Daily Archives: May 11, 2009

Haute Couture: Beijing Calling

Beijing Designers Working Overtime To Make China’s Capital One Of The World’s Top Fashion Destinations

coutureFashion designers in Beijing are working hard to supplant Hong Kong and Shanghai as the country’s top fashion destination, with over 200 designers deeming their collections haute couture in the last decade alone. As Chinese designers become more focused on creating “China Style,” and less concerned about following Western trends, the push for a signature Chinese style will continue to create internal competition, causing the endogenous change necessary for a national style to emerge. As was the case in Japan and Korea, where domestic designers took decades to find their voice, China’s fashion designers need time as well as their innate competitiveness to develop a more global style, which can then become an influential force at fashion shows around the world.

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Chinese Tap An Inner Dynamic To Drive Growth – FT

The Chinese Consumer Looks To Be One Of The Biggest Engines Of Global Growth In The Long Term

China's inland consumer is rapidly becoming the country's engine of change and growth

China's inland consumer is rapidly becoming the country's engine of change and growth. Image © New York Times

The Financial Times has an excellent article today about the rise of the Chinese consumer, once a virtually non-existent market but now the darling of the world’s multinationals.The article details how the Chinese government is trying to get consumers to make the shift “from export-oriented growth to a greater reliance on inner dynamism,” much like the United States did in the 19th century. Going along with observations I have made before, much of China’s current growth and transition is comparable to the same events in the US roughly 100 years ago — from the problems with quality control and political issues, consumer reluctance to spend, and business “grey areas.” The article is well-researched and focused, and includes many valuable insights into the monumental task ahead for the Chinese government — transforming the spending habits of over a billion individuals, who have been accustomed to high savings rates (for cultural reasons as well as China’s lack of a social safety net) and a lingering distrust of less established domestic brands (particularly since the reforms of 1978-79).

But the key to this article is its surprising (and incredibly significant) observation is its figures about the exponential growth of the inland, third-tier city consumer. This consumer segment has only now come to light, and as we have discussed before, inland Chinese cities look to be the future; not only for individuals, but for businesses and marketers as well.

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