Jing Daily's Best Of 2010: Fashion

    After a year in which virtually every major fashion house from around the world fought to get a deeper foothold in the rapidly growing China market, here are Jing Daily's 10 favorite fashion-related posts of 2010.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Our 10 Favorite Fashion Posts Of 2010#

    Jing Daily

    Prada Teams Up With Chinese Artist Yang Fudong For “First Spring” (January 21)

    It seems that Shanghai is becoming the go-to spot for the world’s top fashion brands, not only for new customers but for inspiration as well. Last month, Karl Lagerfeld held his “Maison d’Arts” show at the new Chanel boutique in Shanghai’s historic Bund, and David Lynch used the city as the backdrop for his recent Lady Dior ad campaign.

    This week, Prada released a short film made in partnership with the Chinese contemporary artist Yang Fudong, one of the country’s most renowned photographers. For the film, “First Spring,” Yang employs the stark black-and-white aesthetic employed in his epic five-part film, Seven Intellectuals in a Bamboo Forest (2003-2007).

    Jing Daily

    Gucci Learns To Speak Chinese (March 8)

    The last decade has been good for Gucci in China, with the company going from a handful of boutiques in top-tier cities in 2000 to 30 locations in more than 20 cities today. Expansion has sped up in the last five years, with store locations popping up in second-and third-tier markets like Changchun, Wuhan and Shijiazhuang– cities that may be little known outside of China but have growing ranks of new wealthy with a strong appetite for luxury goods.

    While this expansion has benefited the Gucci brand specifically, it has also been good for its parent company the Gucci Group, which owns companies like Yves St Laurent and Bottega Veneta. As Jing Daily pointed out last month, the growth of the Gucci brand, specifically, appears to follow the same roadmap employed by the Gucci Group for its other brands in the China market, such as Bottega Veneta, which recently opened its first second-tier city location in Nanjing.

    Jing Daily

    Interview: NE-TIGER Founder Discusses History, Future Of Luxury In China (April 1)

    This week, at the Prestige Brands Forum in Shanghai, the China-Europe International Business School (CEIBS) discussed the current opportunities and challenges in the Chinese luxury industry with Zhang Zhifeng, founder and Chief Art Director of NE-TIGER (previously on Jing Daily), one of the country’s fastest-growing fashion houses. According to Zhang, if they are to compete with the dominant western luxury brands, Chinese luxury goods brands need to be bold enough to break with the prevailing fashion order and create and play by their own rules:

    "Europe became the first tier for luxury goods consumption within one or two centuries. The US became the second tier for luxury goods consumption after the Second World War within 50 years as the biggest economic force in the world. In the recent 30 years, with a developed Japan and an emerging China, East Asia is nowadays the third tier for luxury goods consumption. Despite the global recession of luxury goods consumption, China has a yearly growth rate of 20% to 30%. Currently, the consumption of luxury goods in China occupies 25% of global consumption, surpassing the US and becoming the top second nation in luxury goods consumption. The Chinese market is attracting the world’s attention."

    Jing Daily

    Second-Hand Luxury Market On The Rise In China (June 16)

    For some of China’s aspirational luxury buyers — typically lower-level white collar workers who have been known to subsist on instant noodles to save up for a particular handbag — the quiet growth of the second-hand luxury market has been something of a godsend. While consignment stores that specialize in high-end second-hand goods have been a fixture in Western markets and Japan for decades, they’re still in their infancy in mainland China. (Though they have existed in Hong Kong for somewhat longer.)

    However, online and physical stores selling second-hand luxury goods are “quietly rising” both in quantity and popularity, with no real limit to their potential.

    Jing Daily

    Exclusive: Li Xiaofeng’s “Porcelain Polo” And “Cotton Porcelain Polo” For Lacoste Unveiled In Paris (June 25)

    Amidst the countless details on the porcelain polo, the most central is the point where the phoenix meets the crocodile above the collar. Li Xiaofeng points to this as a point where the emblems of East and West meet. The Lacoste logo represents the West and the phoenix is a traditional symbol of imperial China.

    I think that when considering this piece – especially as a commentary on the Lacoste logo – it helps to remember its predecessor: last year’s super-limited edition Campana Brother’s polo, of which there are 24 in the world. As commentaries on branding and logos, how do these compare?

    There are Chinese-style crocodiles throughout the piece as well. These red and blue beasts are Li’s own creation and they serve as a contrast to the Lacoste logos seen throughout the piece. Li painted most of the surfaces of the porcelain polo while some of the shards used are from existing vases.

