most influential women’s clothing buyer store in Anhui. All the goods in their stores, from clothes, accessories, table and chair bench furniture, lamps and so on, can be sold. Memorable Group Inc. in Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanjing, Chongqing have offices and branches. Outside of the local market, the store performance is not very good, but the local recognition is very high. The mainstream shopping malls will be ENJOY, they need to attract local customers. Memorable Group Inc. brings all businesses together, has a large collection shop in Hefei and owns its parking lot.

From the basement floor to the fourth floor, it is all the company’s real estate properties, not rental property. On the first floor there are two restaurants connected the Chinese and Western food, and in the middle is a fresh market. On the second floor is the ENJOY womenswear, and on the third floor there is a barbershop and anniversary accessories. The fourth floor is a cultural industry, with small and medium-sized exhibitions, art collaborations and lectures. Along Hefei China Resources Mixc City Mall, there is an L-shaped street, The Memorable Group on the street bought the façade, the building in Tuli, about 1/10 of the street. The building is self-managed, all the rest are rented out, but only to her industry supporting businesses, such as cake shops, women’s clothing, and catering. This street is back to the Hefei’s high-end community with the average house price of about $4-5 million, so the group’s goal is to have a complete community circle. I’ve seen him go this way since two years ago, and now the neighborhood is taking shape. It seems that the leader’s ultimate goal is to make himself a fashionable business district.

Now this street has been slowly formed, in Hefei Administrative District, China Resources Vientiane City opposite Wanfu Lake Road. There is a chance you come to Hefei, we can go shopping together. These two photos are on both sides of the L-shaped, two streets.

The Exploration and Prospect Of The Future Of The Second And Third-Tier Markets

What do you think will happen in the future in the second and third-tier markets?

Liang Siwei: I think that in the future, we will slowly return to life itself, second- and third-tier cities have great development.

REPORTER: I think on the one hand, the brand will expand more and more, agents will turn to associates or be acquired, of course, this time may take longer, perhaps 10-20 years; The product of this neighborhood is a living business. Neither a street shop nor a traditional shopping mall, can give people a better experience.

Reporter’s summary

First, second and third-line market status quo overview and historical development

1.3 keywords: channels, agents, emerging buyers.

2. Anhui: the replacement of the three major garment center cities.

3. Types and changes of retail terminals. Pedestrian streets and street shops: huge rents are also under pressure. Community Stores: Changes in the number of guests on the property. Store: The main type, relying on the traffic of the mall complex.

Second, the status quo of the dealer plate

1. Camp distribution and market differentiation strategy: second- and third-tier urban clothing industry is currently mainly to agent dealers.

2. Business management model: wholesale dealer team composition: marketing department (operations manager, merchandise) and retail support (district director, supervision, high sales), commodity and retail support parallel.

Third, the status quo of brand development

1. Old brands began to focus on the country and rural level markets.

2. The emerging strong are seizing the young consumer power.

3. Deep-cultivated local strong people form their business closure.

Fourth, second and third-line market future exploration and prospects

1. Brand country and rural level markets and agent transformation.
2. The local strong people’s closed-loop kingdom, living in the business community.

What is the Marketing Model of Pop-up Shops? What Makes Them Different from Ordinary Shops?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

What is the Marketing Model of Pop-up Shops? What Makes Them Different from Ordinary Shops?

Yuchun-Shanghai-Marketing, etc. @ Wechat: xuyuchun233

Hi everyone, this is Yuchun (Emma). Graduated from the University of Edinburgh as a MA Marketing student, I am currently engaged in retail marketing for light luxury brands. With over a year of marketing internship experience, I already have a certain understanding of the fashion industry. I used to share articles–“How to find a suitable job in the fashion industry?” and “What is Dark & Avant-garde Design? What is their marketing model? ” in Christine Tsui Fashion Community.



In recent years, pop-up shop, which is popular in internet communications industry, has been sought after by the mass as a unique business model. In the fashion industry, some luxury brands have also begun to promote themselves and increase sales through pop-up shops, such as Chanel Game Hall, YSL Beauty Hotel, etc. So what is the difference between pop-up shops and ordinary shops? How to manage a pop-up shop successfully? And how to judge the quality of a pop-up shop?

What is a Pop-up Shop?

The first pop-up  shop was established in New York in 1999 to clear inventory. Its initial definition was “to do sales or brand promotion in a short time and a certain space, while creating a pleasant and comfortable experience for customers through a suitable atmosphere.” In recent years, more and more brands are selling their products through pop-up shops’ specific environments, interactions, and brand stories. For example, the purpose of YSL Beauty Hotel was to promote its new skin-care products and at the same time, it was also the brand director’s trail to enhance people’s brand awareness and accumulate potential customers. The types of pop-up shops can be categorized as sales, brand promotion or market test. For example, when launching a new product, a brand can use a pop-up shop as an exposure and experiment.

We can also simply interpret pop-up shop as “context marketing in a short term”;”short term and limited time” is its main feature. This method is more commonly used in the communication and Internet industries– because most of these industries are selling virtual products online, pop-up stores can enhance customers’ understanding of products and brands. Although millennials now rely on social media and the virtual world, offline experience is still indispensable. Experience is the most important element provided by the pop-up shop. Compared with traditional stores, pop-up shops can create time-limited topics through novel layout and designs. There is a big potential for creation, and forms are more diversified than traditional shops. Pop-up shop has a short opening time, wide movement, and small location restrictions, and at the same time, it is more topical. This topicality is often manifested through creative store designs, supreme experiences and themes. While this is different from traditional shops, it would not result in the disappearance of traditional shops, which is still due to the fact that customers need experience. The popularity of pop-up shop is actually because many people will come the store to experience it as they are attracted to a limited time, a specific theme or concept. On the other hand, pop-up shop has a strong moldability –breaking through some limitations of time and space, its forms are more diverse.

Therefore, many brands have tried pop-up stores, not only emerging streetwear brands, but also traditional and famous brands. For example, YSL created a theme pop-up shop – YSL Beauty Hotel, to launch new products and promote brand concepts. In addition, there are pop-up shops for menswear like Eye / LOEWE / Nature, FENTY pop-up shop (London) from the collaboration of Rihanna and LVMH group, Hermès pop-up station event (Harajuku, Tokyo), MIU MIU pop-up shop (Head office in Hankyu, Japan), and other pop-up shops of FENDI, LV, DIOR, VALENTINO, COACH, PUMA x SUE TSAI | VOLER, KENZO, etc. These pop-up shops are not only for sales, but also a internalization and promotion of the artistic atmosphere and brand concept. For example, HUNTER’s pop-up shop is in the form of a rain box. Through these new and unique forms, consumers can experience new products, which is fresh and fun. This is also in line with the consuming tastes of most millennials: fun, novel, nice environment, and can be photographed or posted on social media.

How to Create a Good Atmosphere for Pop-up Shop?

What aspects of time and space (environment) should a good fashion pop-up shop consider? A pop-up shop is a time-limited store with a short term and non-fixed location. It is in a variety of forms, like a shop in a business district or a mall. But sometimes pop-up shops can catch attention with its unusual location, such as a booth casually set up on the roadside, or even abandoned factories, trucks, and containers. These pop-up shops are generally open from days to months. As a brand, apart from understanding the flow of people, transportation and climate, it should also abide by the basic rules of time and space.

Nowadays, millennials, whose spending power is rising,will also be the core customers of the future fashion industry. Millennials generally prefer something visually stunning, novel and fun. Therefore, some novel and visually impactful installations can be set in terms of ambience. For example, YSL Beauty Hotel set up beds and bathtubs to echo the theme of this pop-up store, attracting customers to take photos and tag it on social media. This has taken advantage of the characteristics of young people who like to take pictures and post them on social media, which has also led to a second exposure that the brand expects. In addition, this generation hopes that every one of them is independent and unique in the crowd—they often have a mindset of “wanting to be different from others” or “being able to represent their own preferences or life pursuits.” In marketing, there is a theory that customers will consider the brand image and personal image when selecting brands and products– Are their preferences compatible? Do the installations in those stores reflect their personality? Therefore, it is still necessary to concentrate on attracting consumers through novel displays and products, together with the feature of limited time and amount.

Meanwhile, there is another aspect– environmental co-creation. For example, in the YSL Beauty Hotel pop-up store, a customized water curtain wall was implemented. When you tell the staff your name and requirements, your name would be displayed on the water screen. It was a very “sophisticated” installation, whose original intention was that you can try the brand ’s new “all hours” foundation and then stand under the water curtain to prove that it is waterproof. However, in addition to a good promotion of their own products, this kind of personalized customization has also aroused the curiosity of customers. Through customer’s follow-up photos on various media platforms such as Weibo and Wechat Moments, the secondary promotion of the brand has also been realized. This is also an excellent case of creating value for customers, which manifests the creation of the features (characteristics) for the pop-up store space, indirectly strengthens brand features (brand characteristics and differentiation), and further focuses on the target population. The existence of pop-up shop is more about allowing different brands to strengthen their brand genes, culture, features, and differences. However, while strengthening the loyalty of existing targeted customers, this deep rendering and focusing of brand gene will also weaken the marginal customers. For example, the theme color selected by YSL event was black and gold. Most customers may find black and gold cool and are consistent with their personality. However, this prominent theme was undeniably also weakening the twice- consuming of customers who do not necessarily like black and gold. This trade-off depends on which customer group the event itself wants to attract. It is difficult for every event to satisfy everyone. Usually, the customer who can bring the most profit is the priority. In terms the attributes of the space, in the past few years, brands taking the rout of mass line were more tolerant and designed towards the public in hope of a high sales volume. Therefore, the overall space was neutral and the visual theme was weakened. However, under the guidance of long-term subdivided consumption, consumers have become accustomed to the thematic environment. The emergence and popularity of pop-up shop also proves this. A pop-up shop itself has its targeted groups—it will create an atmosphere accordingly and be more professional. This kind of pertinence can be manifested through data collection, which will be guidance to the brand’s future development.

However, if pop-up shop only includes books, consumers will find it boring. In the pop-up shop, how to create a targeted atmosphere that can reflect the brand concept and meet the taste of users? At present, it mainly starts from online and offline channels. WeChat mini programs, games, novel sliding interfaces, and audio guides are all ways of online marketing. Online marketing is a very important means of obtaining information. Introduction of time and place as well as the brief content is usually realized by official and unofficial channels. The brand’s official WeChat account, Weibo, exposure from some magazines, and shooting of celebrities can all get the attention of the customer groups that the brand wants to attract. Non-official channels are mainly word of mouth. Reputation, which is very important for a pop-up store, is a crucial factor for customers to decide if it is worth going. Some content marketing software such as Red can also provide customers with photography and dress code suggestions. Online warm-up can be a main channel to create topics and attract users to build momentum for a pop-up shop; in this process, celebrities will be invited for KOL, and then online traffic will be directed. Some brands will accurately launch pop-up ads on WeChat based on the user ’s city or preference, and then use hashtags on Weibo to promote the development of topics.

