Q&A| Is it true that a Chanel cloth worth 35000 yuan will be thrown away after being worn only once?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

A question from Zhihu:

Is it true that a Chanel cloth worth 35000 yuan will be thrown away after being worn only once? (According to the following microblog)

The original micro-blog:

Poverty has limited my imagination… The rich do not consider how to wash the clothes at all:

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When I worked in a dry-cleaning shop, a guest took a Chanel coat worth over 600,000 yen (about 35,000 RMB). But it was faded after washing, so the guest complained us. We called the after-sales service center of Chanel, only to get an answer that “we have never taken washing into the consideration of designs.” … which means that the customers would throw it away after wearing the coat a few times… I could do nothing but be stricken dumb with the rich world…

In my opinion, even if the condition in the microblog is true, it at least should not be a common issue.

As a practitioner working in the garment industry for so many years, I know that none of the clothing brands dare to claim 100% reliable quality, for the quality inspection rate of clothing products could never reach 100%, but only in a certain proportion. So, sometimes the quality problems are possible.

As far as I concern, even if all the luxury brands in the world have quality problems, Chanel must be the last one of them.

  1. Old brand as Chanel is, reputation and quality are more important than anything else. Although, in general, the high-end product quality has regressed in many ways (such as the loss of some craft techniques for haute-couture). Chanel, in terms of either quality or service, however, is still the best of luxury brands.
  2. Most people probably know little about the staff training in luxury companies. Almost every company has staff training, but that of the luxury brands is much superior, especially in the training of front-line salespeople and VIP customer service staff. In most stores of common brands, if customers have any question to ask the clerks about price, dress material, washing methods or inventory, I dare to guarantee that nine times out of ten the clerks would know nothing unless to read over the tags or check in the system, let along their knowledge of clothes matching, fashion stories or brand history. But the service in luxury stores could be totally different. Of course, nothing could be absolutely, for I have also experienced poor service in luxury stores. , the salespeople of luxury stores have a better understanding of the products and services than the other sales staff. After all, the trainings are different. For the simplest example, if a customer enters the store, what distance to be kept is appropriate? It would be rude to be too close, for the customer feels overlooked to be followed closely. But too far, the customer would feel that the attention to himself/herself is not enough.
  3. Besides, it is unique for Chanel that it has not been listed yet. So objectively, it bears less performance pressure than LVMH or Kering. As a result, its marketing strategies are understated but luxurious, rather than extravagant and thunderous like other brands. The reason why I mention this factor here is that the quality usually gets worse when a brand is particularly eager to expand and gain in a short time. The too rapid development consumes the energy and time to ensure the product quality. Without this problem, Chanel’s strategy has always been steady, in some cases, too conservative in my point of view, which has made it miss some market opportunities (such as the opportunity to switch to a younger market). But maybe that is exactly why it can endure in a long time. So, I believe that the quality problem mentioned in the microblog could not a common issue for Chanel.
  4. Does the situation exist? Would the rich throw the cloth only worn once? The answer is yes, but mainly for the super riches in the Middle East (the biggest consumers of luxury goods in the world). Because their wealth is mostly easy money. So sometimes they have dropped the clothes to the laundry, they don’t even have a desire to get the garments back. Therefore, they really don’t care about the quality.

 

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Q&A| Why the consumerism of fashion is easier to influence females than males?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

(The question from Zhihu.com)

Why the consumerism is easier to influence females than males?

For example, if advertorials boast the effects of some skin care products or list the must-buy bags of XX brands, many a girl would immediately set up for shopping at any cost, some even involved in nude photos as loan guarantees. But boys are hardly to be persuaded to purchase.

 

Actually, the question is not accurate enough. The questioner puts up with “Why the consumerism is easier to influence females than males?”, but his or her description only involves clothes and cosmetics stuff, in another word, living goods of fashion. So, the examples could not be comprehensive. Is buying a car not consumption? Is it still dominated by the female?