    Jing Daily

    Who Are China’s Fast Fashion Contenders? (August 3)

    While the buzzword “fast fashion” may be somewhat new to the China market, fast fashion itself has been around in some form or another for the past few decades, mostly in the form of low-priced items of questionable quality sold at street-side outdoor markets. In recent years, however, home-grown mass market brands like Metersbonwe and online retailer Vancl have emerged as China’s top fast fashion contenders, even as foreign retailers like H&M, Zara, Uniqlo and others have plowed their way into the already crowded market.

    In response to the success of H&M and Zara in the Chinese market, some Chinese fast fashion retailers have stepped up to the challenge by launching new, somewhat more “upscale” brands to woo consumers who find the allure (and affordability, relative to imported luxury brands) of foreign brands irresistible.

    Jing Daily

    China’s Fashion Bloggers: Five to Watch (August 16)

    In the US and the UK, fashion bloggers have long been considered ahead-of-the-curve influencers, and are fixtures at fashion-world openings, runway shows, and other events. With China’s growing appetite for luxury, there’s room for China’s fashion bloggers to gain industry traction as well.

    Xinhua recently reported on this trend, identifying a new demographic of bloggers: young women who readily spend on luxury goods and have begun sharing their style, opening their closets and photographing themselves in their latest purchases. Although for the moment these bloggers are focused on global luxury brands, up-and-coming domestic luxury brands would be smart to start courting these local influencers. Domestic clothing label Izzue has already set an example in this regard, having invited selected fashion bloggers to their Spring/Summer 2010 show earlier this year.

    Jing Daily

    Hermès Launches Shang Xia In Shanghai: Jing Daily’s Exclusive Coverage (September 16)

    Today in Shanghai, Jing Daily had the privilege of attending a media event hosted by Hermès’ new “created in China” luxury brand Shang Xia, the first-ever Chinese high-end lifestyle brand built from the ground up by a major European luxury house. Hosted at One Xintiandi, a multi-floored hot-spot in the Old Shanghai style, Shang Xia was finally unveiled at a media event attended by Jing Daily as well as local and international publications like Noblesse, the Hong Kong Journal, Modern Weekly, Time Out and FHM. Also in attendance were the district vice mayor and representatives of Nike and HSBC, among others.

    At the unveiling, speeches were delivered by four individuals who have been key to the creation and development of the Shang Xia brand: Jiang Qiong Er (Shang Xia’s artistic director), Hermès CEO Patrick Thomas, Japanese architect Kento Kuma (who designed Shang Xia’s first boutique), and fashion photographer Paolo Roversi.

    Jing Daily

    Chinese Models Rising In The Ranks (September 28)

    As new Chinese consumers claim a growing share of the luxury market, Jing Daily has been looking at what global luxury brands have been doing to court these consumers. With the luxury industry continuing to look East for profits, this is an opportune moment to focus on Chinese participants in the global luxury industry, and how they are being received by the Chinese market. The New York Times has noted the growing proportion of Asian Americans climbing the fashion ladder on an international scale, but China’s emerging market presents a different situation.

    New York’s recently ended Fashion Week marks the beginning of the fashion calendar, setting the tone for the rest of the season. Diversity among fashion models has been a recurring issue; in the Fall-Winter 2010 shows this past February, it was noted by that a mere 16 percent of slots were given to non-white models, with Asians garnering 6.4 percent.

    Jing Daily

    Marc Jacobs’s Chinoiserie: Obsession or Opportunism? (October 15)

    In his Spring-Summer 2011 collections for Louis Vuitton—menswear in July and womenswear last week—Marc Jacobs has been exploring the influence of Chinese design, a development that has drawn a great deal of media attention. Cuing his recent womenswear show to a Susan Sontag quote—“The relation between boredom and camp taste cannot be overestimated”—Jacobs presented distinctly Chinese materials and motifs in over-the-top, extravagant pieces that prompted lively discussion about China’s expanding role as a luxury retail market.

    Most critics described the runway show as decadent and fun, praising Jacobs for hitting the camp factor without overdoing it. Rejecting the minimalism of the previous season, his models walked down a raised faux-marble runway, with gold and black curtains and three taxidermied tigers in the background. The line featured electric colored silks, cheongsam-inspired dresses, fringe details, large animal motifs, and lace fan accessories.
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