On the other hand, offline marketing mainly applies visually impactful layout to the environment, so as to attract customers to take pictures, which is beneficial to secondary promotion. At the same time, to consolidate the customer base, the layout should be consistent with the brand image and the personal image of the target customers. In addition, furnishing through five senses can also provide customers with a more immersive experience. Offline technology can also be combined with online technology. For example, in the pop-up shop, customers can scan the QR code to listen to voice notes. Many pop-up shops also cooperate with Tiktok or have their own selfie wallpaper. A lot of pop-up shops set up stories, such as the perfume Mon Paris. Consumers can spray this perfume in the room to get correspondent feelings in an environment. Similar to this, MINICOOPER once set a rustic scent in its pop-up store, all of which are internalizing the brand atmosphere through audiovisual and tactile senses.

The Market and Input-Output of Pop-up Shop

Are first and second-tier cities the only market for pop-up Shops? Is the resource base of third and fourth-tier cities insufficient to support pop-up shops? The setting of a pop-up shop is more about cost and crowd acceptance. In China, the consumption capacity of third- and fourth-tier cities is much higher than we imagine, and their sensitivity to media and information is not any inferior to that of first and second-tier cities. In addition, their capacity to purchase with ready money might be stronger. Sometimes the first-tier market is just a window to display to the national market. The real profits may come from the third or fourth-tier regions. Perhaps for some brands, there may be concerns about brand acceptance in third and fourth-tier cities, but in fact, the original purpose of a pop-up shop is to allow brands to communicate and sell better. In fact, some brands do not have to be avant-garde, but instead, need to build a pioneering attitude. For brands, as long as they find out the right products and position, there are many opportunities for pop-up shops in third and fourth-tier cities, due to the rising purchasing power of customers. In order for brands to build successful pop-up shops in these cities, they need to find a large number of targeted audiences for broad exposure and mold the pop-up shop with a pioneering attitude, so as to attract such consumers to experience it at the shop, rather than being scared of third- and fourth-tier cities.

One of the ways for the brand to make improvements lies in measuring and judging customer experience in pop-up stores. How to obtain this data? Most brands set their goals before establishing pop-up stores, so surveys can be set based on these aspects to provide options to experiencers. You can also conduct random interviews on the spot; set up simple and easy-to-answer small surveys on platforms such as Wenjuanxing–a platform providing functions of questionnaires. Nowadays we have mini programs on mobile phone, so people who come to the shops can evaluate the experience in the mini programs. Through this kind of survey, find out what the brand’s pop-up shop can bring to customers. Does it enhance desire for consumption? Or does it increase brand loyalty? Through questionnaires for targeted groups, more targeted answers will be obtained. If this event can bring the brand a lot of sales, exposure or more fans, the initial publicity and the experience on the scene (attraction to new followers) will determine the subsequent sales. Customer experience is directly related to sales volume. Certainly, the revenue of pop-up shops is not only indicated by sales. Pop-up activities are usually coordinated by the market, product planning, and retail departments. For the marketing department, if the event can receive a lot of exposure, it will be easier to get the budget for similar events next time.

How to judge whether the surge of sales data brought about by pop-up stores on social media is reliable? First of all, the sales volume still depends on the preparation and promotion of the early stage. Then, on the basis of all expenditure costs, look at the sales data. It is usually impossible for small brands to expect a large sales volume with an ordinary pop-up shop. If the pop-up event can bring a significant increase in sales for the brand, and during this period, the brand has not made a big move, then it can basically be attributed to the pop-up shop. At the same time, the benefits of pop-up shops can also be reflected by the brand’s second exposure on social media. A pop-up shop can make an impression on many people who are unfamiliar with the pop-up shop or do not know about the brand. This also manifests the main value of current pop-up shop for a brand.



[1]. Davis, A. et al. (2015) Exploring pop-up libraries in practice. The Australian Library Journal, 64(2), pp.1–11.

[2]. Lim, H. et al., (2018) Generating Branding Buzz on Social Media for a Pop-up Store: Focused on Brand Experience, pp.ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.


How to Select Suppliers through the AHP Model?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

How to Select Suppliers through the AHP Model?

Kelly-Hangzhou- Vice admin of the fifth Christine Tsui Fashion community @ wkl2021

I used to repair cultural relics at China Silk Museum and have later become a designer brand merchandising buyer later. Now I am a textile purchasing buyer for furnishing projects. I usually like to read fashion and design magazines. In addition, I also like to visit major furnishing exhibitions and interesting furnishing stores, and I pay attention to the beautiful designs in life.

The Scenarios and Importance of Selecting Suppliers

“Supplier A wants to do business with us.”

The purchasing director was familiar with that supplier and said, “They can’t do it”

“He only knows this supplier on hand.”

“Isn’t there a supplier in Suzhou?”

“The price in Suzhou is too high.”

“What about Ningbo?”

“Poor quality.”

“What about Shanghai?”

“They don’t want to supply us.”

Do you find this conversation familiar? I believe those who work in fashion and clothing production industry have all encountered similar problems in supplier selection. Regardless of whether it is the one who selects, or the one who is selected, both parties need to know themselves and their counterpart very well to be able to match up accurately. Traditionally, supplier selection has been based on quantity and costs. Most companies have dedicated purchasing departments and archives of cooperating suppliers to share. Sometimes, even in each department, purchasing staff and even non-purchasing staff have their own cooperating suppliers. The company, through supplier market analysis in advance and consideration of many factors such as price, quality, delivery period, MOQ, etc., evaluates the strength and superior resource of each supplier and makes comparison of compares based on their compatibility, ultimately choosing the suitable supplier. In the fast-changing fashion market, flexibility and adaptability are the keys to survival. Therefore, supply chain strategies like rapid response are very important in the fashion and textile industry. Therefore, selecting a supplier to support this strategy is one of the most critical activities.

The traditional model is not the predecessor of the AHP model, but the study of this model gives the industry an example of a solution to one-stop hierarchical analysis process. The process takes into account operational performance (such as flexibility, cost, and delivery) to support the supply chain strategy. The system is implemented with the help of commercial software package experts’ selections. Based on the results of the hierarchical analysis model, the benefits of implementing fast response in the supply chain can also be testified. We will discuss this in detail below.

Variables and Criteria for Supplier Selection

Before getting to know the AHP model, we must first understand the variables and criteria for supplier selection that it involves. In recent years, with rising production costs and strict environmental regulations, more and more factories have moved production processes to inland China and other Asian countries, such as India, Vietnam and Thailand. Manufacturers in these countries need to understand what their retailers and customers need in order to compete with competitors from other countries. It also means that they need to know how customers select suppliers. By paying attention to these variables and standards, manufacturers can continuously improve their operation of supply chain.

In the fashion industry, the most basic variables for supplier selection are delivery date, quality, and price. The weight of each variable often depends on the buyer’s preference. If the volume is not large in the beginning, the price is usually the second concern. In addition, there are credibility, product style, qualifications and other cooperation terms. Among these, credibility refers to the need to consider the company’s background and business structure in advance to see if it is reliable, In addition the account period and payment method will also be taken into account. Credit is important to both parties. Some clothing companies have problems with the capital chain, so there may be defaulted payments to suppliers, and shopping malls sometimes also owe clothing companies money. Many suppliers have solid financial strength–if a clothing company owes money, they can only be the ones to pay factories and fabric suppliers first. But this is not a good way for long-term cooperation. For global business, credibility and background checks are even more important. Many companies will also buy credit insurance for protection. One of the services of this insurance is called credit survey, which is used to judge whether the customer is worthy of cooperation in terms of credibility. Credit Guarantee is supported by the Chinese government and belongs to the Ministry of Commerce. Although these consultations and related insurance require payment, they are more comprehensive and convenient than self-investigation. At present, the four state-owned banks also provide corresponding export insurance, but Credit Guarantee is more professional in terms of domestic trade. In addition, Tianyancha also has a relatively comprehensive collection of information for domestic companies. Why do we need to collect information? Because supplier selection is also essentially the screening of information, so accurate information sources are an important prerequisite.

Therefore, how to get official and correct information, such as that of the industry and suppliers, etc.? Generally, there are several ways:

  1. Websites of competent government departments, such as the National Bureau of Statistics;
  2. Industry associations, such as China Textile, etc .;
  3. Industry websites;
  4. Consulting companies and think tanks;
  5. Specialized data consulting service agencies, such as Credit Insurance,,, etc.;
  6. Other public data sources;
  7. Exhibitions, such as Shanghai Fashion Week, Fashion Shows, Import and Export Trade Fair;
  8. Actual samples.

In addition to credit, sometimes typical problems encountered by clothing manufacturers are the long distance between customers and suppliers, long production lead times, and seasonal product forecast errors. Fashion is characterized by a short product life cycle, so marketing time is a very important aspect of the industry.

For example, countries close to the US market are unlikely to be affected by competition from India and China. As a result, Mexico, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and North Africa might remain important exporters of the United States and maintain their market share easily. On the other hand, Chinese suppliers are easily affected by factories in Southeast Asia.

For these reasons, manufacturers in Asian countries have to improve the efficiency of their supply chains and promote their competitiveness. For example, they apply the Quick Response (QR) philosophy. Flexible adaptation is the key to survival in future competition. In view of the above situation, whether it is for the buyer or the seller, the importance of supplier selecting is fathomable. The following table basically covers factors for consideration when selecting suppliers in the clothing industry.

图片 12031png副本

Based on this table, we can determine the variables or criteria for selecting the best supplier, including operating costs: flexibility (long distances, long production lead times, and seasonal product forecast errors), costs (time, money, Personnel), others (availability of raw materials, value-added costs, innovation capabilities, environmental planning issues, and environmental certifications), etc.; based on these variables, we can develop supplier selection models.

Management and Implementation of Quick Response in Supply Chain and Its Importance

Quick Response applies to activities throughout the supply chain-from producers to retailers. The aim is to reduce the time span from the stages of textile design to consumer purchase. Quick Response (QR) is one of the effective ways to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of the supply chain. In the face of a multi-variety and small-batch buyer market, companies do not reserve “products”, but rather, prepare various “elements”. When there are demands from users, they can extract “elements” as quick as possible and “assemble” in time, providing required services or products.

QR has basically become an important method in the fashion market to respond to the growing demand for diversity and long-term total lead times in global supply chains. Quick response requires both retail operators and textile manufacturers to cooperate, share information, and supplement products with high-frequency and small-quantity distribution to shorten delivery cycles, reduce inventory, and improve customer service and corporate competitiveness. Especially in the fast fashion industry, QR has a great impact on the competitiveness of enterprise.

