Tuesday, 23 November 2010

MA FASHION DIARY- 30/10/2010: Interview-Leo: The Fashion/Retail Curator of Burberry China Group

This weekend I interviewed one of my friend: Leo Huang, who is the Fashion / Retail Curator for BURBERRY China group. As the person who working in real Chinese fashion industry and international luxury brand, he got the a lot of experience that can help me to direct my POS.

First of all, I ask the him about the marketing strategies of these luxury brands when they entered China, especially on their brand image, styles, ad campaigns and promotional events. He said that he formerly worked for Louis Vuitton, when the new trend began to sale in West, you can found same style sale in the retail store in China. Same thing happened on ad campaigns. In China, they still used the latest one and updated soon after the same ad campaign or style launched in West. 

Now he works for Burberry China Group. He said this year Burberry get back the majority ownership of all  their retail stores in China and plan to wildly expand their business in China. Except a lot new stores will open across more and more cities in mainland China, the new line or collections will be updated almost at same time when they launch in UK. The ad campaigns and promotional events will immediately follow the new trend. He told me the example: In this October, Burberry London launch their new seasonal collection call "Winter Storm", this collection is totally the new trend and western style. Before the Winter Storm launched in London, the China group was asked to prepare the new visual merchandising and promotions in order to ensure the Winter Storm can launched in China at the same day. And the ad campaigns and promotion video were post to lot of well-known media platform including Vogue China, ELLE China, Youku(same as the youtube in  China). Leo provide me the number of how many people clicked the promotions on these platform. As the result, 9,965,760 people interesting in Winter Storm after the ad campaign and promotion video been posted for only 2 weeks. 
Burberry Winter Storm on ELLE china

Burberry Winter Storm on GQ china

Number of people that click the Winter Storm on different platform

These information shows Chinese people desire the latest western styles no matter they suitable for Chinese or not. They love these well-appearence looks in the ad campaigns and want to have the same one. Also, this interview still shows the importance of the styling or visual merchandising in brand image including these ad photo-shoot, promotion videos or even the window display. 

MA FASHION DIARY- 29/10/2010: charity & vintage

After tutorial with Jas this week, we talked about the charity. Jas said, Oxfam is now the largest vintage stores in UK and it was originally a charity shop. They selling second hand goods including vintage clothing to help the people who need money in the world. It got the lot of support in UK. So we think about whether it can be one of the good reasons for Chinese people to buy the vintage clothes.

Then I do a research about Oxfam from internet:

Oxfam was originally founded in Oxford in 1942 as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief by a group of Quakerssocial activists, and Oxford academics; this is now Oxfam Great Britain, still based in Oxford, UK. It was one of several local committees formed in support of the National Famine Relief Committee. Their mission was to persuade the British government to allow food relief through the Allied blockade for the starving citizens of Axis-occupied Greece. The first overseas Oxfam was founded in Canada in 1963. The committee changed its name to its telegraph address, OXFAM, in 1965.


Oxfam has numerous shops all over the world, which sell many fair-trade and donated items. They opened their first charity shop in 1948. The proceeds from these usually get paid to different charities or are used to further Oxfam's relief efforts around the globe. Much of their stock still comes from public donations but they currently also sell fair trade products from developing countries in Africa, Asia and South America, including handcrafts, books, music CDs and instruments, clothing, toys, food and ethnic creations. These objects are brought to the public through fair trade to help boost the quality of life of their producers and surrounding communities.
In 2008, Oxfam GB worked with over 20,000 volunteers in shops across the UK, raising £17.1 million for Oxfam's programme work.
Of the 750 Oxfam charity shops around the UK, around 100 are specialist bookshops or book and music shops. Oxfam is the largest retailer of second-hand books in Europe, selling around 12 million per year.
Oxfam has near to 15,000 shops worldwide
Oxfam shop in Cirencester, England

Oxfam clothing and shoe bank

These still two Oxfam charity store in Hong Kong China.  Here is the website address of HK Oxfam: http://www.oxfam.org.hk/en/default.aspx
In 2008, Oxfam HK worked with over 100,000 volunteers in Hong Kong, raising 190 million Hong Kong dollar for Oxfam's programme work.
Oxfam HK charity sale on the street

From the number we can see clearly that people pleased to support charity and buy the second hand goods form them. As a part of China, that is quite a good example and point for me to research and compare with the consumers in Shanghai. 

Monday, 22 November 2010

MA FASHION DIARY- 28/10/2010: Brand names and Luxury

By keep reading the book named "Chinese Fashion from Mao to Now" , it shows the brand-name fashions not only changed Chinese appearance, it also signified a change in life attitudes and behaviors.

After 1980s, Chinese people finally came to accept new ideas as well as more casual and individualistic expressions in dress. More and more international brands open their store in big cities such as Shanghai. 

The younger generation in the 1990s embraced global brand names without any of the governmental restrictions that marked their parents' first encounters with Western fashions in the late 70s and early 80s. They took pride in owning popular labels like the German brands Puma and Adidas; the american brands Nike, Lee, and Esprit; and Australian brand Jeanswest. 

"Anyone can be a luxury brand in China if they market the right image," said Chris Torrens, editorial director of consulting firm Access Asia. As a result, virtually all homegrown fashion brands adopted an English or French name as a marketing strategy to capitalize on the prestige associated with foreign brand names. But the effective ad campaigns and promotional events of global brands started to make brand wearers aware of the hierarchy of brand names, which were differentiated not only by price but also by brand image.  

The points in last paragraph shows the importance of the visual brand image and styling, in my opinion, is the most important ways in brand image. These make me think that I can using styling to crated a new luxury look for vintage style. It seems more exciting and more suitable for what I want to do after get the knowledges of the Chinese fashion market. 

