This week in the news, a new generation of young Chinese fashion designers is emerging, Montblanc is tapping into the Chinese interest in astrology, Hong Kong has seen a resurgence in menswear shops, Chinese luxury shoppers are looking for more than a high price tag, and there is a new social network for wine enthusiasts in China.
While Chinese luxury shoppers have had a long love affair with all things foreign, recent trends indicate that many of them are seeking home-grown labels in their quest for discovery and exclusivity. There is now a new generation taking over the face of Chinese fashion. Though many of these designers studied their craft in Europe, they have returned home to make their mark on Chinese fashion. Their styles are all very different, but they are not afraid to think outside the box and juxtapose both eastern and western elements and combine contrasting textures. You may have heard of Masha Ma, Xander Zhou, and Anais Mak, but these other young fashion designers, including Min Wu, Ms Min, Yang Li, Xiao Li, and Huishan Zhang, are also making waves.
Montblanc is tapping into the Chinese interest in astrology with the release of its Bohème Perpetual Calendar and Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar jewelry watches, which both feature the popular moon phase complications to show the lunar cycle. In November, Montblanc unveiled its “Explore the Mystic Moon Phase” application, which features an eye-catching lunar-themed QR code. Consumers enter their gender and date of birth, and the app uses the information to generate a report on how the phase of the moon at the time of the user’s birth reflects their personality, hobbies, love life, and work. The app also fully integrates with the popular social networking platform WeChat, allowing for a well-rounded and multidimensional experience for consumers.
Hong Kong has seen a rise in menswear boutiques, largely due to the trendsetting Landmark shopping mall, which rebranded its basement into an exclusively men’s section a few years ago. Brands such as Valentino, Kiehls, and Joyce Beauty have stores there, and Dior is set to open a men’s store in the near future. On Pedder opened a 1,500 square foot men’s-only boutique, the brand’s first, in Landmark, which was designed to resemble a sophisticated urban apartment. One half of the store is a stylish living room featuring British brands such as Church’s, shoemaker George Cleverley, and leather goods maker Swaine Adeney. The other half feels more like a gallery space and will house new brands, pop-up stores, and special projects.
Agility Research & Strategy’s new study, “Luxury Consumption Survey — China Slows But U.S. Booms,” found that Chinese luxury consumers are more likely than their U.S. counterparts to buy luxury goods based on quality and exclusivity rather than on price or other factors. Contrary to the past, for Chinese luxury consumers, a high price tag does not necessarily equal luxury anymore. It must also reach high quality standards. Furthermore, only 4 percent of Chinese respondents said that quality was not considered when making a high-end purchase. If the quality and exclusivity threshold is met, only 50 percent of Chinese surveyed said it was important to find the lowest price.
Hesha, which loosely means “what to drink,” functions as a social network for China’s 130 million wine drinkers. The Shenzhen-based startup just released the latest version of its app, which allows users to find friends and dates based on mutual interests in alcoholic beverages. Hesha also covers whiskey, Chinese baiju, and cognac, among other drinks. Right now, there is no charge for the app, but the startup is considering opening Hesha up as an advertising platform for wine vendors. The app is well positioned in both the social interest app and online wine retail markets, as Chinese wine e-tailer Jiuxian raised two funding rounds worth US$70 million and US$49 million this year and Momo hopes to raise US$300 million in its upcoming IPO.
image source: vogue china