Therefore, it’s not appropriate to label consumerism as women’s priority, for it is only the discrepant consumption habits. The male chases quality when the female chases styles; the male resents shopping the living goods when the female is crazy about it in instinct; the male targets clearly the necessities when the female always pay for impulse…

As to the reason, I suppose only the consumption psychologists hold the right answer.

So, if the questioner is confused with female consumption behavior, I would recommend adjusting the question itself, to be more precisely, “Why the consumerism of fashion is easier to influence females than males?”

Above all, compared with men, women more intend to dress themselves up. Other than the instinct elements, women also need to be beautiful to live in this world for long historical periods, which could not be separated from the evolution of female’s social positions.

Not until the World War II could the independence of the female realize. For thousands of years, women could not survive without men. In order to outperform the other women, one must show off herself with appearance advantages, when the education opportunities are not always open to the female, which means a woman is hardly able to attract men with knowledge. By the way, men may not admire clever women at all. In the appearance competition, girls dress up and make up as much as they can, so the consumption is reasonable.

From this view, apart from the instinctive pursuit of beauty, the male’s hunting for pretty girls stimulates women’s passion for fashion. Girls pay for fashion and boys pay for the girls.

However, an answer like this is not comprehensive enough.

For example, more and more independent females live on themselves instead of males, so it is increasingly not necessary for these girls to cater for men’s tastes. But many of them still have much passion for fashion goods. So, what does fashion mean for them?

Many people, especially men, would like to label the women who are passionate for fashion as shallow ones. This sort of judgement obviously is out of the ones who do not understand the true fashion. In fact, fashion affects people’s behaviors and inner world greatly, instead of only function as decoration.

For instance, a woman in the high heel shoes would feel differently when in the sneakers, elegant the former but energetic the latter. I know it may be confusing for males, so gentlemen could image the feeling in a suit. Is it the same to the feeling in sports wears? Would even your way of walking change?

From that, fashion functions not only decorations but also communication—a channel to one’s own heart and to others’ inner world as well. Just like the first impression on a person is mainly rely on his or her appearance.

Obviously, females are better at express themselves through appearance than males.

Yet, in the recent years, more and more men would like to pay attention to the appearance and dressing, for they have become aware of fashion as communication functions that more than languages do, and the emergence of fashion consumption of men may also make a difference.

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Views|Where would the Double Eleven Festival go?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

Do you know the Double Eleven? Nov. 11th, the day before yesterday, is the largest shopping festival for Chinese. The information of it floods in my WeChat and it is reported that almost all the brands have broken their sales records. So, this time I would like talk about my own view on the Double Eleven Festival from the perspective of industry and consumption.

From the perspective of industry, several elements of Double Eleven have quite a reference value. First, I think Jack Ma, in the group of post-70s entrepreneurs, not only holds the best understanding of the post-90s and the Internet, but also is outstanding in the communication with customers. Originally the Double Eleven was only a point of shopping, but now it has become a grand carnival.

In addition, the festival promotes all the industries to some extent, which is held by one of my friend, Zhu Gangqiang, the founder of the Jacob Special Column. In his view, the explosive of the sales volume in one day or one week may cover the volume of the rest of a year, which would force all the industries to promote the efficiency of the whole supply and logistics chains. For instance, over 160 billion RMB goods needs to be delivered in 1-2 weeks. This volume would cover the annual GDF of some provinces. As a result, the supply, logistics and even online systems bear high requirements to deal with so many orders. Meanwhile, for many companies, the departments, from online system to customer service, would work overnight, so the severs also need to be fast enough to avoiding halting and delay of the orders.

As a result, hardware and software systems and even manpower faces a huge challenge, breaking the limits of a company repeatedly. From this view, the Double Eleven Festival rises the efficiency of the who industry, which is a positive effect.

However, I think this shopping mechanism has many negative effects at the same time. For myself, I only placed one order on the Double Eleven last year, and it was not a rush, but to book in advance. That’s all.

