How Fashion Brands Adjust To China’s New Niche Style

As Chinese fashion consumption patterns rapidly evolved away from logos and toward individualism, retailers, brands, e-tailers, and marketers are all rushing to find ways to cater to their changing demands.

On this week’s episode of Thoughtful China, Thibault Villet, CEO of luxury flash sales site Glamour Sales China, Alison Mary Ching Yeung, founder of the Mary Ching brand, Mary Bergstrom, founder of consultancy The Bergstrom Group, Ruth Kuguru, executive editor of RZ Magazine, and Stephany Zoo, the CEO of niche e-tail site Bundshop, weigh in on China’s changing luxury consumption patterns.

Villet noticed that it is not brands themselves, but key opinion leaders (KOLs), people on social media with a large community of followers, who drove up sales substantially. To capitalize on these KOLs, brands have been inviting them to fashion shows in Paris and Milan, increasing companies’ exposure and boosting sales.

However, Bergstrom says exposure simply isn’t enough. Understanding that Chinese consumers are moving away from logos and focusing more on individuality is vital—people want to be contributing something new and personal. Kuguru says that Chinese women don’t just want information on what to wear anymore, but are looking for inspiration on how to put together unique looks.

“I think (brands) need to really know… who their consumer is,” says Bergstrom. “The time of coming in, opening your doors, and waiting for consumers to come in is over.”

 

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