In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of March 18-22:
Despite the explosive growth of China’s digital space and e-commerce market, the new Fashion supplement to L2 Think Tank‘s Digital IQ Index: China report finds that most Fashion brands remain slow to adapt to the changing tides of Chinese luxury consumption. Although online apparel sales topped US$50 billion in 2012 and are projected to hit three times that by 2016, the supplement points out, only 41 percent of luxury fashion brands offer e-commerce in the country, with a paltry seven doing so on their official sites. This has left a void in the market which multi-brand retailers (both domestic and international) have jumped in to exploit.
Shifting consumer demand in China and the broader effects of slower economic growth in the second half of 2012 may have dented some brands last year, but the Paris-based, family owned luxury house Hermès continued to cash in on wealthy Chinese shoppers now in the grips of “bling fatigue.” Helped by a growing number of Chinese luxury consumers moving towards more classic or understated brands, this week Hermès reported that sales in China rose 30 percent in 2012, indicating that the brand saw a strong close to 2012. Last August, Hermès reported a 25 percent sales increase in the first half of the year.
As a (tongue-in-cheek) tribute to the thousands of dead pigs recently plucked from the Huangpu River, the trio of brewmasters behind Shanghai’s top craft breweries — The BREW, Dr. Beer, and Boxing Cat Brewery — have teamed up for a new collaboration beer, “Porky’s Imperial Pilsner.” Dark humor aside, the collaboration brew celebrates the upcoming launch of Shanghai Beer Week 2013, the country’s original craft beer festival, the second installment of which will hit the city from May 17-26.
The rise of Chinese-born, London-based (CBLB) designers is now seeing them show up on fashion’s front row, not just in Europe but now in Asia as well. Most recently, JOYCE took three promising London-based Chinese designers – Robert Wun, Patrick Li and Ryan Lo — back to China for a pop-up installation, realizing the market potential of Western-trained, Eastern-influenced designers in Hong Kong.
This epiphany hasn’t come out of thin air — McKinsey & Co market analysts have confirmed that over a quarter of the global luxury market is derived from Chinese accounts, and Renminbi spent abroad comprises over 60 percent of that figure. The once lugubrious economy of China is a distant memory.
Since American traders moved to Hong Kong in 1842 in the wake of the First Opium War, USA-born-and-bred brands have proliferated in the city to include Levi’s, Calvin Klein, Gap and DKNY. The enthusiasm for the country’s apparel brands has continued with brands such as American Eagle Outfitters, 7 for all Mankind, True Religion, and J. Crew hitting the Hong Kong high street in recent years.