One of the side effects of this carnival is that some company would make their deals for whole year rushed into a single day. The insiders of online stores would know that the explosive sales would be followed by a high refund rate, 40% as far as I know of Double Eleven. Alibaba only exposes their sales data without the following issues.

Refund is a complicated business, immersed in the checks of each sections, costs of extra affairs and works of classifying. It can be imagined that the refunded goods may be only used once and sent back in wrong packages. For the sellers, this process is a kind of waste. The cost may never be calculated, or to say, exposed before. It would be a kind of harm for the companies.

Besides, the concentrated marketing is the same to a man full of leisure suddenly bounces up to fight overnight, which is far from common sense. Historically speaking, all the explosive stuff would not last for a long time, and the ones slow and steady would have a lasting vitality. In my opinion, the Double Eleven is not healthy as well, for it has no use in the long-term development of a company. Many companies only recruit staff for this particular day, and sometimes even a qualified courier is hard to find.

In conclusion, a large invisible cost hides behind the big day for shopping. It includes the cost of refund, marketing and temporary recruitment. , I think the extremely explosive sales mechanism is undesirable. Although there were offline activities before, 72-hour-sale from Dec. 30th to Jan. 2nd, the volume could not be as extreme as the Double Eleven, equivalent to a month’s sale.

In a word, I do not hold an optimistic attitude towards the future of Double Eleven. Comparing the explosions and long-lasting sales, I would support the later mode. But in this period, to be long-lasting is not as hot as to be fast. In the age of Internet, people would like to attach more attention to the myopic benefits. Above all, the money in hand is the best proof of success.

Views│What’s the uniqueness of the post-90s designers?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel

 

Recently I have interviewed some post-90s designers in the Shanghai Fashion Week, so I would like to write this essay about my feelings of them.

In my book China Fashion, I only interviewed a group of post-60 to 80 designers. But I have been observing the emerging designers of the post-90 generations for a long time. The eldest post-90s should be at their 27, newly maturing. To interview them in the Shanghai Fashion Week, I did some observation and research in depth.

Compared with the designs of the previous generations, the 20s-year-old designers share some obvious uniqueness. The most distinct point is their overseas background. Many of them graduated from Central Saint Martins College and Parsons School of Design, with apparent signs of their alma maters, especially the ones from Saint Martins. They feature the spirits of revolt and subversion, which is evident no matter what path they follow respectively.

Meanwhile, the era they were brought up in is an Internet one, a westernized one, and an abundant one, which makes them different from their predecessors.

Above all, they are bolder, or as mentioned above, feature the spirits of revolt and subversion, which can be seen from the themes of their designs. They would pay more attention to the social events, such as the equality of labor and the gender issue, as their designs, models and advertisements tends to obscure the genders. The clothes they design could suit both the male and female, which indeed partially from the trends. The model they choose are also with vague gender features, girls without obvious breasts and boys in slim shapes, and even the makeup on the models’ faces could not distinct the gender. All of them could be a kind of discussion on their gender values.

The politics and social issues are the realms that the elder designers would not engage in for the sake of many concerns. So, I would like to say, the youngsters are brave.

In addition, they care little about judgements.

The designers of the post-90s have a kind of self-admiration, and they usually would not be bothered with whether others like their works or not, as long as there is a group of fan, no matter a great pack or a small group, support them. This attitude may be shaped by the customers at the same age.

Specifically, the customers at their 30s to 50s would like to suppose the judgements from others when they are in something new, when the 20s do not take it much seriously at all. The youngsters now only focus on their own style, nothing to do with others. As a result, the combination of brave designers and the brave customers inspires a diverse fashion world for the young.

In this Shanghai Fashion Week, I was an audience of several designer brands, all for young ladies. But the styles are utterly diverse. Some are cute and adorable, and some are neutral, like SHUSHU/TONG, with exquisite sweet style. I also take an interview for MUKZIN, a brand I admire a lot, whose style can be a melting pot for all kinds of cultures, deconstructing many cultural elements. Just like the theme they launched out, “Mountains-Seas Book and the Jurassic Park”, combining the ancient orient legend with the western film. They break the edge of cultures and rebuild them as a mixture, which surprised me a lot. That a brand for ladies could goes like MUKZIN is such a unique style other than the typical lady garment.

