The China Edit | Asian Designers, Second-Tier Cities, Shangpin’s New Model, E-Commerce Booms

The China Edit is a weekly curation of the most important fashion business news and analysis from and about the world’s largest luxury market.

Dresses by Chinese designer Huishan Zhang | Source: Huishan Zhang

Looking for Asia’s Breakthrough

“So far, Asian-born designers have pierced the market mainly in the United States. The success stories — Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang, for example — are the American-born designers who are building brands in countries where their parents or grandparents might have been farmers or factory workers. When will the breakthrough come for Asia — when will its designers who are training now make homegrown high fashion? Six case histories tell the stories.”

On China: Fashion & Style

“If you’re Chinese, and you have been exposed to Western design and luxury goods, you do become curious as to what Chinese designers are doing, not necessarily always in terms of luxury, but in terms of fashion, in terms of industrial design. There is that natural curiosity because, I think for most Chinese there is a great eagerness to rediscover Chinese culture in many ways, in food, in fashion, in lifestyle. Because they have experienced all the wonders that Europeans and Americans have imported into China.”

China’s Smaller Cities Thirst for the Luxe Life

“According to Starcom MediaVest Group, a global marketing and media company, more than a third of China’s luxury goods spending already comes from outside Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. And while it expects consumer spending on luxury items in first-tier cities will continue to increase about 8 percent annually, that of consumers in second- and third-tier cities is expected to increase at almost double that rate. ‘China’s tier-two cities are becoming extremely important,’ said Max Magni, a principal at McKinsey in Hong Kong.”

Shangpin Evolves Online Model in China

“China’s online shopping mall, Shangpin.com, has evolved its business model to include digital versions of shops-in-shop called ‘e-flagships.’ Lanvin is the first brand hosted on the Shangpin platform, with men’s and women’s apparel, accessories and footwear offerings. Next up is La Perla, according to M. Claire Chung, Shangpin’s vice president for global business development.”

China to Take America’s Online-Shopping Crown

“Sometime in early 2014, China will lay claim to leadership in yet another key global market: e-commerce. Last year saw Chinese shoppers spend 1.3 trillion yuan ($213 billion) online, just slightly less than the $225 billion tally in the U.S. The Chinese online retailing market has grown at a scorching 71 percent compound annual growth rate since 2009, about five times as fast as its American counterpart, according to a forecast by Bain & Co.”