How practical is QR in the actual production and supply process? QR is a big challenge for producers and suppliers, because it requires forecasting in advance, aligning production plan and so on. To achieve this, it is necessary to share information between suppliers and retailers to jointly cope with the changing market. The traditional production method is usually difficult to adapt to this pace. For a clothing supply chain, a clothing manufacturer is the core enterprise. Its upstream is fabric and trimmings supplier, and its downstream is clothing seller and customer. Garment manufacturers should actively seek and discover strategic partners and establish division of labor and collaborative relationship with them. They should be aware of their core position in the entire supply chain and build a chain network structure with their suppliers, suppliers of their suppliers and all forward relationships, as well as their users, users of their users, and every backward relationship. On top of that, establish a strategic partnership with them, refine the operation process, and reorganize the process to put core energies on the design of clothing and the application of new technologies, thereby improving the overall network chain’s responsiveness to multiple changes in the market. On the one hand, it is a test to the accuracy of forecasting and planning, and on the other hand, it is a trial of the supply chain’s capability of coordination. Nowadays, some fast-fashion brands have encountered one problem or another—this is because the market is changing, but the importance of the supply chain will remain. A very important concept of QR is to shorten the lead time of the supply chain and reduce inventory. Without QR, there would be too much (and expensive) inventory throughout the supply chain, resulting in discounted sales, or another extremity– the chance of stockouts would increase due to poor forecasts.


Modeling Analysis Based on Variables

What can the AHP model do about this? Selecting suppliers through AHP can achieve quick response to a greatest extent. “Analytic Hierarchy Process” (AHP) is a simple, flexible and practical multi-criteria decision-making method for quantitative analysis of qualitative problems. It features dividing various factors in complex problems into ordered and interconnected levels to make them organized; Based on the subjective judgment structure of a certain objective reality (mainly a pairwise comparison), it combines experts’ opinion and analysts’ objective judgment results in a direct and effective way, quantitatively describing the importance of the pairwise comparison of same-level elements.

Here is an example of AHP:



The figure above illustrates the procedure from “target” to the step of “information selection and comparison” to the final ” scheme selection”. The specific process is as follows:

When using AHP to model decision-related issues, the first step is to build a hierarchy. This issue is broken down into a systematic hierarchy, which is similar to a decision tree. The model has designed several layers of decision-making activities. The goal of the model is to determine which supplier is the best among the alternatives.

The goal is placed at the top of the hierarchy. The hierarchy goes down from the more general criterion at the second level to the sub-criterion. The four fully considered alternatives are at the bottom of the hierarchy.

Looking at it this way is a bit boring. Let’s take an example: there are four suppliers –A, B, C and D, and the goal is to choose the best supplier. Standard variables include delivery, quality, supply assurance, flexibility, cost, reliability of organizational strategy issues, perceived risk, technical logic issues, and environmental issues. Now we score all these aspects of each supplier, and built a model as shown in the figure:


Based on the current market and your situation, formulate your own criteria for selecting suppliers. Then I want to introduce something that seems a bit dull.


In this example, numerical comparison (matrix) is applied. If the numbers in the box are black, the criteria on the left is more important than that on the top. On the other hand, if the numbers in the box are red, the criteria on the top are relatively more important than that on the left. Figure 3 shows that while moderate delivery (value 3) is more important than “strong”quality ( value 5), flexibility and “very strong”cost  (value 7), delivery is not as important as guaranteed supply (value 3). Carrying on with this process, moderate quality (value of 3) is more important than flexibility, and  “strong” quality (value 5) is more important than cost and supply assurance (value 3), while a “very strong” supply assurance (value 7) is more important than flexibility, and “extreme” supply assurance (value 9) is more important than cost. In the end, moderate flexibility (value 3) is more important than cost.

Certainly, this requires the support of a computer system. Then you need to compare the priorities of each major and minor criteria. For example, highest priority of the total order lead time is 0.637, followed by the geographical location of 0.258. This indicates the overall weight information for each element in the analytic model.


In summary, after the model is established, pairwise comparisons are systematically performed to encompass all combinations of standard and substandard relationships and they form a matrix in each group on the hierarchy. For example, if there are four elements in one group, it will form a 4 × 4 matrix. Based on the collected data and information, via the nine-element ratio methodology, it carries out the comparison process according to the relative importance of the criteria and child criteria against the neighboring parent element.

In the end, the alternatives are compared by assigning corresponding values ​​based on the relative importance of the alternatives under each sub-criterion in the decision-making hierarchy. Then, the priorities of the analytic hierarchy process were calculated through the selection of commercial software experts. For the accuracy of the application, additional tests were conducted to reflect the consistency of the analytic hierarchy. Consistency measures can be used to filter the inconsistency in responses that are calculable through professional selection software. The standard relative weights are estimated at each level of the hierarchy. The matrices will get the relative weights of the elements in each matrix through a series of calculations. Relative weights are used to identify key factors. Criteria with higher relative weight are more important. After that, a series of sensitivity analyses are conducted to study the impact of changing standard priorities on the ranking of the alternates.

Another simple example can help us think further. For instance, if someone is going to buy a refrigerator, after knowing about 6 different types of refrigerators in the market, when deciding which one to buy, he usually does not compare directly, since there are many incomparable factors, Instead, he selects some intermediate indicators for investigation such as refrigerator capacity, cooling level, price, model, power consumption, external reputation, after-sales service, etc.

After this, he considers the pros and cons of various of refrigerators under the above-mentioned intermediate standards. With this ranking, a purchasing decision is finally made. When making decisions, since the order of each intermediate criteria is generally different with the six refrigerators, the decision maker must first estimate the importance of the seven standards and rank them, and then, after that, find out each refrigerator’s sorting weight of each standard  separately; finally, combine these information and data to obtain the sorting weight for the total target–the refrigerators to be purchased. With this weight vector, decision making is easy.

Based on the example above, let’s take a look at what the analytic hierarchy process is.

12032副本When a customer purchases a TV set, he considers eight criteria as the evaluation criteria of four TV sets currently on the market and establishes a hierarchical analysis model above.

The highest layer (the purpose of solving the problem); the middle layer (selection of the principles of measures and schemes that must be followed to achieve the overall aim. Also known as the strategy layer, the constraint layer, the rule layer, etc.); The lowest layer (Measures, programs, etc. to solve the problem). Put all the relevant factors to the proper level. Use a hierarchy chart to clearly illustrate the relationship between these factors.

Currently, companies in the industry barely analyze customer consumption so carefully. But for producers, what needs to be considered is actually much more than that. If the needs of consumers can be thought of in advance, and the brand produces items that are easier to sell, and at the same time, the supplier’s responsiveness can keep up, the development of the enterprise is inevitable.

The calculation and implementation of the AHP model require the support of a computer system. At present, not a lot of domestic shoe and clothing enterprises apply it, except some multinational companies. The application of this model can avoid overly personal assessments, performing a comprehensive and multidimensional analysis. It is applicable to industries such as energy system analysis, urban planning, economic management, and scientific research evaluation. But for us, rather than how good this computer system is, the point is to learn this logic through this system to improve our ability to solve problems in practical work and to provide ideas for supplier selection. Besides supplier selection, this idea can be applied as long as it is a multi-variable problem with different priorities; you can even refer to this idea for scoring and selecting, so as to achieve the comprehensive improvement of the industrial chain.




This article is a discussion based on the contents of the following academic journals by the students of Christine Tsui Fashion Buyer Group. The pictures in the article are all from the following academic journal:

Chan, F., & Chan, H. (2010). An AHP model for selection of suppliers in the fast changing fashion market. The International Journal Of Advanced Manufacturing Technology,51(9-12), 1195-1207. doi: 10.1007/s00170-010-2683-6




How Should Designer Brands Make Their Own Marketing Plans?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

How Should Designer Brands Make Their Own Marketing Plans?

Hanghang-Shanghai-Designer Brand Services, etc. @ Wechat: stillu000000

Graduated from Beijing Institute of Fashion in Fashion Design and Engineering. Now working for a designer brand management company, mainly working on online marketing and new media.


The aim of a designer is usually to create his or her own brand. With the constant upgrading of the domestic market, more and more designers are eager to try and build their own brands. These brands are also covering a wider range of industries, instead of being limited to the clothing industry. Womenswear, menswear, footwear accessories, home& lifestyle, as well as furniture and cultural & creativity are all the most common fields for designer brands. Among them, “cultural and creative products” have become more popular this year. The cultural and creative products of designer brands are generally based on culture and creative ideas; they are the material form of human knowledge, wisdom and inspiration in specific industries. Culture and creativity are generally consumer products with high added value.

What Makes Designer Brands Different?

Compared with the features of commercial brand consumers, such as broad positioning, large volume, fast sales speed, and emphasis on marketing, designer brand pays more attention to the product itself. It values originality in products and has distinctive personalities. While the positioning is niche, the brand has a strong genetic, style and personality. Compared with the overwhelming advertisements of commercial brands, many designer brands spend less time on marketing; some brands even don’t bother to promote, relying solely on word of mouth from customers. This is because on the one hand, with a low budget, most designer brands do not plan their budget on marketing; On the other hand, if niche brands do not launch to their targeted audience, it does not make much sense to spend a lot of money on marketing. If you are marketing, you should find accurate marketing methods–only through this will you attract accurate groups and spend money in the most effective way possible.Rather than spending a lot of money on marketing, it is better to build brand stories and make products well with determination. Although commercial brands have large budgets and extensive marketing, the phenomenon of homogeneity in the market is also relatively severe, and the pressure of competition of products in the same category is also very heavy.

It is difficult to increase the scale of an individualized brand, and it is also difficult to highlight individuality for a brand with large scale. Just as large sales volume cannot coexist with distinct features, it is not easy to achieve both. For designer brands, their main task is to attracts certain groups with their distinct features, without which it would be more difficult to compete with big names. Based on this logic, is designer brand doomed to remain in small scale? This is also a bottleneck for the development of many brands–they are worried that brands that were originally special for its exclusivity will lose their initial consumer groups as a result of being widely accepted by the market. But in fact, one cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.The brand is changing, and the customer positioning will continue to expand and improve. As long as the brand abides by its characteristics and products, and serve a certain group, it can be successful. This success is not based on a fixed customer base, but product features instead. Customers’ choices and needs are constantly changing. Consumers of designer brands may not necessarily buy all clothes from them. After all, they pay more attention to the clothing itself with purchasing, for example, some consumers like Maje, but they also buy clothes from JNBY and LILY. Instead of blindly chasing customers, make them chase the design and the brand—only in this way will your brand be attractive enough.

For designer brands, the word “success” is difficult to define. Generally speaking, it depends on the brand value. Brand value can be identified from five aspects: “loyalty, popularity, reputation, recognition, and brand association”. There are also different perspectives and standards within and outside the industry. For a layman, a designer is someone who makes clothes. They buy it if the clothes are pretty and the price is lovely. It is difficult and unlikely for the success of a brand to determine consumer’s desire to purchase. From the perspective of business, a designer brands is mostly successful if it is able to achieve profitability and let customers know and understand the brand, for example, let them see the store in large shopping malls, advertisements on we media, and celebrities promoting the products, etc. For the insiders, if you own a designer brand, it is the content of your design that determines whether you are successful and accepted by the industry.

