Fashion weeks in Milan, London, Paris and New York left no doubt that Asia has become their darling.
At the recent New York Fashion Week, red lacquer high heels, jade jewelry and embroidered robes were just some of the Asian-influenced looks.
Signs that Asia and particularly China continue to captivate designers and generate buzz include the Givenchy presentation of haute couture that used all Asian models plus news of Vera Wang’s choice of Shu Pei as her Spring/Summer 2011 model.
One dramatic show of Asian influence on fashion is from designer and American icon Ralph Lauren.
Prominent colors for his new 2011 collections have been distinctly Asian—black crimson red, emerald green. His styling reflects favorites among Asia’s moneyed class—silky gowns, well-tailored suits and shiny alligator bags.
This is just as much about retailing strategy as it is about creative impulse. Bain says China is now the world’s second largest luxury goods market (US $9.6 billion). Designers like Ralph Lauren are responding in kind.
Fashion writer Rachel Dodes calls Raph Lauren’s Fall 2011 collection “essentially a love letter to the world’s fastest-growing luxury market.”
Perfect timing for Lauren to send that kind of letter, on the heels of the Polo Ralph Lauren announcement that the company will enter China with its own brick & mortar stores and that it intends to set up an e-commerce model in China too. Lauren recently made his first trip to China.
“This is a collection for me to express to my company what I see happening,” Lauren told the press. “It’s not about building glitzy stores, it’s about the quality.”
photo credit: vera wang