In a word, courage and variety should be the best inclusion of the designs of the post-90s designers. They involve all kinds of theme in their designs and chase to be exclusive themselves. They are unique, but how far on earth they could go in the future, I think, may also rely on opportunities.

Q&A│Is it true that the major customers of luxuries have been the people aged between 25-35? Why?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

A view posted on the Zhihu.com goes that “according to Pinault, Kering’s major customer group has been the people aged under 35.” For Gucci, 50% of sales volume is thanks to the millennial generation, when in Saint Laurent, 65%, which means our key customers are only at their 25-35. This customer group pays more attention to the ready-to-wear than the last generation. However, what increases the youngster ratio in luxury consumption? Does it mean that the youngsters are growingly affluent?

It is only a trend, as I see, instead of a fait accompli.

In fact, the view of the questioner lacks the support of rigorous statistics. Objectively speaking, the average income and success in career of the 20s to 30s is not as much as the 40s to 50s. But it is trendy that more and more youngsters turn to be the luxuries customers, which can be proved by the following two points.

1.  In general, the luxury brands are under great sales pressure. Even the brands like Chanel have suffered from the slowdown of growth. In contrast, the brands mentioned as examples above are exactly the ones having made a hit on the sales performance. Their common measures in the recent years are to cater for the demands of this era, in another word, the tastes of the 20s and 30s, changing the design styles, with the elements of street fashion, sports, animated and mixed cultures, and diverging from the previously treasured styles of grace and elegancy. Meanwhile, the designs lunched against the young tastes all brings sales challenges to their brands.

2.  In addition, the luxury brands’ choices of spokesmen and the guests to their activities leans more towards to the young stars, like Angelababy, Zanilia Zhao, Kris Wu, Karry Wang, which was impossible in previous, for the luxury brands were only fond of the world-class top stars. Reviewing the choices of spokesmen before, we can find out that it is conventional for luxury brands to engage the mature males and females.

So, what makes the change?

1.  The youngsters’ great consumption ability is out of doubt.

2.  In my observation, though the luxury goods brought by the young and old are all the same, the consumer psychologies are utterly different. For the older generation, to buy luxury goods is more likely to be conspicuous consumption, while for the young, they concentrate more on the product itself (especially the designs) instead of only the logos. It may explain the success only favors the brands converting themselves to younger ones, when the stubbornly grace and elegant brands are risking the gloomy sales.

3.  What’s more, the sense of fashion is where the youngers surpass their parents. For example, the looks Gucci lunched are usually not suitable for most common people, but the 20s and 30s are skilled in mix and match with items from both luxurious Gucci and inexpensive ZARA. In the traditional times, most luxury consumers would like to pile the pricy logos on them tastelessly and showily.

4.  Meanwhile, the customers aged 40s and 50s may convert to the haute couture, which makes the traditional luxury brands lose a proportion of customers. As a result, the customer group aged 20s to 30s occupied more in the sales volumes.

 

Q&A│How to do clothing sales? Is there any masterstroke to sell quickly?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

A question goes on the Zhihu.com:

“I am at my 20s. I run a clothing shop for both adults and kids. But the location is much out of way and the business suffers a lot, which I have known a little before I open this store.

It is only 120 meters between my store and the most crowded street of our town. But what’s the point is that few people know my store, so, even on low prices, customers are rare. For instance, the cloth, sold by others for 185RMB, is only for 130RMB in my shop. What’s the worse, my store is the only one in the street, where there is a kindergarten passed by so many parents, and a branch of the State Grid collecting fees of electricity for the whole town every month. However, they are nothing to do with my business!

What’s wrong on earth with my business? How can I deal with it?”

 

The questioner does not mention the profitability, which I suppose would be unsatisfactory enough. Besides, I do not know how long the shop has been opened, so I can only put up the following suggestions:

1.  The flow of customers is the life of the offline stores. The essence of your dilemma is the lack of customers, so the major task for you is to increase the flow.