After the rise of designer brands and a surge of their emergence, it seems that they have recently entered a bottleneck for development. While the customers are loyal, the small customer base is a problem that most designer brands currently face. This is because most of these brands lack mindset and systems for professional operation management. In the retail industry, the advantages of the supply chain are important, which is why some designer brands are expensive. Therefore, in order to extricate themselves from this predicament, some brands carry out product planning with the combination of data the market and operation & sales. However, as mentioned above, if the blind pursuit of market trends is not perfectly under control, it is prone to lose brand DNA in style and as a result, enter another dilemma, that is, homogeneity. This is why many immature designer brands experience multiple changes of brand style. Brand DNA is the fundamental advantage of brand development. How to retain the characteristics and break through the status quo? Or is there any other way to get rid of the current predicament and accelerate the development of the brand? Many designer brands have begun to take advantage of existing media channels to increase exposure through we media and find breakthroughs through KOL cooperation and promotion. For some brands with their own star traffic resources, they boost brand influence through other traffic entrances; meanwhile, the support and activities of e-commerce platforms can also be the promoter of designer brands; in addition, there are some elusive event factors that allow brands to reap unexpected results. But no matter how good or abundant these promotion methods are, without good products, it will only be quickly abandoned by the market.

How should designer brands make their own marketing plans? We can analyze from four aspects: product, price, channel and promotion.


Each independent designer brand has its own preferences, so its products are generally bestowed with their own elements. However, for the brand, it is worthwhile considering whether these products and elements or the DNA of the brand itself are worthwhile for consumers to pay for. Designer brands tend to be more expensive than commercial brands– this is due to the development of the brand’s product line, the small number of upstream and downstream supply chains, or the impact of some special processes. If there is no advantage in price, then the product itself must have enough advantages to draw a highlight in terms of marketing.


The price of designer brands is now criticized by many people. The price of an independent designer brand is even higher. Although to a large extent, it depends a lot on factors like the supply chain we mentioned above, consumers don’t understand it. Indeed, if the value is calculated based on the cost of mass production, designer brand’s nature of small quantity determines that its price will be high. The production quantity of designer brands is not comparable to that of popular brands. The key is to strike a balance, which is not only the balance of quality and price, but also that of consumer positioning and price. As a designer brand, its products must stand out and the brand needs to have a story, so that consumers are willing to buy. In this case, it is important to pinpoint user positioning and set the price based on it. If your users are located in third-tier cities, but you set the price based on the spending power of first-tier cities, you will lose the balance. Therefore, the price needs to match the income of the targeted customer base.


Currently, the channels that most designers and brands choose are usually online e-commerce platforms and offline buyer collection stores. There are also some brands that sell through self-operation. Brands should not be blind when choosing a buyer’s collection store, but instead, match with suitable styles and channels. In addition, channels can be expanded through more exhibitions, showrooms, and incubators, so as to cover a larger audience.


Sometimes average consumers are reluctant to buy brands that they are unfamiliar with, not famous or even cannot be found, which is also the importance and significance of brand promotion.

Many designers do not know how to show their own advantages, or they are fine with expression but have limited sales capabilities. Therefore, many domestic designers, including brand companies, are trapped in the current sales model. In fact, the designer’s own operation is also critical. Works, stories, and exposure will contribute a positive impression to the brand. The attractiveness of the product line is also crucial. It is more effective to promote a good product after finding the brand’s highlights.

Appeals and Planning of A Designer Brand

What kind of designer brand would you want to establish? Many designers are determined to break the boat in the first step towards establishing a brand. Now the market is uncertain, and many brands, before succeeding, may worry what if they fail? Therefore, if you are to establish a designer brand, how to plan its development? For many brands, it is difficult to survive 2 years even with a deep brand story. Designer brands seem to be independent and free in style, but in reality, the requirements on the designers themselves are very high. As a designer, based on your own positioned preferences, you can diversify this circle and accumulate your business circles little by little, selling garments whose style do not easily clash with others. Learn about various platforms and activities and seize the boost of the Internet and e-commerce. Only the strongest among the strong can go further and truly make their own brand thrive.

In order to make up for the defect of their own abilities and balance the resources of various parties, many designers will seek business partners or new media for designer brands to cooperate. It is really good to join hands and share resources, but the prefix“co” is difficult to achieve. To achieve long-term cooperation, same values may be the basis. If they are different, try to respect each other, but a better relationship between partners lies in mutual awareness and complementary advantages. For a designer who focuses on design, the most important attribute of a partner is not the skills, but rather, being able to see “the invisible”.

In addition, incubators or collection platforms can also be a direction for designers to cooperate, such as ICY and LABELHOOD (leihu). The reason why two parties can cooperate is that the counterpart has the resources or highlights it needs. The platform needs new brands to bring new designs in order to drive new traffic; and on the other hand, designers choose the platform because of its financial and commercial operation capabilities, which are able to provide channels, develop new customer groups, so each party gets what it needs.

After all, as time goes by, brands that are not strong enough will be eliminated.  The long-term strategy for the development of a designer brand is to take the foothold of its style and products, balance design and price, take hold of marketing and promotion and pay attention to all aspects. Don’t just emphasize quality and price; rather, make consumers feel the product is good value for money. In this way, even brand premiums can make consumers pay with pleasure.

How Should Designers Build Their Own Fabric Library?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

How Should Designers Build Their Own Fabric Library?

Caicai-Hangzhou-Fabric Supplier @ Wechat: caicai09111987

This article is based on Cai Cai’s lectures in the public welfare class of Christine Tsui Fashion Community

Course Outline

I. How to obtain and make full use of offline fabric channels?

  1. How to effectively play the large fabric market
  2. How to maximize achievements in the textile exhibition

II. There are actually so many fabric resources online? !!

  1. Platform-based Website sharing
  2. Trade-based fabric companies sharing
  3. Professional textile brand websites

III. How to create a personalized fabric manual?

  1. Creating according to the category of fabric
  2. Creating based on a theme

IIII. The retrospective summary of the 1st – 6th fabric special course

In fashion public welfare class

You will be able to:

Find fabric resources that are suitable for you in a more accurate and efficient way,

Manage them with efficiency and use them with flexibility.


图片 121副本


Sourcing Fabrics

-Small wholesaler


-Importers and warehouses

-Commodity Fair

-* Textile mills


图片 122副本



How to excel at fabric exhibitions?

图片 123副本

Lecturer perception: the rise of the custom-tailor industry / baby’s fabric area / sustainable development area


Fabric market



More direct feeling of the fabric (market price / drape / feel / color)

Collecting samples / proofs (material collection for MoodBoard)

Observe fashion trends (color / pattern)


Domestic fabric market:

Keqiao, CUHK and Evergreen in Guangzhou



Factors to consider when purchasing fabrics


Gram weight: Gram weight per square meter | Gram weight per meter | Mm (usually in silk fabrics)

Width: 150cm (for trimmings, this width can maximize cost savings) | 112cm | 45cm-375cm

Orientation of the fabric: Downy (velvet | downy cashmere and wool)

Direction of prints (single placement print | single side placement print)

Test: composition, color fastness, antistatic performance

Small TIPS——abbreviation of fiber name (click image to enlarge)

图片 124副本


Environmental considerations: carbon footprints related to manufacturing, ethics and fair trade issues, disposal of final fabrics

图片 125副本

Online fabric resources

图片 126副本

图片 127副本



Conveys ideas of Moodboard;

Helps organize fabric knowledge systematically



Fabric type: knitted, woven

Ingredients: Silk | Wool | Linen …

Theme: Color | Pattern | Texture

Christine Tsui Fashion Open Welfare Class

Review and summary of the 1st -6th special fabric course 

Click on the title to jump to the course interfaceClick on the title to jump to the course interface


  1. Basic concepts of fabrics (basic literacy)图片 128副本
  2. Demystifying imported fabrics (maintenance of expensive coat fabric)

3. Maintenance of autumn and winter fabrics (animal fibers) 图片 129副本


4. Maintenance of silk图片 130副本

5. Travel in search for beautiful cloth -Beautiful cloth around the world

6. How do designers create their own exclusive fabric resource library

(This lesson is lesson 6, so there is no picture)


Lecturer Booklist Recommendation


图片 132图片 131


What Are the Current Development Status and Trends of Short Video Entrepreneurship? How Can It Be Better Integrated with the Fashion Industry? 

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

What Are the Current Development Status and Trends of Short Video Entrepreneurship? How Can It Be Better Integrated with the Fashion Industry?

Discussion of Tang Yu, etc.


Why do we discuss the importance of short video entrepreneurship, fashion and related industries? Since short video entered the public in 2015, it has continuously become an important part of the development of original media content creators. From December 13, 2016, Wechat Moments developed the function of uploading 10-second video, which further indicates that Wechat Moment has also realized the importance of short videos.


What Are Short Video’s Advantages as a Start-up Business?

Since the short video entered the public in 2015, it has continuously become an important part of the development of original media creators. The cases of Papi Jiang and Gu Amo can be credited to be relatively successful in the development of short videos in recent years. For other countries, YouTube, with short videos as the main form content presentation, has become the second largest search engine. This form of viewing anytime, anywhere, and completing the content in just a few minutes meets people’s needs in their fast-paced life today.

The shortness of short video is relative. The short here mostly means faster than the movie expression, more direct than the text expression, and relatively shorter and richer than the programs we have encountered before short video. In fact, although many short videos seem to be short, they are the result of the selection of the best ones. The advantage of short video is that it can fully meet the requirements of people in the modern world to extract information in fragmented time. In the shortest possible time, sharing the most effective and attractive content can make consumers and viewers understand more directly what the product and broadcaster in the video conveys. In fact, it is a greater testament of the editing skills of video shooters and editing abilities of content providers. If we are consumers, we may have an invisible sense of security for businesses or media that provide short videos and feel that this product or brand is more authentic and trustworthy, and we can also gain the information we want more directly in videos than text or pictures. In the entertainment era, brands from all industries are competing for user attention in the hope of obtaining faster and more direct user feedback for product improvement–including the current barrage function, they are all developed to meet everyone’s feedbacks and wills towards the unilateral output of media. At the same time, short videos can also satisfy consumers’ desire for peep, display and their curiosity, as well as everyone’s pursuit of beauty, promoting the evolution of interaction. Snapchat’s successful listing in the United States is due to people’s favor for short videos. The fashion industry has begun to pay attention to this form, alsp because it can transmit fashion brands and creator’s ideas to viewers in the shortest possible time through these short and refined videos, so as to seek the sense of recognitionand cooperation opportunities.

