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Shenzhen's makeover from apparel to fashion couture
Jan '09
Shenzhen is the shining star of the Chinese industralisation and exports story. Since a long time, electronics, communications and modern electric appliances were the backbone of the economy of Shenzhen. But now, since the last few years, the apparel industry is gaining in ground over the other three traditional industries.

In 2007, the clothing industry had a total output value of 100 billion Yuan with exports touching US $10 billion. This has come about, as Shenzhen was able to properly grasp the emerging sectors like IT, clothing and the knowledge economy in particular and also grasp the dynamics of an ever changing consumer taste across the world.

The city was able to create an effective brand of the Chinese suit dress by combining creativity and newly emerging fashion trends. The over 2,300 companies in the apparel sector were ably assisted by the municipal government to take the technological leap from being just a processor of garments to independent designing, marketing and brand building.

The trade was also helped by the Shenzhen Bureau of Trading and Industry, Shenzhen Garment Industry Association and Beijing Economic Management Research Institute, which together formed a research group and helped in carrying out a unified planning and research activity to help transform Shenzhen in to a capital of women's fashion apparel.

A series of policies were formulated to provide support to the local industry to help them upgrade from mere producers of garments to manufacturing fashion garments for the country. The Economic Management Group conducted a survey across the country to gauge the expectations of the consumers towards the suit dress which threw up surprising results.

The survey was able to provide valuable inputs on constituting the road map in the transformation of the clothing sector and submitted a report titled, “Overall Plan for Regional Brands of Shenzhen's Women Garment Industry in 2008-2012”. The report was accepted overwhelmingly by the ministries as well as association bodies connected to the clothing industry.

They were all of the conclusion and opinion that, the road map for the suit dress industry as laid out in the survey report would lead to the development of the suit dresses as well as help in building brands and also help to market the suit dresses, in the country as well as abroad as it would help create awareness levels due to brand building activities.

The government as well as the trade bodies organised workshops to guide the entrepreneurs in building regional as well as national brands. In order to gain global acceptability for the suit dresses, the bodies also appointed an international designer to provide general directions to the clothing manufacturers and help transform the sector in the next five years.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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