Since China’s economic opening, China has grown extremely fast. Western influence has also gradually come to invade the big cities and change the consumption habits of the Chinese. The Chinese middle class is also increasing and their purchasing power is at its highest. They consume a lot, especially millennials. Which they love to share on social media.
In terms of fashion, their style has always been rather far from the European style. However this is undergoing some major changes. Young Chinese city dwellers are daring to experiment with new fashion styles. It has now been around twenty years that fashion is becoming an increasingly important factor in China, especially in the big cities. Because part of the population is far from worrying about its look, but young people take more and more care of the way they dress. The fashion market in China is far from over. One of the factors that has influenced the new clothing styles of part of the population is the arrival of street culture in China.
Millennials now like to appropriate a style to show their belonging to a community that is more modern and less conformist. They are increasingly looking for rare and unique pieces. They still remain a minority, but this movement continues to grow. Shanghai is now becoming a benchmark city on the streetwear scene, alongside New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo. This is confirmed by the popularity of its Fashion Week and the Yo’hood convention. They are both gathering more and more people year after year.
What is the clientele?
Millennials are the main stakeholders. They are young and more aware of the trends that are going on. They are also more open-minded and will change their fashion styles more easily than their parents would. In addition, they have more purchasing power than their parents had at their age, so they can afford to spend a bigger portion of their budget for their dress style. Those who have lived abroad are also more inclined to accept this kind of other style.
What criteria are they basing their choices on?
What is fashionable, what celebrities and influential people, including personalities or bloggers Chinese, American and Korean.
They are looking for unique and original pieces, while remaining of very good quality. These pieces must have an emotional value more than monetary. We can see that customers are generally very loyal to a brand if these products are of good quality and convey an image that they appreciate. Since it’s kind of a synonym for belonging to a community, customers could dress from head to toe. So there is a big challenge for brands, because once they have won over a customer, their loyalty can bring them the desired success. However these customers can be hard to conquer.
Since China has not rocked in street culture, foreign brands still have the advantage in this market at the moment. However, more and more Chinese designers are creating equally original clothing lines.
How to sell these products?
This culture is experiencing a real turning point in China. But most of its success is happening online! One can see on Taobao for example, an unlimited number of this type of product, which can still be complicated to find in store. Even impossible in cities that are too small and not enough westernized. The best solution is to use Chinese e-commerce platforms to market your products easily across the country.
You have to control supply and demand, if your offer is too big, your product will become less attractive because it becomes available to everyone and anyone. Your brand must position itself on a market segment and stick to it. You have to sell clothes, but you also have to make them feel like they belong to a culture. By buying this type of clothing, customers want to feel part of a community, because potential customers of this type of products do not want to look like the rest of society. It is therefore necessary to control your image and to transmit it as much in your store as on your site. A good way to manage your brand and share it easily with your community is to use Chinese social networks. The Chinese are addicted to it.
This market should continue to grow, while remaining a niche market (which makes it a success). It will remain very promising especially on the internet through e-commerce platforms that are experiencing huge success in China. The sneaker market is particularly well on its way. Especially those in the niche category of “luxury streewear” with brands like YEEZY or FENTY.
If you also want to do business in China and market your products, tell us about your project! We are a digital marketing agency based in Shanghai, the Chinese capital of fashion. Do not hesitate to contact us.