2. There are two ways to attract more customers. The first is to depend on the natural customer flow, which is exactly the shortage of your store, so the only way is the other one, to deliberately drawing the crowds, in other words, to promote both online and offline. The specific approaches are the followings:

  • The first offline promotion approach is the traditional ones (it may work in our town), for instance, leaflet distribution, billboard hoardings in the places with heavy traffic, and the obvious signs etc.
  • The second offline promotion approach is the joint promotion along with other stores that share the same target customers but with no competing relationships between your stores. For example, you should know which restaurants or amusement places the person buying clothes in your stores would like to go. And you should organize joint promotions with them. They would introduce their customers to you, and in turn you would also introduce yours to them. In addition, you can set the push money in advance.
  • The online marketing can run through social media, like WeChat Microblogs, or establish the online communities, which can maintain all the customers within a community. You can reward the regular customers who recommend your stores to the new ones with a certain percentage of push money to attract more people to your store.

3. Without the flow of customers, it would be in vain whatever sales skill you would like to use, so the customer flow should have the privilege to be solved.

4. The less customers are, the higher the unit price should be set in your store. In the contrary, you sold in lower price than other stores did, which could only lead to a dismal sales performance. It should be a simple formula that Sales Volume = Sales Numbers* Unit Price. So, your sales performance would go down when you not only set the low unit prices, but also suffer from the stagnant customers flows. You cannot compete with the fast fashion brands with prices, for they hold a large sales volume. For you, you should raise the unit volume when you are not able to boost the number of units overnight, which means to ensure the quality and design equal to the high unit prices. Meanwhile, you can also manage to improve the per customer transaction. In other words, you can encourage each customer to buy more than one piece.

5. When it comes to the products, they should be qualified with the demands of your customers. The essence of retail is to sell the suitable items to the right people in the right sites. You should learn about the demands of your customers and try to supply exactly what they want.

6. In a word, the core of your business is not to find certain master strokes, but to improve the customer flow, and then the quality of your goods.

7. By the way, if you have run the store for over one year and have tried all the methods above but still cannot gain any payoff, my only suggestion would be giving up the business. You should conclude from the experience and try to find another location to restart your business. If the real estate of the previous shop is owned by yourself, you can lend it out. As we all know, starting your own business is the kind of process of repeated trial and failure, and at last you may find the right direction.

Q&A│Is Luxury Discrimination Common in This Era?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

A question goes that “Is luxury discrimination common?” on the Zhihu.com, the Chinese Quora.

The questioner puts his question in this way: “A colleague recently brought a handbag for his college-graduating son, but only to get refused. The boy said he would be discriminated by the peers if he, at his 20s, used the LV things.

It is said that the college guys would judge the LV consumers are tasteless parvenus,showing off with luxuries. However, as I know some craftsmanship of the luxury brands, especially that of Hermes, I admire them a lot. So I feel such a pity that the society, to some extent, discriminates luxuries, and I would like to put up with the questions:

1. Why some people would take the person with LV handbags or Hermes belts as lacking taste?

2. As a customer of LV handbags, what kind of outfit could diminish the parvenus style? How can I avoid the blame of showing off?”

This phenomenon is quite interesting. Most people would explain it from the views of their observations or senses, so I, hoping to be inspiring, prefer a more academic approach to this issue.

Fashion is associated with class, which has been proved by many socialists, anthropologists and psychologists. You can find the reference from the following classic works.

The Psychology of Clothes  by J. C. Flugel

The Theory of the Leisure Class  by Thorestein Veblan

La Distinction : Critique sociale du jugement  by Pierre Bourdieu

Fashion and Its Social Agendas: Class, Gender, and Identity in Clothing  by Diana Crane

Besides, System de la Mode by Roland Barthes is also worthy to read.