Indeed, compared with text, short videos are more penetrating and convenient for users to experience and understand. Compared to movies, the requirements of short videos are simpler, making it easier to operate. It applies direct audiovisual methods, rich content elements, and entertainment narrative techniques to communicate to the user effectively about the message you want to deliver, thereby establishing a close connection between the audience and the creator. In addition, compared with text, the interaction between the short video and the user has a higher level of attraction, and it is more penetrating than text, which is convenient for experiencing and understanding. As the pace of modern life is getting increasingly fast, the time that people are willing to spend on texts is decreasing. The original interaction model can no longer satisfy the audience. While accepting media expressions, everyone also hopes to hear their own voices, which is why the interaction attraction level that users demand towards various media forms is becoming higher.


What Preliminary Preparations are Required to Make a Short Video?

At present, due to the popularity of short videos, many people believe that the threshold of short videos is very low, which may lead to an overcrowded but low-quality output. Some people may mistakenly believe that the starter requirements for short videos are high, which makes them scared to try. In face of the two disparate perceptions, what exactly do we need to do if we want to do well at short videos?

I think it’s important to firstly have some basic video knowledge– basic video knowledge and the ability to tell stories “picture by picture”. Take the example of Papi Jiang–Although there was no team behind her in the early stage, with a certain film and editing expertise, she could record her own clips and get high ratings without a team. At present, many short video producers do not have this knowledge. Therefore, these video contents are just recording journals, or they are just aimed to highlight the dynamic picture effect regardless of the inherent content of the video.

The second point is to have ideas–the core creative design. It is not easy to achieve consistent output, which requires good ideas and creativity, without which it will only be overwhelmed by the work of other creators.

The third point is the conscious conversion of text logic to video logic. Since the expression method and structure of text and video different, to gain traffic through short videos, it is important to pay attention to your own expression- expression with a purpose will make it easier for the audience to understand.

The fourth aspect is the positioning of the audience for video distribution and the choice of the delivery platform.

Apart from these four, the quality of the video is also the basis. However, many people believe that the most difficult part of short video is the post-production and processing. Although nowadays many Apps can edit and add special effects to videos, this is supposed be suitable for individuals with limited funds or without special training in video production, saving them a lot of troubles. As long-term videos with content and connotation, in terms of editing methods, techniques and packaging, they should not totally rely on the apps. It is also necessary to learn and understand professional video post-editing software, or to establish a team after developing into a larger scale.

Generally, companies with short video content have their own post-teams, and the pay terms for post-editors may vary in different companies. However, Papi Jiang, who became extremely popular through her short video content creation, did not have a good editing at first—it was just average. The fact that she became popular through editing the long videos she saved without a team manifests that content and creativity are more important in short video contents.


Where Does the Commercial Demand for Short Videos Come from?

The demand for short videos mainly comes from several aspects. The first is the advertising companies in the market. Since the cost of short videos has now declined, most companies can afford it, including many small companies. While this market will be popular for some time, at the same time, it also encounters the problem of uneven industry. Today’s advertisement requires more skills and tricks. Spreading through short videos on food or social platforms is a common way for them.

The second is the major self-media platforms and their corresponding users. Individual short videos have a lot to do with your content and the people you target. Although part of the needs of ordinary users may be blind, there are also those directly targeted at consumer groups. Another large part is targeting at franchisees. A media practitioner used to analyze that except for the 20% of his videos viewers who truly understood and supported him, the remaining 80% of his reposts came from average users.

After all, the popularity of short videos is not only the demand of the market, but also the need of the era, consumers and users. For many companies, their largest motivation of making short videos is profit, which comes from their target consumers. When the early network technology was still in the 2G and 3G era, users might be satisfied with graphic content with shorter loading times. However, with the continuous emergence of various beauty software, consumers have become skeptical of the authenticity of pictures in graphic content. Through the emergence and presentation of short videos, on the other hand, despite post adjustments, users will still believe that to a certain extent, the authenticity of this dynamic form is higher than graphic content, which also applies to the following popularity of livestream. Therefore, brands have noticed this, and use this method as a carrier to impress consumers, gain their trust, and thus gain market access.


Short Videos and Fashion Industry

What is the status quo and future of the fashion industry under short video marketing? Short video is a trend in itself, to which the fashion industry is also adapting. Video advertising has always been an effective tool for major fashion businesses. But now the fashion industry is no longer limited to video advertising on large platforms or mainstream media. The fact that Everyone has extended from posting short videos of clothes and shoes on Weibo and Wechat Moments to now, when they spend more time introducing product content through livestream is essentially an extension of the length and depth of the video. The purpose is to generate more direct, effective and face-to-face communications with fans and customers, hence achieving information sharing, fashion dissemination, and emotional interaction.

The development of the Internet promotes short video as its inevitable product. Basically, none of the brands or industries does not take video. Short videos are different from advertisements. The purpose of advertisements is to attract interest, while short videos can tell brand stories. For example, there was some time when major luxury brands use short videos for branding. For example, Independent and Energetic Women from Dior and Inside Chanel from Chanel tell brand stories through a series of exquisite short videos. Rebecca Minkoff in the United States is also very successful in short video. Reposting interesting short videos on Wechat Moments can promote the products to a certain extent. As for the short film clips of brands that are currently dropped in Wechat Moments, there tend to be a lot of people who pay attention to and like them. This phenomenon of short videos on Wechat Moments has become a trend for promotion, and a lot of accounts have even started selling clothes through short videos on Sina Weibo. A lot of Wechat sellers have also switched from posting pictures to recording small videos. Especially for the clothing industry, the dynamic effect of models in the clothes is be better than pictures. In fact, it is not difficult to conclude a trend from this: nowadays, fashion and technology are more and more closely connected, and in the future, it may be possible to order through one direct click on the video. Short videos and the fashion industry are bound to be connected together as well.

The medium of communication changes with technology, and how to be in the spotlight is the eternal topic in terms of promotion. Nowadays, WIFI is available everywhere, traffic is cheap, and the form of expression for small videos is rich (combination of audio and visual), which can better enable people to obtain information in videos. Individuals are more willing to choose to see what is conveyed in the video when the texts appear to be simple and boring, on which people are reluctant to spend more time. Now that short videos are becoming popular, everyone is more willing to produce content through it. Therefore, many apps have currently developed the function of short video. In addition to short videos, live streaming has also become popular among brands in the fashion industry, becoming a recent hot spot with a lot of traffic. The Internet is developing rapidly, so it is reasonable that we believe that before VR, the combination of the fashion industry and short video will only be closer. If hardware peripherals can be popularized in the future, the close cooperation between VR and fashion industry will definitely be the trend.

When it comes to the combination of short videos and fashion industry, the first thing that comes to my mind is to express people’s concern vividly through graphics and pictures, such as “Feidieshuo”, which makes you feel that knowledge has never been more interesting. There are also storytelling models like “Yitiao” and “Ergeng” that will also intrigue readers. Video is more direct than words, pictures, and audios, making people feel that learning is also like watching a movie, immersing you into knowledge unconsciously. For example, the official account “Bigger Institute” is to deliver some interesting knowledge of the popular stuff to everyone through video clips. Recently, it has been talking about the collision of a bag from a famous brand with IKEA. It has also talked about some Western etiquette or cocktail knowledge before, which were also great.

Short clips with stories are the most attractive for people; with a good story, the shooting can even be done through the phone. In addition to the content of the short video itself, the repost and discussion on short videos is usually a geometric multiple compared with the text, so deep interaction is important. How to generate interaction? Videos can include links, or it is necessary that interactive nodes are set up on the content, or more directly, set giveaways lotteries for reposts—all these methods can make your short video content interact with users. In addition, you might be able to gain different perspectives through a readership and better communication with readers. Interaction brings traffic growth. In addition to traffic conversion, advertising is one of the biggest profit points for short videos. Miaopai is a good short video business model. With an ecological combination with Weibo, it has become the largest short video platform on IResearch through its good capital performance, large user group, and strong distribution capabilities.


How to Maintain Mass Production of High-quality Content?

How to maintain mass production of premium content? I believe this is important to everyone who cares about the future development of the industry. Compared with text-based creation, the production cost of short videos is relatively high, and professionalism is not guaranteed. Even some TV station teams are unable to provide sufficient high-quality short video content.

For a consistent high-quality content, I believe that two aspects needs to be clear:

  1. What kind of content can the creative team present?
  2. What kind of content does the target audience need?

Arranging contents in an organized way based on correct self-positioning is the basis for achieving sustainable output of high-quality content. But more often than not, it is an ideal goal to ensure that each issue can meet the standards of everyone with its high quality. Since different audiences have various understandings towards the definition of “high quality”, based on these two aspects, if the content or idea you intend to convey can be perceived by the viewers, then it is of high quality. Appropriate contents delivered to the target audiences is good content for them. Usually, it takes experience to choose a topic with traffic; it might happen that only 20% of people really understand you, but the repost can come from the remaining 80%, which manifests the importance of selecting a topic.

Is it necessary to try niche subjects? Is it required to catch popular hot spots? Niche subjects have their own demand groups, and it is also feasible to follow hot spots as a pitch point for niche topics. The application of hotspots can bring traffic to other contents, and unpopular topics can catch people’s attention. Sometimes popular themes cannot ignite everyone’s enthusiasm, but rather, niche topics are impressive. Although the audience for niche subjects is small, this is exactly a testament to the low video production cost threshold and fast transmission speed of short videos. However, professionalism is also a solid foundation for fast communication. Most of the major official accounts that are doing well on WeChat are media practitioner. Why? profession! Those who handle short videos well are also usually professionals and teams. This is because short videos are not only a tool for learning, but also a tool for communication. The effect of communication is hardly related to the acceptance of the audience, but rather, to the professionalism of the producer. However, the cost for high-quality short videos is often high, which is difficult for average teams to achieve.

As entrepreneurial contents, short videos have strong penetrability and high level of interactive attraction. Fashion industry can provide the audience with the matching contents and product features in a direct, diverse, entertaining and effective way through the vivid combination of videos, words and audio, establishing a close connection between the audience and the creator. Meanwhile, the establishment of a deeper and more effective interactive interface with readers can realize direct and effective face-to-face communication with fans, so as to achieve information sharing, fashion dissemination, and emotional interaction. The trend of fashion industry marketing through short videos is irreversible and will intensify in the future. We can also predict that the fashion industry will be more closely integrated with technology in the future.

What Is the Current Situation of Cross-border E-commerce? What Transformation Opportunities Are There? Where Will the Post-e-commerce Era Take Cross-border e-commerce?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

What Is the Current Situation of Cross-border E-commerce? What Transformation Opportunities Are There? Where Will the Post-e-commerce Era Take Cross-border e-commerce?

Xu Lele-Shanghai-yMato Procurement and Sales @ wechat: x1395711770

Former channel manager of New Zealand Countdown supermarket office in China. Former procurement Manager of B2B Global Procurement Division of yMato.


The Internet has deepened the globalization of shopping. With the continuous advancement of technology, the once-popular cross-border e-commerce environment has changed a lot. What kind of different cross-border new e-commerce will the 5G era bring?

