Week In Review: August 16-20

    In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 16-20.
    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 16-20:

    China’s Fashion Bloggers: Five to Watch

    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.

    More Chinese Companies Investing In Corporate Art

    Mainland Chinese art collectors may still be somewhat new on the art scene, but in recent years another group of highly motivated, well-funded entrants has also joined the party: domestic Chinese companies looking to invest in corporate collections. While major financial corporations like JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank and UBS boast some of the oldest and largest corporate art collections in the world, having invested hundreds of millions of dollars in recent decades to amass and display an impressive array of works by top artists, Chinese companies — many of them inspired by their international counterparts — are just getting started.

    Much like the individual Chinese collectors who have made a splash in the global auction world over the past two years, Chinese companies building corporate art collections appear to be motivated equally by investment soundness, patriotism, and a desire to “humanize” company image while still gaining face.

    Levi’s Launches Asia-Focused dENiZEN Brand In Shanghai

    Earlier this year, Levi Strauss & Co. announced that it was working on a new sub-brand designed to target Asian markets like China, where its jeans — priced in the $100 range there — remain beyond the grasp of a significant proportion of the country’s lucrative 20-40 age demographic. Initially targeting younger consumers in China, Singapore and South Korea, Levi’s officially launched its new brand, dENiZEN, on Wednesday at a press event in Shanghai. According to Terence Tsang, the head of dENiZEN, this marks the first time Levi’s has launched a new global brand outside of the United States, marking the company’s entrance into the roster of other major brands that are going the extra mile to woo Asian — particularly Chinese — consumers.

    As the FT points out, not only will the dENIZEN (a play on the words denim, citizen and netizen) line cost about half as much as the Levi’s line — priced in the US$40-60 range — it is also specially designed to compete with local and international competition based on fit. The line will include a number of fits most popular with Asian buyers, particularly slim fit.

    Hung Huang Opens Upscale Made-In-China Boutique, “Brand New China” (BNC)

    We’ve been watching the growing number of domestic Chinese luxury upstarts with a great deal of interest in recent months, from Hermes’ upcoming created-in-China sub-brand Shang Xia to jade and jewelry brands like Zhaoyi, Qeelin and LAN to fashion houses like NE-TIGER and independent designers like Zhang Binqiao. Though local designers and brands are fighting an uphill battle against the Western brands that dominate the Chinese luxury market, this week these newcomers have a powerful ally on their side: Hung Huang (洪晃), a popular media figure, publisher and blogger who has just opened the made-in-China boutique Brand New China (BNC) in Beijing’s swish Sanlitun neighborhood.

    A Wall Street Journal profile of Hung and her new store notes that BNC will stock clothing, accessories and furniture by more than 100 designers, which will be sold on consignment at the 540 sq. meter Sanlitun location. Naturally, Hung’s promotion of local brands and designers is not without minor ulterior motives: since many of the designers will be featured in Hung’s magazine iLook, “there’s a potential pay-off for the magazine if local designers grow and have bigger advertising budgets.”

    Chinese Breweries Looking To Enter Premium Beer Market

    Recently, the English-language blogosphere was atwitter with the news that Pabst Blue Ribbon — a solidly blue-collar beer in its native United States — had launched a line of “upscale” beer exclusively for the China market. Known as “Blue Ribbon 1844,” the limited-edition beer — brewed, apparently, in wooden casks — sells for around 300 yuan (US$44) a bottle.

    Naturally, this story aroused howls from those more accustomed to seeing a bottle (or, more likely, a can) of PBR retailing for what amounts to a handful of coins, but actually PBR China’s moves to create a premium line aren’t unique. Much like the Chinese wine industry, which is currently in overdrive trying to transition away from the low-end, low-quality end of the spectrum, domestic Chinese breweries want to get a piece of the premium beer market, which continues to be dominated by foreign competitors.


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