As global luxury brands rush to China to get a piece of the country’s 84.3 billion yuan (US$12.7 billion) luxury market, Chinese luxury brands eye the international markets for market opportunity and credibility.
The move to the global stage not only helps Chinese luxury companies expand their business to a wider market, but international recognition elevates their prominence back in China.
Recently, Chinese luxury jewelry maker Zhaoyi Jade announced it will open stores in New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Tokyo within the next five years.
In China, Zhaoyi Jade has strategically positioned its brand alongside top global brands. It is reportedly the first Asian company to occupy space in Shanghai’s exclusive Bund 18, sitting alongside Zegna and Cartier.
Launched in 2003, Zhaoyi’s jade jewelry is known for its exquisite designs and innovation. Wang Yunhe, founder and president of Zhaoyi, feels confident that the wider appeal of Chinese culture and China’s continued economic prosperity bode well for her company.
“In Chinese culture, jade symbolizes nobility, perfection, constancy, and immortality,” said Wang. She believes more foreign customers are appreciating the special value of jade.
The term jade can refer to jadeite, the most rare and precious type, or to the mineral nephrite, which is plentiful and inexpensive.
The first in the industry to promote jadeite as luxury jewelry, Zhaoyi understood that “design is the life of the product and brand name is the soul of the product.”
Zhaoyi has positioned its jadeite products as a symbol of high fashion, elegance and luxury. Its simple yet posh design combines both the subtle allure of the East and the brilliance of international fashion.
The jadeite market has been enjoying explosive growth in recent years, growing by an estimated 30% a year driven by the return of consumer interest in traditional cultures, a broader customer base, and the Chinese’s enormous purchasing power with higher discretionary budgets for jewelry.
China has a rich jade culture, both wearing jade and collecting jade are common practices. Jadeite has a higher investment value than gold and has become a favorite among the wealthy. Jadeite, prized by Asians for centuries for its beauty and cultural significance, is attracting a younger clientele. Jewelry makers have been expanding its market to appeal to younger and fashion-conscious Chinese consumers by creating elegant, modern, and chic designs.
To cater to the growing market for customized jade products, Zhaoyi announced it would offer a haute couture service to customers.
Zhaoyi has four stores in China with two in Beijing, one in Shanghai and one in Hangzhou.
photo credit: zhaoyi jade