The IAF’s 29th World Fashion Convention that took place in Shanghai this year showed how successful brands are able to bring make export across continents work.
Mrs. Gao Mei Zhen, a member of the family owning perhaps China’s most famous brand, Bosideng, was very clear. “China is a big state of clothing”, she said, “but not yet a powerful state of clothing.” Only by inviting foreign designers to work intensively with Chinese designers is the brand able to launch the brand in Europe. And then still it takes lots of energy to get the details right.
Professor Piergiorgio Dal Santo, President of luxury brand consultancy PGDS told the audience that the Chinese market, and especially the younger middle class customers are acquiring more sophisticated tastes. successful luxury brands such as Hermès buy local Chinese brands to be able to understand the market better.
Stefan Lange, international sales director of Brax from Germany also pointed out major challenges on the Chinese markets, such as the lack of good store personnel and the need to find the right location for shops in a context of overcapacity of shopping centres.
Bosideng, Brax and many of Professor Dal Santo’s clients show that success on distant markets is certainly possible. But the IAF Convention showed it requires remarkable dedication, patience and above all a willingness to invest in learning about the other market in great detail. Bosideng, finally gave a good reason to go through all the trouble.
“Only by facing ourselves to stronger competitors, can we better understand ourselves, and keep motivated for progress.” In other words, they must do the toughest thing to remain the best.