The major experience that e-commerce brings to us is the shopping experience that breaks down time and space. We also collectively refer to these global e-commerce platforms as cross-border e-commerce. Cross-border e-commerce is generally a type of e-commerce, but it is different from general trade. General trade belongs to import trade, which is usually a business behavior between enterprises, while cross-border e-commerce is usually directly facing consumers worldwide. In addition, they are different in many aspects such as taxation system, supervision method, import link, transaction method, and business model.


Overview and Models of Cross-border E-commerce Platform

Currently, the platforms we know, such as Koala, Tmall, Amazon, eBay, and Wish all have cross-border businesses. These are actually domestic import and export platforms. Are there any differences in their platform models?

Koala, Tmall and Amazon are all more familiar and commonly used cross-border e-commerce platforms, so I won’t go into details here. eBay and Wish, which are still relatively niche in China, are mainly e-commerce platforms used abroad. What is the difference between the two?

eBay is the  largest online merchandise trading platform in the USA, allowing people around the world to purchase, sell and auction items on this platform. Compared with Wish, eBay mainly targets the European and North American markets. The model is similar to that of Taobao in China, with complete categories and low barriers to listing. Wish is an emerging APP-based cross-border e-commerce platform. In recent years, it has quickly attracted consumers in foreign markets. Its core categories are mainly apparel, mobile phones and gifts. Before the establishment of its cross-border e-commerce platform, Wish was just a tool for managing products. It mainly focused on sub-categories of products, recommending some products according to customer preferences and promoting by content sharing. Its products are mainly shipped from China, and most sellers are Chinese. Its product features are low unit price, low weight, high gross profit, good quality and low price, and the main market is the North American mobile endl.

These cross-border e-commerce platforms are usually divided into different models like B2B, B2C, and C2C. I used to do deal with B2B at yMato, which is a C2C platform.

B2B (Business-to-Business) refers to the fact that both the supply and demand sides of the e-commerce transaction are merchants (or enterprises and companies). The B2B model is similar to traditional general trade, which is simply a pallet for large orders. Its representative is Alibaba.

B2C (Business-to-Customer) refers to the model where the supplier is the merchant and the demand side is the consumer. It is an online shopping channel provided by most companies for consumers through the Internet, and it is able to sell products to consumers directly online. Its representative platforms include Amazon and JD.

C2C (Customer to Customer)— individuals to individuals. Now there are some platforms for individuals to sell products to other individuals. This platform mainly relies on the current logistics industry. The biggest advantages are low inventory, low capital, and low thresholds, such as small- scale Taobao shops, but the more representative platform is actually eBay and yMato. yMato is aimed at smaller individuals overseas. For example, if you are an international student or a salesperson of an overseas supermarket, you can put the product on the yMato and sell it to Chinese consumers through the platform. The well-known purchasing agents, who directly ship products to domestic consumers, also belong to this mode.  If there is a platform in the middle that can connect both sides, it is in C2C mode. These are different modes of e-commerce, but the fact that docking ports of various modes are different determines their own characteristics.


Under the Premise of Increasingly Intense Competition, What Kind of Directions for Transformation are There for Cross-border E-commerce?

In fact, currently, the threshold for cross-border industries is getting increasingly high, and platform traffic is slowly falling. Judging from the current status of cross-border e-commerce in China, manufacturers who really profit are overseas brands. Relying on their own brand advantages and channel advantages, brand owners directly authorize China’s supply chain or TP (Tmall Partner) agents. TP is the acting operator. The relatively powerful brands have offices in China and are responsible for procurement themselves. In a certain way, the distributor refers to the supply chain company that helps a brand sell, mainly focusing on trade attributes. Nowadays, cross-border distribution is becoming more and more difficult–The price limit of brands, the control of channels, the instability of the market, etc., have all restricted the dealer’s authority. Most of the dealers currently based on B2B and B2C models have fixed sources of supply and channels. The C2C dealers, on the other hand, are scattered and the individual volume is relatively small.

From 2015 till now, cross-border imports have gradually become the Red Sea. The cross-border imports that everyone knows are no longer what they usually are, and many people are thinking about ways of transformation! Take Danone as an example—it has several types of the most popular milk powder. In the early years, the traders who cooperated with Danone were mainly B2B, wholesaling to Hong Kong customers directly. Now Danone directly authorizes to several major customers for sale, such as U1Baby Online,as well as Kidswin and Yuou Offline. This way of making their own supply chain system based on their advantages is called “clutch chain” in the industry.

The reason why cross-border e-commerce began to think about transformation is that after the dividend period of previous years, the current development of e-commerce has also begun to face unavoidable development bottlenecks. What is their dilemma? Should they choose platform or positioning? In fact, whether it is platform or positioning depends on the capabilities of all parties. When the development of cross-border import trade enters its second half, it is time to start to competition of the overall strength of the supply chain. For small cross-border importing businesses, when they entered the industry, the fact that the price was not so transparent, and the market competition was not so fierce neither made it easier to achieve profitability. But now, while the path for import are becoming clearer and the prices are increasingly transparent, the market is still dominated by the first and second tiers– the speed of sinking to the third and fourth tiers is very slow, making the share of the cake smaller.

Which direction should cross-border import and export businesses go? How to do cross-border business well? This has to go back to 2015, when import trade was still a blue ocean–platforms such as Koala had not yet emerged, and various national trade policies of the country were slowly being liberalized, without formulated policies. Identifying the prospect, many companies earned their first bucket of gold by adjusting from general traders to cross-border imports. China’s cross-border exports also started in 2015, when Shenzhen’s major sellers were also confused and did not know what to do. But at that time, many small business owners who were engaged in exporting thought that they saw the opportunity. Although they wanted to try it, there were no overseas channels. At that time, many cross-border forums appeared in Shenzhen, and many companies would pay a fortune hiring talents majoring in international trade.

Koala and Amazon have done well for some time. But now it seems that cross-border e-commerce and foreign trade are starting to experience difficulties, such as increasing tariffs. Even for the industry giant Amazon, it is not easy: VAT has to be paid in Europe, and the competition in North American is getting increasingly fierce. There are still prospects for development in the Canadian market, but currently more platforms have started taking the route of boutique. The requirements for products are also getting higher. In order to gain unique advantages, it is best to be serialized and systematic. Currently, among these platforms, Amazon is still more suitable for merchants with production systems to take boutique routes. In addition, there are also many merchants who build their own websites without relying on third-party platforms—they have the conditions for transformation.

Compared with domestic e-commerce, cross-border e-commerce has its advantages in terms of transformation, since it does not draw distinguish in geography.

If you are a factory with your own set of production system, all you need to do to get onto Amazon is improve the product quality, move closer and upgrade towards the product lines that are systematized with boutique route. If you are a trader who wants to do business on Amazon, it is recommended to deal in products in small categories, low unit prices, low weight, and high demand—Market is relatively large for this type of market. In 2015, when cross-border exports were surging, many people realize that this is the market trend and they wanted to be involved. There were also Many people desperate to do it, creating a lot of accounts in advance to occupy the “pits”; now they refined them slowly, gaining a lot of profit. Although this method can occupy a certain market share in the early stage, the current difficulty lies in its heavy inventory pressure. In addition, with the popularization of real-name system, this method of creating multiple accounts in a large volume is no longer feasible.

What are the other ways of transformation? It used to be the development from offline to online, and now, there are online platforms that transform to set offline experience stores. For example, Shopify’s self-built station has started offline foreign trade. In addition, there are also those who make tens of millions a year through sales systems, such as Woocommerce. Woocommerce is a self-built mall system, which is mostly used by foreign trade customers. Just by selling this mall system to companies that do foreign trade, it can earn ten million a year. The number of customers in this field may be greater than we imagine. For independent e-commerce websites, they have also realized that they need their own living space, that is, self-built websites. The self-built websites used by the back end mainly include Shopify, Woocommerce, and so on.

Developing subdivision categories is also a direction for transformation. Everyone used to like wide track and high gross profit. Now, whether it is import or export, many categories are developing well. They may not be large categories, but they can achieve Top Sales in small categories. However, foreign e-commerce models are still different from domestic ones—they are not like China, where Taobao is such a huge platform and such a large market. The services provided by Taobao platforms, especially secured transactions, have Chinese characteristics. A great source of traffic for foreign shopping searches is Google, but there are many websites with vertical category segmentation abroad, for example, there are shopping websites that deal in clothes and shoes respectively. Integrated and unified platforms also exist, such as Amazon, eBay, but neither of these sites has achieved such a large market position as Taobao, whose slogan is that Taobao is omnipotent. It seems that no website abroad dares to claim that credit, but the mindset of domestic e-commerce is not enough for foreign trade, due to the differences in environment and background. Since credit is important abroad, the credit system is relatively complete and fixed. Purchases on eBay is paid through PayPal–because they are already used to it, they think it is very simple, therefore,  there will not be revolution in payment methods in spite of Alipay in China. Refund is also available any time in the United States. People with real names in the United States can only have one account, which is different from China, where you can often have multiple accounts. In the United States, when eBay and Amazon find something in your shopping cart or products you browsed, they will basically notify you the price and latest situation of the products or similar ones every 1-2 days. As a seller, the system will also tell you who is interested in your products after viewing them, and that if you lower the price a bit, maybe you can close the deal. However, with the popularity of big data, Taobao is currently able to promote products, remind and notify users based on their preferences.


Post-E-commerce Era

The platform behavior of combining big data analysis, intelligently promoting users with their interests combined with text, pictures, videos and other content so that you see what you are interested in, and the website where you bought products promoting related products reminds us that we are moving towards the “post-e-commerce” era, and the more mature post-e-commerce era may develop towards contextualized one-stop shopping. Now Taobao has begun to set up personal avatars, which may be the first step towards an immersive user experience in the future. While it used to be E-commerce, it could be A-commerce in the future. AR and virtual shopping experience can solve many existing difficulties including inaccurate fitting sizes, which is also a subversion to the past and entrance to intelligent shopping. If this model can be implemented on games, then it will be fine on shopping. Viewing it from now, it may be realized soon.

With the advancement of technology, advertisers and media will use technology to make shopping products more diverse and attractive. In addition, the 5G era has brought us more chances and opportunities, so various applications can promote contextualized shopping. Future shopping may be like imitation of an entity. Building an entity on a large platform, for example, putting well-known architectures around the world on the platform and consumers go directly to shops, watch movies and play games in the headsets– mature packages of this already exist in cross-border e-commerce. The Shopify mentioned above is just an example of combining AR and VR.

What can the technological revolution bring us? We tend to be unable to see the whole picture in the flow of history. With the development of technology, the “contextualized one-stop shopping” of e-commerce may be achieved in the near future, and online shopping can be as real as in a physical entertainment street. Physical stores also need to consider making new retail experiences, deeply cultivating artisan spirit, creating personalized experiences or “anti-tech” experiences. In the future, when we achieve material abundance and it reach a certain saturation, what the market needs may not only be products, but service consumption that pays more attention to spiritual level.

