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7 Apr

The Fashion Brands That Appeal Most to the Chinese Consumer

Has the style industry reached an inflection point? In its most up-to-date 2022 Fashion IP 100 rating and 2022 Global Fashion IP White Paper, researchers from the Fashion Exchange have revealed a monumental shift within the mindset of the Chinese consumer. The white paper also offers perspectives concerning the growth, importance and impact of fashion brand collaborations.

The 2022 Fashion IP 100 rating, in its fourth yr and done in partnership with CBNData, shows a reshuffling of the highest brands while the whopping 43-page white paper, titled “Old World and Latest World: China’s Fashion Consumption in 2022,” presents deep insights into what’s driving brands and market growth in China. The white paper is a must-read for anyone trying to do business in China.

But first, this yr’s top 10 brands.

Coming in at primary was Fear of God, which was the dark horse at second place within the 2021 list. Coming in second this yr was Fear of God’s diffusion line, Essentials. Researchers on the Fashion Exchange said that is “the primary time that two of the highest three Fashion IPs come from the identical founder over the past 4 years because the list’s launch.”

[CLICK HERE to download “Old World and New World: China’s Fashion Consumption in 2022”]

Liu Wen’s namesake brand grabbed the number three position, and was followed by one other Chinese brand, Shawn Yue’s Madness. Rihanna’s Fenty was fifth, and was followed by Issey Miyake, Justin Bieber’s Drew House, Thom Browne, Bai Jingting’s Goodbai, and Alexander Wang at number 10. Rihanna’s Fenty, Issey Miyake, Justin Bieber’s Drew House, Bai Jingting’s Goodbai and Alexander Wang all made their debut on this yr’s top 10.

The Fashion IP 100 rating list includes 4 categories of Fashion IPs: designers/designer brands, artists, celebrities, and influencers. In an evaluation of the outcomes, the Fashion Exchange noted that post-2010 brands “are booming, while old streetwear brands are losing traction. On the general list, 25 designer brand Fashion IPs were founded after 2010, three of which have been on the list for 4 consecutive years; 13 were founded after 2015, up over one hundred pc year-on-year.” The outcomes show that while legacy brands remain well-positioned, consumers are searching for out newer ones available in the market.

Other highlights gleaned from the rankings is that the list is dominated by brands from North America, Europe and Asia. Nevertheless, the research showed that North America’s proportion dropped sharply while Asia shows robust growth. “For the reason that list’s debut in 2019, the proportion of Fashion IPs in North America has shown a year-by-year steep decline while that of Europe has fluctuated,” the report stated. “In contrast, Asia’s share has consistently grown and surpassed North America for the primary time in 2022, becoming the region with probably the most Fashion IPs on the list. Notably, [the] Top 20 saw more Fashion IPs from Asia than North America for the primary time, at 10 and eight respectively, leaving only 2 seats from Europe.”

Inside Asia, the variety of Fashion IPs from China jumped one hundred pc. And China, for the primary time, overtook Japan.

Regarding the methodology, the 2022 Fashion IP 100 is ranked on the premise of an FX Index data evaluation system, which incorporates online consumption data of Alibaba platforms. “By taking into consideration CBNData’s consumption influence data, popularity on top 3 social media platforms (Weibo, Xiaohongshu and Tik Tok), and Baidu Index, nearly 400 Fashion IPs across the globe were quantitatively evaluated,” authors of the report stated. “The end result identified 100 IPs with top overall performances within the Chinese market in 2022.”

To place this yr’s results into context, Paul Fang, founder and CEO of Suntchi, said over the past three years, “a devastating pandemic swept across the globe, accompanied by frequent black swan events. This has led to an upheaval of the world, rendering it unrecognizable to our familiar one. The yr 2022 could also be a turning point of China’s consumption landscape. With the discharge of the annual Fashion IP 100 list and Global Fashion IP White Paper, we aim to supply beneficial insights and food for thought for industry insiders within the face of the rapidly changing Chinese consumer market.”

Fang and his team described 2022 as being marked by a more “complex and unstable market situation globally consequently of the rise of anti-globalization, sustained inflationary pressures, the European energy crisis, superpower games and regional conflicts.” The authors of the report noted that within the wake of the economic downturn and an array of unexpected events, “brands, corporate decision makers and practitioners world wide have turn into more conservative, cautious, and even confused.”

Consequently, this yr is likely to be a vital one for the industry to interrupt away from the “old world” and seek latest frontiers, the report concluded.

Along with the rating and data evaluation, the white paper also includes profiles of the highest brands in addition to a “2023 Ten to Watch.” The white paper also showcases an evaluation of fashion brand collaborations.

The Fashion Exchange found there have been greater than 1,620 collaborations worldwide that grabbed the eye of Chinese markets and the media — spanning greater than 10 industries. “Using campaign influence and representativeness as selection criteria, 43 cases were chosen over 4 quarters to look at outstanding practices in product creativity, value creation, customer experience, promotion and communication, campaign results, and emotional resonance,” the report’s authors said. “Ultimately, the study identified 10 exemplary global collaborations from 2022 to share with readers.”

These notable collaborations included Aimé Leon Dore x Latest Balance, Kaws x North Face, Gucci x Palace and Rick Owens x Aēsop, amongst others. One key query raised by the report is across the role of collaborations in attracting latest customers and staying competitive — especially because the industry seeks a latest direction.

