In The Name of Fashion

China’s Going To Take Over The World

Posted in Companies, Influence by inthenameoffashion on January 22, 2010

First Chanel, then Prada and now Hermes?

Designers are going where the  money is – and in this case, it’s China. Bain expects that China’s luxury spending will increase by 12% in 2010, thus spurring new found attention to customers living in China. WWD reports that in addition to being the most populous country, China has also endured and recovered from the recession better than the U.S., Japan and European countries. Surprisingly, China’s GDP also gained 8.7% in 2009, a nice little surprise for their government, who only expected an increase of 8%.

Starting off with Chanel, they recently released a collection debuted in Shanghai with heavy Asian influences. Additionally, Karl directed and produced an imaginative web video called Paris-Shanghai A Fantasy, The Trip Coco Only Made in Her Dream, of Coco Chanel and her China inspiration. But a thumbs down because they used non-Asian actors / models to portray Asian people.

Then off to Prada, who’s First Spring video was produced by Chinese artist Yang Fudong. The video showcased some of Prada’s menswear, while taking place in Shanghai. Despite the fact that there was no actual story to this video, it had actual Chinese people playing Chinese people (can you imagine??), so a thumbs up.

Most recently is Hermes, who has recently supported a new brand in China called Shang Xia (meaning “topsy turvy” – something had to have been lost in translation there). They will sell clothing, accessories, furniture and other lifestyle necessities. The managing and artistic director is Qiong Er Jiang, who has designed for Hermes in the past. Can’t wait to see these products and how the Chinese customer will react to them.

Despite China being a superpower now, there are no local luxury brands that have thrived in the Chinese environment. China’s population mostly looks to the U.S. and Europe to fulfill their luxury fantasies, but will things change now that they are becoming increasingly important in the global arena (look at how they tried to stop Google!)?

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