If “contextualized one-stop shopping” can be achieved, what e-commerce sells is no longer only the past products itself, but more likely, it will focus on the service consumption before the rise of e-commerce. Currently, the mode of cross-border import and export is basically fixed. It is nothing more than B2B, B2C, and C2C. The direction of future development will definitely be scientific, experiential and intelligent. For us, there are opportunities as long as we make decisions based on the actual situation of our company. E-commerce is a platform and a way of selling. We need to look at its role in a rational way. More essentially, we should seize the development trend and take the foothold of product core.

In the “New Retail” Era, How Do Small and Micro Fashion Companies Expand and Manage Sales Channels?

Christine Tsui Fashion Community

In the “New Retail” Era, How Do Small and Micro Fashion Companies Expand and Manage Sales Channels?

Yibai-Beijing-Channels etc. @ Wechat

Yibai graduated from Tianjin Polytechnic University with a bachelor’s degree in fashion design and engineering and a minor degree in English. She attended the Postgraduate Course of Import and Export Strategy and Management at the University of International Business and Economics. Invited lecturer at Beijing Institute of Clothing Technology, she has assisted in teaching courses such as “Luxury Fashion Management” and “Consumer Behavior”. Yibai has the experience of managing distribution channels for high-end socks (domestic and foreign OEM and ODM channel negotiation and follow-up; domestic brand channel expansion and distribution, etc.).  She has also operated an online store independently.

In the context of new retail, what should channel management for small and micro fashion companies do?

Before answering this question, let’s take a look at an internal industry article in 2018. In the article “Inspecting China’s Street Fashion field from INXX 丨 LuxeCo’s  Exclusive Interview with Co-Founder Liu Kunneng”, it said:

“The fashion brand collection platform INXX was established in 2014. Currently, it has opened more than 130 offline stores in high-end commercial complexes such as Hang Lung, Intime, Kerry Center, etc., with annual sales of nearly 400 million yuan. Recently, LuxeCo interviewed Liu Kunneng, the co-founder of INXX. It was rare to hear the in-depth contemplation from an industry insider who took street fashion as a serious business.

“INXX conducts market expansion through multiple methods including direct management, franchise, and joint venture. Based on the experience of the founding team’s Internet operations, online operations are completely satisfactory, however, it lacks operational experience and channel resources offline.

In the early stage, we tried a lot of new retail methods online, such as Pop-up store, ordering through iPad, etc. Problems have occurred, and later we adjusted our strategies by doing what should be done online and offline respectively, but also using the Internet operation experience to make the two combine effectively. For example, INXX’s space design has a lot of highlights with visual impact. At the same time, our team also followed the traditional offline operation models in combination with the open mind Online, gradually settling down and forming a set of INXX models. ”

Liu Kunneng believes that omnichannel development is necessary, such as combining the member management system with various platforms and channels to form information flow, customer flow, and product flow. In addition, “we focus on extended shopping scenarios, not just in stores.”

“Through practice, INXX has established a complete store evaluation mechanism in terms of operation management. This is a process of continuous correction to reduce prediction errors. In the end, instead of being radical, we opened a hundred stores in 4 or 5 years. We hope to find the right senses in the exploration process to open the store steadily. ”

Why do I start from this article? Because it has mentioned a problem, that is, the early channel establishment of small and micro brands. Promotion budget for most brands, especially small and micro brands is limited, and they often have limited expenses and less staff. However, even with little promotion budget, businesses often hope to achieve good results, so as to achieve simultaneous growth of brand reputation and conversion. Nowadays, it is said that “traffic is the king”, but the current traffic is still at a stage of high price and difficult conversion. Generally, the aim of other channels (non-e-commerce) is just to establish reputation and shape brand impression. The platform for real purchases will still be switched to Tmall, and others. In this industry chain, what should small and micro brands do? Let’s make a hypothesis first — assume that a designer is an independent designer and operates his own brand. The reality he currently faces is:

  1. There is a store that he rented with average turnover but high operating cost (labor, store rent, inventory, etc.);
  2. He hired someone to manage his own online store, (there is an artist and an operation specialist), whose turnover is average;
  3. The main turnover lies in domestic and foreign buyer stores, but if the order is large, while the unit cost is low, the advance fees such as fabric production will be high, and the repayment period through the channel is long; Costs for small orders are high and the profit is low, which is time and energy consuming.

In fact, cases like this hypothesis of independent designer’s self-supporting business can be found in reality. In view of the situations above, the designer now wants to temporarily close the self-operated store and turn to stall wholesale and retail, whose repayment is faster. Is this a right mindset? Should we carry on when the current operating costs of self-operated stores are high? What are the reasons if we give up?

It is undeniable that there must be sufficient funds to support branding. The first problem that must be dealt with in physical operations is high rents, followed by high staff costs and changes in customers’ offline consumption habits. Although currently the rent of designer’s option—the stall is not low neither, the retail store has a smaller customer base and a lower unit price compared to it. At present, due to the impact of the Internet, many offline stores are indeed in a state of relying on their luck; ineligible operation is a great burden for most small and micro enterprises. Despite this, many small shops can still continue to operate smoothly and steadily. Operation is a dynamic process. In addition to considering the current situation, we also need to focus on the long-term direction. In fact, if you want to grow from micro and small to large scale, self-operated stores are still necessary.

The reason is that even if there are shops online, most customers still need offline experience to buy products online, therefore, offline is still an important platform for customer experience. Even if AI technology is further developed in the future, the online experience can hardly match offline experience. At the same time, offline stores can directly learn, record and investigate the consumption habits of target customer groups, which provide designers with more direct information. Therefore, if the company’s funds allow it, it is still required that a brand has its own offline store, whether it is a prototype store or a brand boutique. But at the same time, it is necessary to calculate the balance of profit and loss.  A good VIP service and strengthened customer experience are also good brand promotion channels.

In addition, what we need to know is that the cost of online customer acquisition is not low nowadays, and online traffic acquisition and conversion are not easy. If you have a regular customer base, focusing on offline retail may be more stable. Plus, since the domestic market is large, there are still many customers who, instead of buying clothes online, choose to buy them in a physical store.

Rather than whether to continue operating offline stores, what small and micro enterprises consider first is survival. Operation needs efficiency, and a brand should spare no effort to improve the experience of offline stores. However, based on different developments, if it is difficult to afford the high cost after comprehensive considerations, it can stop losses in time and give up temporarily. In the long run, there should still be direct-operated stores, and it is better to combine physical stores with online stores. Alibaba’s plot on Freshippo and Tencent’s acquisition of HLA both indicate that the offline traffic is a new lowland. The combination of offline experience and online purchase is the best for consumers.

What are the common KPIs for directly operated stores or channel terminals? In the era when KPI is the king, businesses have to prove themselves through data, so that ordering, distribution of products, listing planning, replenishment, promotion and management of goods can be rational, beneficial, and restrained. In terms of monitoring and trend analysis, buyers’ personal visits to terminal stores are beneficial to the correction of “deviations” caused by pure data. Also, attention should be paid to the difference between single regional stores in comparison to competitors.

图片 204副本

(Source: Hermann retail Weibo, China)

The data commonly used for the assessment of a shop’s KPIs can usually refer to the chart above, which includes 11 core performance indicators: sales rate, inventory turnover rate, surface efficiency, cross rate, seasonal index method, associate purchase rate, and customer unit price. These indicators are also the 11 key passwords to leverage store profits. Here I will share the article “Hands-on knowledge: Eleven Key Passwords to Improve Store Profits” published by on June 3, 2015. The article has mentioned how to define and decrypt these 11 passwords, for example, human efficiency refers to sales per person per day. Monthly staff effeiciency of the store = sales of the store in the current month / total number of people in the store (including the manager, cashier, shop assistant, warehouse manager, with night attendants and securities excluded) / days “. The indicator of human efficiency reflects the following issues:

  1. Product knowledge and sales skills of employees;
  2. Matching between employees and products;
  3. Whether the schedule is reasonable.

(Note: source of the texts above:

In addition to the significance of the data themselves, we can also use them to guide us for further improvements of store operation, such as enhancing the store experience, holding more activities to attract attention, training sales staff, occasionally adjusting display, unified online and offline accounting, etc. The direction of store operation mainly comes from customer feedback and the objective comparison with neighbor or similar stores. For small and micro businesses or stores, human is fundamental. Service and communication are achieved through front-line service staff, therefore, shop assistants are the key. With enhanced abilities of shop assistants, the transaction volume can be raised. You can also encourage shopping assistants with high sales volume to share their experience. However, it is necessary to give shop assistants an attractive commission and incentive plan, which is for the seller’s profit.

From the buyer’s point of view, it is necessary to provide customers a cost performance experience that exceeds their expectations. Making customers feel that they have taken advantage does not necessarily mean it is cost-effective; it is a self-feeling.


Should I Still Carry on If The Sales of Self-operated Online Channel are Average?

As mentioned above, what offline and online stores need is combination instead of conflict. How to achieve integration? In the context of new retail, a good growth point is to manage offline community operations well; in addition, offline brands can also test market feedback and channels through “pop-up stores”.

Case: “Kenji Wu opened his streetwear store in Sanlitun, claiming  ‘100 stores will be opened in three years’”, The Curiosity Institute (

“Kenji Wu opened his streetwear store in Sanlitun, claiming ‘100 stores will be opened in three years’”. Opening a pop-up store before setting up a formal store is a way for the brand to test the mainland market channels.

According to media reports, since 2014, Debrand has opened pop-up stores in Shenzhen, Chengdu, Beijing and other places.

In a media interview in June this year, Yu Guoan, the manager of Taikooli, Sanlitun, called the pop-up store “a bilateral selection process”: “Through the pop-up store, we can know whether the brand has potential for development, popularity, consumer favor, sales performance, etc.

On the one hand, it can keep the commercial center of TaikooLi in Sanlitun fresh and boost consumption; on the other hand, it is also beneficial for brands to promote and test the water in a new regional market. ”

This case illustrates that online brands are now seeking to integrate with offline stores. Why? Perhaps because the traffic is getting more expensive, the deterioration of this living condition forces them to find loopholes in the platform. Repressed by channels for years, these online brands have developed unconventional tact. Therefore, it has become popular to open a “pop-up store” first and then a “real store”. The meaning of the pop-up store is to “test”, whether it is the purchasing power of the customer base, or the acceptance of price and style, etc. How to manage a pop-up store? You can find some platforms or institutions that specialize in pop-up stores, such as “Pop-up Palace”. As WeChat thrives, these sellers, who are experience products, know very well that they must grasp the rule of “decentralization”.

This issue needs to be specifically analyzed according to the situation of the company, but the general view is that companies that are eligible for it should open their self-operated stores as the most direct store for brand awareness, image dissemination, product testing and role model.

