South Korea’s luxury fashion brands are on their way to making a splash in the Chinese market.
Korean brands like Buckaroo Jeans, Jessi NY, and Zishen all have a limited retail presence in China right now, but are shaping up to increase their market visibility among China’s rapidly growing segment of middle-class consumers. The brands offer a diversity of eye-catching styles for trendy Chinese shoppers.
“Right now, Korea is the most sophisticated and current fashion spot in East Asia,” said Patricia Field, an “ambassador” for K-Fashion who recently styled a successful show in Shanghai’s up-and-coming South Bund district that showcased the three brands mentioned above. “Japan was the leader but I think Korea is really stepping out, they have the now fashion, the now music, they are on the zeitgeist of it all. For me personally, Korean is the place I go shopping in Asia.”
Buckaroo Jeans produces denim for “urban cowboys and girls with a harder edge,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. Jessi NY features “simple, wearable” clothes directed at youth, while Zishen’s “more conservative, occasionally preppy look” caters to an older clientele.
The organizer for the fashion show, Cindy Hahn, notes that the Korean lifestyle already has a “cool association for Chinese consumers,” but that more familiarity in the Chinese market is needed for these brands to fully establish themselves.
“Once [consumers] know the brand names the Korean brands will have more power to sell their brand here,” Hahn said. “Now is the time to set up these big marketing platforms to promote these brands.”
Mindy Shin, an analyst at BNP Paribas Group’s digital consulting unit, L’Atelier, similarly remarked that few Chinese consumers “actually have deep knowledge” of Korean brands. However, she believes that travel may help with brand education.
“These days, there are more and more Chinese consumers visiting Korea frequently for shopping trips, and they share their experience and knowledge through the Internet,” she said. “Thus, popularity in the Korean market can also positively affect a brand’s reputation in China.”
image credit: buckaroo jeans