“I feel that the most dear and attractive aspect of high-quality collaborations and brand partnerships lies in the chance to have interaction in skilled exchange and mental collision with exceptional Fashion IPs from different fields,” Fang said. “This mental stimulation and crossing of industry perspectives enables business leaders and decision-makers to interrupt out of data silos and self-imposed limits, consistently broaden their horizons and enhance their cognitive capabilities.”

[CLICK HERE to download “Old World and New World: China’s Fashion Consumption in 2022”]

Exclusive: Executive Q&A Paul Fang

WWD: What was most surprising about this yr’s Fashion IP 100? What were the important thing takeaways? We’re all for knowing the the explanation why Fashion Exchange has been releasing the annual list and white paper since 2019 and the core values it holds for global designers, artists and other Fashion IPs.

P.F.: The most important change and surprise on this yr’s list got here from the key reshuffle in the highest 10 of the general rating. A complete of 5 Fashion IPs made their debut in the highest 10 in 2022, and the highest three spots modified hands this yr. Meanwhile, Fashion IPs from Asia, especially China, show robust growth and performed higher than within the previous three years. Because the saying goes, flowers don’t bloom on daily basis, which directly reflects the changes within the times and the demands of Chinese consumers.

China is the world’s largest fashion consumer market, with a big population and developed social media. Nevertheless, many excellent designers and other Fashion IPs are usually not well-known or familiar to the market. Subsequently, we’ve got expanded the choice scope to a worldwide dimension. The explanation why Fashion Exchange insists on releasing the annual list and the white paper is twofold. On the one hand, it will probably function an indicator of world Fashion IPs influence within the Chinese market, and help them understand the degree of Chinese consumers demand for them. Alternatively, we also hope to introduce more global Fashion IPs with different positioning and styles to more Chinese consumers, enterprises and types.

WWD: We now have noticed that some famous Fashion IPs haven’t made it to the list, which could differ from the final perception. What are the explanations behind this?

P.F.: First, in 2017, when the “Fashion IP” concept was first introduced by Fashion Exchange, a definition was provided. We define designers/designer brands, artists, celebrities and influencers as Fashion IPs. To be specific, luxury or fast fashion brands and industrial brands are usually not included within the list. And for artists, celebrities and influencers in our list, they’ll have to have certain popularity, but additionally have to have been within the leading position of a brand or show independent design ability by having led the event of a product collection.

Secondly, the FX Index of the list is comprehensively calculated from three dimensions: consumption influence, local search engine popularity, and social media popularity which incorporates Weibo, Xiaohongshu and TikTok. Because of this if a Fashion IP fails to optimize local search engines like google and yahoo’ search engine optimisation, and operate social media channels, or establish online stores corresponding to Tmall and WeChat Mini Program, or offline sales channels corresponding to shopping malls, it could turn into a key factor affecting its comprehensive value performance within the list.

We now have also seen many Fashion IPs with low overall scores because they didn’t operate social media channels effectively or failed to ascertain official stores on e-commerce platforms, which is a pity.

WWD: With streetwear particularly, do you see that segment as simply maturing? It’s still a powerful segment of the market, or is it losing its traction in China?

P.F.: Streetwear has been popular in China for about seven to eight years now, and it has turn into quite common within the day by day outfit of many young people in China. While it could be too early to find out if this trend remains to be strong or on the decline, what is definite is that this trend is changing, as Chinese consumers are starting to hunt streetwear that’s more creative and design-oriented, relatively than simply a logo T-shirt. They crave more creativity and experience by way of fabrics, craftsmanship and cultural narrative from streetwear.

WWD: We now have noticed that Fashion Exchange has been searching for out designers and types from different countries world wide, and interesting in and managing cross-industry fashion collaborations and partnerships. Could you share more about this business segment, and what specific significance does it have for designers, artists and other Fashion IPs?

P.F.: In 2017, we noticed that besides luxury, fast fashion and industrial brands, people weren’t familiar enough with many designer brands with outstanding design, creativity and imagination. If we could help these designer brands matching and collaborating with brands which share similar brand positioning and goal consumers, especially those with a powerful influence within the Chinese market, it could be a win-win situation for all parties involved.

Over the past few years, we’ve got worked with many designer brands from the U.S., Europe and Japan in collaborating with Fortune 500 corporations and leading Chinese enterprises in various industries corresponding to fashion, sports, 3C, food and beverages, etc. Under our strict management system, these collaborations have achieved significant market buzz and sales performance for each parties, while expanding their audience.

Currently, Fashion Exchange holds a number one position on this area of interest market segment in China. Within the complex and vast Chinese consumer market, high-quality collaborations not only enhance brand awareness and attract latest customers for each parties, but additionally provide surprising and desirable products and related consumer experiences for consumers in several subcultures.

WWD: What should brands and designers consider as they appear to enter or expand in China?

P.F.: After three years of the pandemic, I feel it has brought significant changes to any country, including China. With its vast territory, China has 4 to 5 different levels of consumer markets, each corresponding to different levels of buying power. Consequently, the patron market in China is especially complex. After experiencing the special period, consumer psychology and expectations have become a diversified trend. Subsequently, it’s crucial for global brands and designers to re-examine the Chinese market, to not view it with the identical mindset during China’s high-speed growth period.

To search out a “latest map,” it’s crucial to see the multipolarization trend of Chinese consumers and segment the market accordingly, as a way to provide good products, create an excellent consumer experience, and develop creative interactive activities. Today’s Chinese consumers are usually not only savvy shoppers but additionally wish to be lifestyle experience seekers and brand participants.

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