In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of July 2-6:
Though China’s “post-90s” consumers – those born after 1990 — are the country’s future big spenders, brands are finding it difficult to connect with the nebulous new demographic, causing a rethink about long-term marketing strategies. For some, particularly domestic Chinese brands, that are strongly linked to the 1980s — among them the sportswear maker Li Ning — the emergence of the post-90s generation as a consumer class is causing headaches, with references and selling points often falling flat.
The fashion industry in China is more often associated with excess than eco-friendliness, but Hainan-born, Hong Kong-based designer Janko Lam is showing that recycling can be chic. Winner of last year’s Ecochic Design Award in Hong Kong, for which she won the chance to design a collection for Esprit, Lam recently debuted a line using only fabric scraps and unused items that would otherwise be headed for a landfill. Lam’s distinctive patched pieces, which blend together bits and pieces of multicolored fabrics, have been purposely left as-is, with no redying, in order to be as carbon-neutral as possible — a task that, for Lam, was no walk in the park. As Lam told China Daily, ”Using discarded materials really entails more discipline and creativity…You have to follow sustainable guidelines, as well as experiment with a lot of patterns.”
For the second consecutive year, Australia ranks third after France and the US as a top international tourist destination for wealthy Chinese, whose traveling habits are shifting from a single-minded focus on shopping and sightseeing to more diverse getaways with a “body and soul” element. According to a recent poll by the Shanghai-based Hurun Report, which surveys the earnings and buying (and traveling) habits of China’s millionaires, as in cities like New York, China’s moneyed traveler also has an eye on international real estate, with 12 percent of respondents saying they own a vacation home in Australia.
Conspicuous consumption may be on the decline in China’s “soft luxury” market, as some wealthy Beijingers and Shanghainese buy more “logo-lite” handbags and apparel, but major luxury brands see China as a long-term bright spot for “hard luxury” — watches and fine jewelry in particular. As Jing Daily wrote late last year in our annual wrap-up, a series of online scandals and more government sensitivity about the word “luxury” last year caused a dip in over-the-top excess, particularly in top-tier cities, and this trend has continued in 2012 amid a broader (yet not staggering) economic slowdown.
As Chinese companies and wealthy investors continue to buy Bordeaux châteaux — roughly 20 have found new Chinese owners in the last four years — and the popularity of Bordeaux reds among Chinese wine drinkers stays high, China’s presence in the famed wine-growing region is becoming ever larger. Over the last few years, Chinese investors have been on the hunt for vineyards around the world, looking to secure a steady supply of high-quality raw materials while boosting the legitimacy of their wine-making businesses among the country’s burgeoning oenophiles. While industry giants like COFCO have their sights set on vineyards in Chile, Australia and the United States, perhaps nowhere is the Chinese presence more pronounced at the moment than Bordeaux.