This book reveals the methods of brands or fashion medias to confirm the readers that their social attributes, such as status and class, can be reflected by their clothing. Barthes classify clothing into three types. The clothing of material attributes, on the fabric, craft and colors, is the first type. Another type is the imaginary clothing, existing in the fascinating descriptions or pictures on fashion magazines, which persuades the customers to feel themselves sexy, slim, tasty, and belonging to a certain class or social positions. It is the clothing of symbolic meanings, embracing certain spiritual meanings. The last one should be the clothing which have been worn.

Among all three types, Barthes focuses on the imaginary type.

For example, the term of “a printed silk dress” can only indicates the material attribute of clothing.

When it comes to “a printed silk dress of grace and elegancy”, the readers would weave the “grace and elegancy” with this dress. The power of language may goes beyond our imagination. In this dress, people would label themselves with “grace and elegancy”, so these two words can represent the dress in the imagination.

In a word, it has been proved that fashion can never separate from class and status.

Now we can go back to answer the question that why does “some people discriminate luxuries”?

Above all, as an academic researcher, I would not take it as a common phenomenon. As the questioner mentioned it was his son who sniffs at LV handbag, I prefer to owe it to the diversity of consuming propensity deriving from the change of population structures. Though the age of the son is not mentioned, we can approximately calculate that he should be one of generation after 90s, even after 1995.

Actually, this generation are not as eager as their parent generation for the luxuries, which does not necessarily mean discrimination.

1. These youngsters have not experienced material shortages. They have a wide vision of handbags and clothing. The rarer the stuff is, the higher the price goes. Now that luxuries are not rare to them, they would not take luxuries seriously.

2. This generation are less restrained by other’s judgements. Their parents may deliberately show off the luxuries to prove themselves in a certain class, status or tastes. But, being more sensitive to their own feelings, the young people now would like to take the dressing issue as a personal one, nothing to do with others.

3. Luxury brands intend to be conservative to maintain an image of classics and traditions keeper. The conservation makes them lag behind the recent fashion trends and the consuming preference change. For instance, the generation after 90s are fond of the fashion-sports styles, blurring genders and going for mix-and-match dressing instead of the traditional ones, away from the classic and elegancy routine that the luxury brands emphasizes on. So, for the youngsters, luxuries are too old for their styles, or to say, more suitable for their parents.

Indeed, the luxury brands are currently challenged by a younger market, but it would happen every time the population structure fluctuated in the history. So it does not mean these brands are doomed to death. Besides, LV, as a single case, is affected severely by fake products issues, which cannot be extended to all the other luxury brands.

Views│A New Twist on Retail——Mini Apps on WeChat

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang

 

In the overwhelming tide of social media, Mini Programs, the download-free apps in WeChat, are booming, which draws much attention. And in the fashion retail area, we are also obliged to be aware of the trend, or we would be lagging behind the speedy development.

In this essay, I would share some Mini Apps, which is much more handy than other applications, neither requiring download nor the cell phone memory.

We can see GAP’s mini app in the following picture. Having integrated all kinds of retail functions, GAP mini app can serve the customers with all links a retail process.

图片 1

This mini app combines the online and offline retail, allowing customers scanning code in the store to find the cloth they want.

Usually, we would like to consult the clerks for the right sizes and colors, which can be skipped in GAP’s stores. Scanning the codes, to get the information of products, offers the customer an extraordinary shopping experience by integrating the online service with the offline stores. What’s more, you can learn about the products information even when you are not in the stores, as long as you know the product number. In other words, GAP’s stocks are accessible to the customers.

Other than the stock information, customers can also find “the store location, sales information, membership privileges and order tracking” in the mini program. What the customers only need to do is to move their fingers in WeChat, without the steps to login in Taobao.com or any other stuff.

For Chinese people, WeChat has been a part of life, on which the mini programs are launched. So the handy programs, not even taking memory, have large advantages on other applications.

So I believe WeChat’s mini apps would replace some elements in stores, for instance, clerks.

Many store clerks actually hold little information of the stock information. Being asked, they still need turn to the computer for stock information of certain product, to the tags for the fabrics type. So in this term the mini program will supply with better shopping experience. GAP is a pioneer in this field, with the most completed mini app.