But online direct sales also need to be carried on. Although it is difficult at the beginning, it is a cumulative process for a lot of things. If you have something ready when others need it, you have grabbed the opportunity, which means you have met the market demand. For online promotion, in addition to attracting traffic through Weibo, Tiktok and livestream, in fact, ground promotion can also be the most popular and down-to-earth method for online store promotion and recognition. Attracting the traffic from offline to online, on the contrary, although a bit old-fashioned, will lead to better quality than some fake followers, if efforts are put into it. Many supporting schemes have to be synchronized– Capital is the first step and then management follows.

Even if your company is exclusive to offline stores, when your brand is successful, there will be someone who fake it under the name of your brand, both online and offline. For example, there was a Victoria’s Secret shop in Shanghai a few years ago. Everyone thought that Victoria’s Secret has entered the Chinese market, only to find out later that it was just a fake and unauthorized store. There is something even scarier and undefendable, that is, the retailers fake the brand of their products –they represents and sells your brand while faking their own products under your brand, which disrupts the brand reputation.

Although it has become increasingly difficult to attract and convert traffic through Weibo and Tiktok, as a matter of fact, neither online or offline is east to operate. Do not give up online stores just because of their average sales volume. Instead, analyze specific issues. Online direct sales provide a convenient way for online customers to purchase products. In the current Internet era, an official online store is a must. Whether it’s for brand promotion, convenient purchase, or new-style test and prices test, it is very practical. Meanwhile, pre-sale of some designs can also be carried out online in advance, so as to add orders on products with good feedbacks in advance. Pre-sale can also greatly reduce trial and error costs.

According to McKinsey Online Luxury Consumption Report,  In 2025, e-commerce channels will contribute 19% of sales to the luxury industry. The ambitious Dubai Internet company Mall.Global wants to create a virtual shopping mall that fully replicates the offline experience.

“The Mall.Global project will be based on virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technologies, coupled with artificial intelligence, so that consumers can experience at home the feeling of shopping in a mall. In addition, the project will also include cross-platform consumers functions such as loyalty programs, opinion leader evaluations, and support for multiple virtual currency settlements. Mall.Global will ensure user information security through EU Data Protection and GDPA. “(Text from: )

In fact, you should think clearly about the position of your online store in your brand, and why you would open an online store. If you feel that your sales are average, you should solve this general reason: it is because of the channel itself, the product, or the people—it is only after analyzing these one by one that you can determine the nature to open an offline store. Analyze your target consumer groups and their characteristics, or shopping habits. We can analyze this through user portraits.

The latest NPD clothing retail industry trend report states that the key to success lies in connecting online & offline stores and expand consumer contacts.

The report classifies the interviewed consumers into six categories:

  • Social consumers (enthusiastic about shopping online and searching for information; sensitive to pictures);
  • Technical consumers (enthusiastic about obtaining more product information through technology; shopping attitude is cautious);
  • Trendy consumers (enthusiastic about pursuing fashion trends; sensitive to pictures);
  • Taobao consumers (pursuing cost-effectiveness with clear shopping goals);
  • Loyal brand consumers (willing to pay for quality, high brand loyalty, and only shop when needed);
  • Lazy “consumers (prefer one-stop shopping, don’t have time to shop and hate online shopping). (Source:

Intentional strengthening can be applied in terms of website page design, marketing channels, etc. Online channels should also be categorized according to different goals: exposure, conversions, and new visitors. Professionals need to be invested if small and micro enterprises want to do business on platforms such as and Tmall. Moreover, attracting traffic is quite costly at the moment, which might not even result in higher conversion rate in turn. Although e-commerce is not easy, it can’t be abandoned. To establish e-commerce, you need to first learn to attract traffic with pictures and control costs through ROI. People are visual animals, so picture editing and copywriting are very important. At the same time, you should also understand the various other maneuvers on e-commerce platforms. These platforms have always been issuing new requirements and new rules; it will be more disturbing if you are fined accidentally. At the same time, traffic costs competition is fierce, so in the long run, it would be better to have an independent website.  In the early stage, promotion and introduction can be conducted, but accumulate step by step. Engage in low-cost activities to increases consumer loyalty—For companies with low budget, try to attract traffic through free channels, such as Weibo, Official accounts, etc. I will share the specific steps through the following two articles for your reference:

“Teach You How to Do” shop diagnosis ” in One Article”


“The Most Comprehensive Taobao Shop Diagnostic Method– Quickly Find the Core Breakthrough Point of the Shop!”


It is worth mentioning that, based on the enterprise, co-development of multi-channel online can be achieved. When online distributors are involved, the company should designate relevant staff to monitor the implementation of price policies and promotional plans of different channels, otherwise it’s easy to get out of control. With the popularization of the Internet and the rise of the sharing economy, online channels are increasingly valued by enterprises. No matter what kind of dilemma they face, many things are actually a process of accumulation. In the development of small and micro enterprises, they should cooperate with new media and pay attention to self-operated channels online. In terms of new product testing, they still have great advantages. In fact, in the channel of new media, there are companies doing very well no matter what the platform is; it is suggested to pay more attention to them in daily life to accumulate and draw reference from.


With Limited Time and Money, What Factors Should Be Considered When Establishing a Chanel?

Survival is the primary concern in the first stage, but the problem in this phase is that the advantages of the brand have not been tested by the market. At this stage, you need to see whether the user group of the channel itself coincides with your target customers. The first step is to look for similar companies to portray your users. First of all, the company itself should form a general understanding of its target users, and then clarify it through data to avoid fundamental cognitive bias. For example, I want to sell products to “fair, rich and beautiful ladies”, but somehow the store staff reported that most of the actual purchases were “new money”. This is the deviation. Through data analysis, you can more accurately formulate sales strategies and improve efficiency for your user portraits.

The first thing is usually to do what you can and focus on breakthrough. Prioritize whichever problem that can bring you profit soon by solving them. If the initial funding is limited, you can consider finding second-tier channels with target customers, such as advanced second-tier cities, and then enter central cities. It is very important to act according to our abilities, but we can’t let income affect the brand image, which should be protected in the early stage, while the channels can be limited and refined.

Survival does not necessarily require a powerful brand; an ability to survive proves it is a brand, because survival represents the satisfaction of some customer needs. It is feasible to consider the model after when there is a team and cash flow. However, you have to be prudent with the choice of brand channels– you can register for a sub-license for the wholesale channel, which means “open source”. Brand channels in the market are roughly divided into three categories: 1. Completely autonomous (higher requirements for retailers, but brand owners barely have control over its terminals); 2. Auxiliary support; 3. Complete domination (high requirements for brand owners).

Some retailers are relatively dominant and require buyouts. You can decide based on the situation of the enterprise.

But whichever method you choose, don’t leave it once the delivery is finished. The channel management staff should visit the store from time to time. An extreme case is that the retailer has developed into a larger scale and would like to make its own brand, but the product design and development ability is weak. After importing from the brand owner, they went directly to factories to change the logo on the clothes. The fact that many big brands choose not to enter the channel is also related to their own positioning, that is, the question of which advantage to pitch into. For example, in the case of the cooperation between new brands and Lane Crawford, since the advantages these new brands have are very weak in all aspects, they can properly compromise to platform for faster development.

For small and micro enterprises, how to make the “channel” find you? This can be achieved in the following ways:

  1. Self-promotion:
  2. Weibo account and official Wechat account, etc .;
  3. Media interviews and reports;
  4. Participating exhibitions;
  5. Good reputation– if a good reputation is established, retailers will also actively look for “you”;
  6. Keep up with competitive products;
  7. Department store, real estate, chain stores– conversations with the investment promotion department;
  8. E-commerce:, Red, etc., analyze investment promotion policies and evaluate costs;
  9. New opportunities: Keep an eye on industry news, for example, those of HLA and Meituan these days, to find new channels.


Here is an article about whether direct sales will become the future trend: “Strengthen Control, Outdoor Brand Columbia Acquires Remaining Equity in Chinese Joint Ventures”


French knitting queen Sonia Rykiel has accelerated the pace of reorganization: Japan’s distribution channels have returned to self-operation– womenswear and girl’s clothing product lines have found partners.

” Sonia Rykiel, the French knitting queen under the Li & Fung Group in Hong Kong is accelerating its pace of revolution by launching a key strategic decision: take back the Japanese distribution channel and implement self- control.”

“The licensed production of Sonia Rykiel and the Japanese / Italian luxury group Onward Luxury Group and the agreement of exclusive distribution in the Japanese market ended in A/W 2017. From the S/S 2018 collection, the brand will directly manage the Japanese market. After 30 years of cultivation, the brand has gained a very high reputation in Japan, which has also become one of the brand’s key markets. Company executives believe that direct control of Japanese distribution channels is one of the company’s opportunities. ”

In my opinion, the proportion of direct sales mainly depends on the development stage of the brand. Initially, the brand enters the market quickly through distributors and dealers. On the other hand, with considerable economic background and understanding of the local market, brands are more inclined to operate on their own.


What Are the Pain Spots in Channel Cooperation? How to Deal with It?

With regards to pain spots, especially for new brands and micro-enterprises, consider the issues of inventory and factory production capacity, billing period, online and offline price management in different regions, etc. In addition to this, there are also venue issues that offline entities often encounter. The conditions for traditional department store cooperation are renewed once a year or even every six months and are subject to adjustments and changes at any time. Some shopping malls implement elimination system. If the sales are not good for a while, they will move you to a bad location. In this case, you can cooperate through groups or carry out multi-brand collaboration. Performance is the key. Only with sales performance can we have the power to speak.

For online brands, the pain spots they face are more in terms of physical entities or offline cooperation.

“This 45-year-old sports giant will dramatically reshape its retail channel and focus on its key retail partners in the future, which accounts fo 40%”

“Currently, Nike’s retail network includes more than 30,000 retailers and 110,000 retail stores. Although it will not dissolve partnerships with all these retailers, in the next few years, the company will put its important resources, marketing strategies and exclusive products on a few limited retail channels. They will be “merchants who are willing to set up a unique Nike brand space in the store and have specially Nike-trained employees to assist in sales.” (Source: Nike announced that it will reorganize the retail channel; the revenue of the next 5 years will mainly come from overseas markets)

Online and offline cooperation is an inevitable trend. An important element in cooperation is to establish common performance expectations at the beginning of the cooperation, and then maintain close communication to ensure that the goals are achieved. At the same time, whether it is channel management or a buyer, as long as it is retail, it is better to visit stores and chat with customers and front-line shop assistants. Although the data is important, it is too abstract to look at the numbers alone, so on-site visits are needed.

In the new retail era, what should small and micro enterprise brands do? In summary, if conditions allow, shop assistants are the key to establishing a self-operated store and solving specific store operation problems; the cost for traffic through online channels is high so it is feasible to attract traffic through free channels (Weibo, Tiktok, etc.) to refine presale and reduce risks; if the money and staff of the company is limited at the initial stage, it is necessary to consider its own advantages when establishing channels. Multi-brands and multi-channels can be applied to ensure survival. Carefully choose  your brand channel vendors, cooperate closely and strive for a win-win situation.