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'Malaysian designers must aim for Chinese fashion mkt'
May '16
As the spending power of China's middle class continues to grow, the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (Matrade) is prodding Malaysian designers to penetrate the Chinese market, amid growing demand for more fashion labels, Malaysia's Bernama news agency has reported.

Recently, two leading Malaysian fashion designers, Khoon Hooi and Melinda Looi, presented their latest Autumn Winter 2016 collections at the Shanghai Fashion Week.

Buyers and media from all over China were invited to the Danube Fashion Office (DFO) showroom in China's undisputed fashion capital to preview and order the latest creations of the two designers.

Matrade has often emphasised the importance of Malaysian designers and labels positioning themselves in Shanghai, as the ideal platform to penetrating the Chinese market.

"Shanghai is poised to be at the forefront of China's fashion industry. Malaysian designers oriented towards sophisticated, modern and chic designs, should consider Shanghai as their base in China," said Matrade Shanghai Trade Commissioner, Syed Mohamad Fairus.

According to China's Statistics Bureau, the total import value of garments and shoes by the country reached $6.6 billion last year, an increase of 6.4 per cent compared to the previous year.

Syed Mohamad said expansion of China's middle class in recent years has also resulted positive growth in demand for imported clothing apparel.

"This creates lucrative business opportunities for Malaysian designers and labels", he added.

He said through its five offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Chengdu and Hong Kong, Matrade is committed to supporting Malaysian designers and companies in their endeavor to expand to the China market.

It was the second and third time respectively that Melinda Looi and Khoon Hooi highlighted their collection at DFO, which has become a must stop fashion destination for both.

In the past, they have displayed their collections at tradeshows and fashion events in the historical fashion cities such as Paris, London, Milan and New York.

Looi said though it was only her second season in China, she felt encouraged by the positive response from buyers and media.

She added that her collections were sold in over 10 countries and expects China to become a key market for her within the next couple of years.

Hooi also said the Chinese market had tremendous potential and he was further encouraged by the continuous effort at working closely with DFO.

"The level of sophistication of consumers in China has definitely shifted higher. I am confident that it will continue to grow", he added.

Both designers chose the DFO showroom as their agent and platform of choice. It is the largest private showroom in China, and has built a solid reputation of bringing only the world's leading international designer labels to the Chinese market.

For fashion designers and brands it is clear that China is the market to be in. (SH)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India

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