Vogue’s mini program is also a good example with magazine-standard visual effect. In any album users can click the purchase signs to directly enter the purchasing interface. The whole process would be concise and convenient.

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If you go shopping on other e-commerce platform, you need to login in accounts of Taobao or JDcom. Besides the searching part, after you find the product you want, you have to add them to the shopping bag and register your address. Approximately, you need 4-5 steps to finish the whole purchasing.

In WeChat, shopping can be different. You can be online for 24/7, and do not need to type ID and codes. Two pats on the screen can finish a shopping process in the WeChat. After that, the app will report the order condition and send the messages to the customers.

In a word, convenience can be the biggest advantage of Mini Program, not only in the terms of information supply, but also the customer service, which is far-fetched for other e-commerce forms. So for the question that what can be the new twist on retail business, GAP and Vogue may have given the inspiring answer.

A Fashion Night In Shanghai

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The party of specialty boutique BLANK. Shanghai is becoming another NYC – the same fashionable people, the same sophisticated lifestyle and endless parties.

 

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The owner of @BLANK @JiJi is also one of the interviewed designers in my book #China Fashion #Conversations With Designers#. I had the honor of meeting some of the most outstanding designers in China. JiJi was chosen because he is the one who has the best business acumen. Starting from offering design service to @Nike and @Coca Cola, he later created his own brand @Hipanda and now BLANK.

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Lifestyle store is also in trend in cosmopolitan city like Shanghai now.

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Uooyaa store in Xintiandi @Shanghai. I think this is going to be one of the most successful Chinese designers’ brands in the coming ten years. Uooyaa is a very earthy brand, featured with bright color and graphic design. The creator used to be the chief designer of @Meters Bonwe, the largest casual brands in China. After graduating from Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, he joined Meters Bonwe when it was started from zero, until the company was listed on the stock market.

Grace Chen’s Couture Show at Shanghai Couture Week

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I invited Queenie, the managing editor of Business of Fashion China to join me to visit @Grace Chen’s couture show last night at @Shanghai Couture Fashion Week…I was terribly late…I almost wanted to run with legs, but I was on high heels….

reddress

This little red dress is my favorite piece of the show. Cannot fit a bride more! I think @Grace Chen should develop this “little red dress” to the equivalence of the classical “little black dress”.

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@Grace Chen has been making great progress after a decade of experience in American fashion industry. A very sophisticated designer! Grace Chen focuses on women aged from 40 to 60, a segmentation that has been ignored by the mainstream markets (because they think this age is too old!). Actually, this is the group who has both time and money to consume high fashion.

favored piece

These are my favored pieces! BTW, being a model is tough. My friends always say I am too thin, but these models are much thinner than I am.

Only two types of fashion designers will eventually be remembered by the world. One is a conceptual designer. This type of designer has created their own unique aesthetic system and impacted their next generations, designers like @Yves Saint Laurent @Christian Dior @Coco Chanel @Hussein Chalayan @Givenchy in the past, and @Issey Miyaki @ yohji yamamoto @Alexander NcQueen in recent. Their designed pieces may not be able to create profit directly, but through certain branding strategy these labels can become commercially successful too.

Friends in overseas once asked me whether there is any conceptual fashion designer in China. My answer is not yet! But I think @Ma Ke got great potentials to become the one, if she can keep operating her @Wuyong label for another decade and build her own distinct aesthetic system. She is the one who has certain impact over the younger generation in China.

The other type of designers will be the one who’ve been creating sustainable successful business. If you don’t believe yourself can be a conceptual designer (cuz I believe you have to be a genius in order to be in this category), then you should go toward the business direction. Many fresh designers think working for business sake is a compromise to secular world or a sacrifice of their creative ideas. In fact, it all depends on how you view the role of a designer. If you think design is just a way to express yourself, working for business is then a compromise; if you think design is just to serve people and help them to solve their problems, then you won’t feel any compromise.