Wealthier Chinese consumers have long turned to the West to find the luxury goods they desire. But that could be changing.
To satisfy the cravings of the new upper class in the Middle Kingdom, top-shelf brands made in China that cater to Chinese tastes have begun to emerge as real contenders.
Their market share remains too small to measure, but some experts say it’s the start of a lasting trend.
While you’re still more likely to find a Louis Vuitton or Gucci gown hanging in a Chinese wardrobe than an Uma Wang or Masha Ma dress, home-grown brands are taking advantage of a three-fold change.
First, a shift in tastes of wealthy Chinese consumers from big bling to classier, more niche offerings. Second, quality improvements have helped nascent brands shed the stigma of “made in China” and put them more on par with global competitors. Finally, a general patriotic sentiment has been brought on by a resurgence of the “Chinese dream” launched by the President Xi Jinping.
“Chinese brands are now coming out into their own,” said Jean-Baptiste Andriani, academic director for the Shanghai branch of IFA, the Paris fashion and design school.
Some of the Chinese luxury brands and products showing finding appeal with native consumers (as well as showing up on shelves worldwide) include The Herborist, Ye Mingzi, Bao Bao Wan and farmed caviar.
“Before, people were embarrassed about anything coming out of China. This is no longer the case,” said Shaun Rein, author of The End of Copycat China and founder of consulting firm China Market Research Group. “Overall it’s an exciting time for Chinese brands. People are looking for a Chinese lifestyle they can aspire to.”
Read more at BBC.