When will the China Fashion Week era arrive?

Models display Chinese-style clothes at a show during this year's China Fashion Week.

Models display Chinese-style clothes at a show during this year’s China Fashion Week.

Fashion weeks are being staged everywhere, and there’s practically a host city for every letter of the alphabet. But only four cities occupy the top spot, attracting the biggest fashion houses and designers, buyers, stylists, fashion journalists and, of course, celebrities. They are New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Beijing recently hosted China Fashion Week, which got some media mileage overseas, but it’s just not on the agenda of the global fashion industry’s movers and shakers. Even Chinese celebrities, who show up at fashion shows on the other side of the world, were few and far between in Beijing last week.

The Shanghai stylist Clement Buyi Z, who styles fashion shows and magazine shoots under his Clement and Clement Production, began attending the “big four” fashion weeks three years ago. Despite his hectic schedule, he says he makes time to attend at least the Paris and New York fashion weeks every year. But a trip to Beijing to attend China Fashion Week is apparently too much trouble.

“The shows are boring,” he says. “They’re not well organized. They’re all kind of the same. The time I spend at China Fashion Week is just not worth it.”

  • The crucial thing China Fashion Week needs to do, experts say, is find a niche.

“It’s deciding who it’s for, why you’re doing it – whether you’re doing it for prestige or whether you’re doing it for business,” Jane Rapley, head of London’s Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design, tells China Daily during a Beijing trip to attend the China Fashion Forum.

“If you’re then trying to position it as a prestige event on the world stage, you’ve got to have something that buyers are never going to find anywhere else.” Amanda Kaiser, Asian editor of the trade publication Women’s Wear Daily, says it’s wiser for China Fashion Week to build up its name in the region rather than to compete with the international fashion capitals, where the fashion world seeks direction.

“I think that, in the interim, it makes sense for regional fashion weeks to try to become big regional players, and then perhaps more international interest from the mature markets will come,” she says.

“Just about every city on the planet has a fashion week at this point and all of them are trying to attract international attention. It’s just really tough because the top-tier international media, the top-tier international buyers have already been on the road for the better part of a month going to all the big collections in Milan, in Paris and in New York.

“So it’s going to be very difficult to get some of these people to travel to China or to Japan or to Brazil for another fashion week.”

Fashion weeks are semiannual, so host cities scattered all over the globe are competing for the attention of fashion VIPs twice a year.

Rapley advises patience and uses her home city’s 28-year-old fashion week as an example. (New York, the first fashion week, has been around for 69 years.) China Fashion Week, in comparison, is 15 years old.

“London Fashion Week has had a roller coaster ride,” she says. “It probably took some 20 years to get some recognition that this was something buyers needed to come to. Because that’s what it’s about, it’s getting buyers to come. And if you get some A-listers, that brings the buyers like bees to the honey pot. But it is very hard work.”

  • What do you know about China Fashion Week?
  • As a PR professional who is interested in fashion, what can you do to help promote China Fashion Week?

 

Chinese First Lady:New torchbearer of domestic fashion style

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Mr Xi, with his wife Peng Liyuan, will head to South Africa after Russia

The moment when China’s first lady Peng Liyuan made her diplomatic debut upon her arrival at Moscow, wearing a dark navy overcoat, a light turquoise silk scarf with a matching handbag, the Chinese fashion industry got a boost.

Labeled by Internet fans as the real Liyuan style, China’s first lady Peng Liyuan’s fashion acumen won considerable praise from her followers when she made her diplomatic debut during her arrival in Moscow on March 22.

Images of Peng stepping off a plane arm-in-arm with her husband, President Xi Jinping, have circulated widely on the Internet, prompting praise for her style, which Web users described as understated and sophisticated.

Fashion critic Yue-Sai Kan spoke highly of Peng Liyuan’s wardrobe and fashion sense at a press conference for the launch for her new book “Life is a competition” on March 26 in Beijing.

It’s not clear which company or companies designed the clothes worn by Peng in Moscow. But people get the information that these clothes are local style. A newspaper said that Peng was wearing a jacket and purse made by Exception de Mixmind – a top-end Guangzhou-based brand – while another report on news portal Sohu.com said the Guangzhou Administration of Quality and Technology Supervision confirmed that Peng’s clothes were custom-made by Ma Ke, the chief designer for the WuYong brand.

