In The Review, we round up breaking news discussed in our daily newsletter, The Daily Brief. This week, we discussed:
- The Chinese embracing Chinoiserie in fashion design,
- Alibaba and Tencent’s rise to the top 10 global brands by value,
- Tag Heuer‘s “unacceptable” three percent of revenue from China,
- How domestic brands are stepping in as China’s middle class upgrades their daily consumption, and
- the Chinese resellers making up to £46,000 ($61,000) a Month.
Monday, May 28
Italian designer Pia Zanardi started her own fashion line in 2015 after visiting Shanghai and Beijing as a student. Her label, Yali, draws on traditional Chinese jackets and robes, and Chinoiserie, the European tradition of adapting Chinese design elements. Zanardi told SCMP her clothes are all made in China, and she’d received no accusations of cultural appropriation thus far.
Tuesday, May 29
Two of the top 10 biggest brands in the world are now Chinese, according to the latest BrandZ rankings, which are published annually by WPP (WPPGF) and Kantar Millward Brown. Alibaba joined the top ten for the first time, coming in at number nine, while Tencent, which first made the list in 2017, climbed to fifth place, ahead of Facebook, Visa, and McDonald’s.
Wednesday, May 30
Luxury watch brand Tag Heuer has fallen a long way behind in China, and they’re determined to catch up. Jean-Claude Biver, LVMH’s watch division head, told WWD he aims to boost turnover from China — currently around three percent, a level he describes as “just unacceptable” — to 30 percent.
Tag Heuer entered a partnership with China’s space agency last year. It also hopes to piggy back off the success of another LVMH brand. “We will take inspiration from what Hublot did — Tag will benefit from our big brother, that is a big asset for us”, Biver said.
Thursday, May 31
With China’s middle class now firmly established, more and more consumers are looking to increase their spending on daily items, according to a new report from McKinsey. Over 40 percent say they intend to trade up their cosmetics, for example, and over 30 percent plan to spend more on spirits.
That sounds like good news for foreign luxury brands, but excitement must be tempered by the fact that domestic brands have been quicker to take advantage of the trend, including those in categories where foreign brands might be expected to dominate, such as wine, cosmetics, and fashion accessories.
Friday, June 1
“Altogether there must be about 1,000 daigou agents in London,” 24-year-old Chelly (not her real name), told the FT. “I have about 4,000 to 5,000 clients. Some of them live in the US, Canada and Australia, but 98 percent of my regular clients are from mainland China. When business is good, I can earn between £35,000-£46,000 a month.”