Week In Review: August 15-19

    In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 15-19.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Jing Daily’s Top Posts for the Week#

    In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 15-19:

    Wang Guangyi
    Wang Guangyi

    “Passion Funds” Turning Corner In Art, Wine-Mad China

    It’s not just art funds that investors, spooked by inflation and often ambivalent towards the Chinese stock market, are looking to. This week, China Daily looks at the growing number of investment funds specializing in wine, diamonds and even musical instruments that are appearing in China. These so-called “passion funds” — “investment vehicles that offer significant long-term returns from luxury collectibles such as art, fine wine, diamonds, rare musical instruments and mint condition comic books” — at times met with a cool response in years past, but now they’re once again catching on.

    While interest in niche “passion funds” specializing in rare books or musical instruments might be there, it’s really in the art and wine segments that these funds are likely to find success in China.

    Jing Daily Q&A: JNBY, China’s International Fashion Pioneer

    Since its inception in 1994, JNBY has sought to redefine what a home-grown Chinese fashion company can be and what it can accomplish. Spreading rapidly throughout China from its home base of Hangzhou over the course of the 1990s, fueled by the appeal of the label’s flowing dresses, soft fabrics and DIY aesthetic, in recent years JNBY has been focused on international expansion. Opening its first overseas boutique in Moscow, JNBY soon spread to Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore before kicking off a broader North American and European market expansion.

    So what lies behind JNBY’s success? That’s hard to precisely pin down, but two underlying factors have undoubtedly made a contribution: speedy market entry and an understanding of its target market.


    Demand From China, US Fueling Diamond Price Surge

    Over the past several years, demand for diamonds has soared throughout mainland China as diamond engagement rings have become a “must” for young couples, luxury consumption has surged, and wealthy urbanites have started to see the precious stones as good “portable investments.” Having surpassed Japan to become the world’s second-largest diamond market in 2009, recently Bruce Cleaver, CCO of De Beers, estimated that demand from China, along with the Middle East and India, will collectively account for 40 percent of global diamond consumption, eclipsing long-time leader the U.S. Right now, the U.S. still accounts for 38 percent of total global diamond demand, but China, which accounts for about 11 percent, is catching up quickly.

    While business continues to boom in America, as Harry Winston CEO Frederic de Narp recently told CNN, demand for very large diamonds comes “above all from China.”

    Helen Lee
    Helen Lee

    Fumin Road: Shanghai’s New Local Fashion Hotspot

    Over the past year, Fumin Road (富民路), a once-sleepy street in Shanghai’s French Concession, has become something of a hotbed of activity for young local designers, several of whom have opened boutiques there as rents in fashion districts like Changle Road (长乐路) have skyrocketed. Much like Beijing neighborhoods like Nanluoguxiang, Baochao Hutong and Wudaoying Hutong, which have seen an influx of local designers and boutiques in recent years, Shanghai’s Fumin Road is now attracting everyone from independent designers like Helen Lee to multi-brand curated shops like Dong Liang.

    This week, Fashion Trend Digest takes a look at some of the area’s most promising stores and designer showrooms, suggesting that the creeping commercialism of Changle Road that chased out or dissuaded many up-and-coming local fashion designers has worked out in nearby Fumin Road’s favor. After taking a peek at some of the street’s more interesting boutiques, Fashion Trend Digest eventually concludes, “Changle Road is dead.”


    Release The Dragons: Rolls-Royce Unveils China-Only “Year Of The Dragon” Collection

    With 2012, the Year of the Dragon, approaching, we’re already seeing some luxury brands preparing special limited-edition models and collections with the China market (and Chinese wallets) in mind. Piaget was perhaps the first major brand to move in that direction, recently unveiling its upcoming “Phoenix and Dragon” Altiplano Double Jeu collection, of which the watchmaker will sell eight, priced at 2.4 million yuan (US$376,000), and this week Rolls-Royce announced its own Year of the Dragon Collection. Designed at the Home of Rolls-Royce by the automaker’s bespoke team, the collection has, in the words of the company itself, “been created to celebrate the ultimate symbol of power, prosperity and good fortune.”

    Considering the over-the-top, somewhat clumsy nature of most China-only collections created by major international luxury brands, Rolls-Royce’s Year of the Dragon collection is surprisingly understated, if anything.

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