MA FASHION DIARY- 26/10/2010: Interesting Examples

I found some interesting examples of importing luxury brands.

Pieree Cardin is the first haute couture designer to enter China. In 1979, Cardin held fashion shows in Beijing and Shanghai. Cardin's debut fashion show would become one of the most memorable East-meets-West fashion milestones in post-Mao China. Cardin brought with him a Western fashion lexicon new to the Chinese: fashion shows, fashion models, fashion designers, and luxury brands.

Yves Saint Laurent opened his fashion exhibition at Beijing's Palace of Fine Arts to the public in May 1985. However the head of the Chinese Writers's Association described his clothes as "too sexy" for Chinese women.

Giorgio Armani opened his store in Beijing, he chose to use a red lacquer Chinese-style door for the front of the store. Armani later cited this design choice as one of the company's first mistakes in China.

I think these are very useful for my POS and seminars.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

MA FASHION DIARY- 24/10/2010: Vintage business doesn't work in China?

Today I talk with one of my friend Chris about my POS. 

Chris now is fashion photographer. She always pay her attention in Chinese fashion market. We were classmates when we study in Shanghai. After that both of us go to UK for our BA degree. Just like me, she loves vintage clothing so much. 

This September, she told me her family plan to start a fashion brand business in China. She find some company to doing the market researches. After that her family decided to used English brand names and western fashion trend as their styles. 

After I told her my POS, she said: Although vintage style is one of the hottest trend in West, but to most Chinese consumers, these clothes are second hand. They won't buy it. If you plan to do this as the business, it will take a huge risk."

After talk to her, I begin to think about my direction of my POS. My BA degree was all about fashion design and fashion styling. I understand that market research is the key to know what the customers want. But for me, I'm more willing to focus on styling not the business plan. These weeks I find a lot of useful information. I gain a lot knowledge of what the Chinese consumers want. But when I review what I have done so far, it's more about open a vintage business in Shanghai and test whether it makes money or not. That's really is not I want to achieve. 

Next I need to get some professional advice form the people who working in Chinese fashion industry. And I need to think about what I really want to do in MA stage. 

MA FASHION DIARY- 22/10/2010: weekly review

This week, I got so much information from the book called Chinese Fashion From Mao to Now.

Tom Ford Said: "We are finished here in the West - our moment has come and gone. This is all about China and India and Russia. It is the beginning of the reawakening of cultures that have historically worshipped luxury and haven't had it for so long."

Here are some number to explain the Luxury market in China :
"China has become one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for luxury labels, and by 2008 nearly every global label had a presence in China. With sales exceeding $6 million, China was the third largest luxury goods consumer in the world in 2004, accounting for 12 percent of the world's total. China is projected to consume roughly 29 percent of the world's luxury goods in 2015, supplanting Japan as the largest luxury brands consumer."

Luxury did so much influence to Chinese consumers as well as the Chinese fashion markets.

I'll keep going on and found more useful information from this book.

MA FASHION DIARY- 18/10/2010: Chinese Fashion

I start the research part of my project. In my project I plan to open a vintage clothing shop in Shanghai. The first step which is most important to me is to get the knowledge of the Chinese fashion market.

So I find the book named Chinese Fashion From Mao to Now written by Juanjuan Wu.  There is a chapter talk about the Importing Luxury brands. In China, these luxury are very popular and people follow them just because they are international brands. They become the key to show someone's social class or identity.

There is no doubt that Importing Luxury brands influence Chinese people a lot. By read this chapter, I think I can find a lot researches that helpful to my POS.

MA FASHION DIARY- 17/10/2010: Form my POS report

This weekend I begin to form my POS report.

I related my BA degree and what I want to achieve. I begin with my personal statement to introduce what I learn in past 3 years. I form my POS title as Vintage Invasion. In my opinion, the vintage clothing market in Shanghai hasn't been exploited too much. It means this market get the huge potential. In another words, it is a good time to introduce the vintage clothing into the fashion industry in Shanghai.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

MA FASHION DIARY- 15/10/2010: weekly review

This week I form my general idea of my POS. What I want to do at the moment is about open a vintage clothing store in Shanghai. In past three years, I doing fashion design and fashion styling for my BA degree , I got so much passion in fashion styling.

Vintage fashion is new to Chinese fashion market, I try to search in Taobao (The Chinese biggest online retail store). There just a few of the seller selling second hand clothing.

What I try to do is explain and introduce the western styling vintage store into Shanghai. Promotion this new trend by using different styling methods and skills.

What I need to do at the moment is begin to research more about the vintage and the Chinese fashion market. I think books are more helpful at the first step of my POS.


This afternoon, we have a short project called "Love Project". For me, it sounds like share your own story about a specific item.

What I chose is the coat I got from Alexander McQueen sample sale last year. After I tell the story, I just got an idea that collect the story may be the one of the reason why some people going to buy the vintage clothing.  My McQ coat itself was used in the 2007 s/s fashion show, it was kind of vintage luxury. 

I just guess some of the consumers maybe interesting in collecting the stories it can be one of the reason that they choose to buy the vintage clothing.

MA FASHION DIARY- 11/10/2010: rough thinking and inspiration

11 Oct is the first day I go to see the tutor after I landed. During my summer holiday, I already start to think about what I'm interesting to do in my MA stage.

I have passion to do the project about "Vintage". When I was still in Shanghai this summer, I sometimes wear the vintage clothes I got from UK. When my friends first saw those clothes, they love them and ask where did I got them. But what is interesting is after I told them they are vintage or second hand clothing, they just changed their attitudes. I can see that they don't keep their interest in my clothes after they realized they are vintage. 

This make me think about why they can't accept vintage clothing although the vintage is the one of the most hottest fashion trend in western. This is interesting point for me to research.