However, regardless of the brand, Peng’s endorsement of Chinese labels has surprised millions of Chinese who favor foreign fashion brands.

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A number of Taobao sellers have begun offering garments based on styles worn by China’s first lady Peng Liyuan.

The first lady’s style was dubbed by netizens as Liyuan style. The exact purse and coat she donned have become top search items on taobao.com, a major shopping website in China. Also, Exception’s physical stores have seen a rising number of visitors.

US First Lady Michelle Obama also serves as fashion icon. She wore a custom-made Jason Wu gown for her two inaugural balls, bringing sudden fame to the 26-year-old designer. Obama’s colorful selections – ranging from J. Crew to Jason Wu – have boosted the American fashion industry, said fashion critic Jiang Xingyi.

Domestic fashion brands’ stock prices were also boosted on Monday by the first lady’s choice. Local designers and fashion brands always get a boost when the wives of State leaders choose domestic brands for important occasions. For local fashion brand and designers, it is another fantastic fashion PR strategy.

Do you think the first lady would be the label of domestic fashion? And should it be another spark idea that a fashion PR should take advantage of?

“We sell more than clothes!” – Creative Fashion Commercials

  • John Lewis – Never Knowingly Undersold TV Advert 2012

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What to say in fashion industry advertising?

It is understood that the first considerations must be the advertising objectives and the target customer, but the focal point of an advertising message is the advertising appeal. The appeal should tell potential buyers what the product offers and what it can do for them, Themes are often developed to provide continuity to an advertising campaign, but are also commonly used to reinforce a brand image, thereby helping to maintain distinctive competitive positions. Themes also help ease the introduction of new fashion products and services.

Or you can just jump out of the box and think about new ideas that could attract people’s attention, like the three commercials above did.

How to convey the message in fashion industry advertising?

  1. Stressing the products’ unique selling points.
  2. Telling a story or the history of a fashion product.
  3. Reflecting the lifestyle or desired lifestyle by careful selection of situations showing people wearing the garments.
  4. Real life situations can be used for instance where someone has a problem and the advertisement shows the solution.
  5. Demonstrations can be used to prove the products’ claim which may be, for example, to withstand 100 washes and still retain its shape and color.
  6. Testimonials may be made by celebrities, television or sports personalities whom the target customers will identify with. They endorse the product either by using it or making a statement supporting the brand.
  7. The association format uses analogies o convey the message by creating an emotional mood and communicating the psychological benefits through exciting associations such as sporting events and showing beautiful scenery.
  8. Fantasy appeals seek to associate the product with the target market’s wildest dreams and hopes. Cosmetics producers often feature fantasy as a theme.
  9. Montage formats present the audience with a number of different situations, scenes and visual effects to create excitement and demonstrate the various situations for wearing garments.

What kind of Fashion Advertisement would make you feel interesting?

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Part of guidelines and advices  are coming from the book

Fashion Marketing by Mike Easey.

Hello Grandpa Style!

Do you remember what your grandpa is wearing today? Most grandpas might wear old-fashioned cloths and stay away from the word “Fashion”; at least it is true in China.

However, Grandpa Style becomes very popular in China last year. Photos of a 72-year-old man posing as a “female” model in stylish clothes went viral on the Internet after his granddaughter posted them on her clothing store on Tmall.com, China’s largest retail website.

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Wearing aviator sunglasses and a selection of thigh-high tights and frilly skirts, 72-year-old Liu Qianping has caused quite a stir in China.

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In the past few months, images of the former farmer from Hunan Province in China have appeared on Taobao, the Chinese version of eBay, marketing clothes for Yecoo, a business set up by his granddaughter Lv Ting and four of her friends.

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Lv invited her grandfather to visit her in the southern of Guangzhou, and while unpacking boxes of clothes to sell, he pulled out — and slipped on — a hot pink cloak.

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Struck by how well he wore it, a friend assembled some amateur lighting and starting taking photos that were later posted online.

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ToddleWood: Kid Models Red Carpet Fashion Show

So far this awards season,many stars with gorgeous dresses shined adorably to walk the red carpet. When I was reviewing informations about popular fashion in these awards, a series of interesting photos attracts my attention.

Toddlewood: Iconic Stars Gets Small  - From Weibo

Adorable, right? Thanks to the pint-sized stars of New York-based project ToddleWood, Tricia Messeroux’s got some cute competition for all the fashion lovers and movie & music fans.

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