Shanghai, March 15 - On the occasion of the visit of Dutch fashion labels to Shanghai, the first Sino-Dutch Fashion Dialogue CROSS was held by the Netherlands Consulate General in Shanghai, RNW Media and Donghua University today.
CROSS presents an inspirational seminar consisting of three theme speeches and three panel discussions. Distinguished speakers from different realms within the world of fashion are invited to share their expertise and insights.
Meanwhile, the Dutch fashion delegation consisting of 20 renowned Dutch brands also brings their Dutch insights to this seminar in various fields such as clothes, shoes, luxury bags and accessories.
Dutch fashion brands exhibition
One brand from the Dutch fashion delegation
Some typical characteristics of Dutch fashion are: comfortable, innovative and with a twist. Furthermore, Dutch fashion labels give high importance to sustainability.
Anneke Adema, Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai
“I hope more and more Chinese people know about Dutch fashion, and more and more Dutch fashion brands can enter China’s market,” said Anneke Adema, Consul General of the Netherlands in Shanghai during the interview with reporter from Eastday.com.
As cities mushroom all over its 9.6 million square-meters of land, so has the average Chinese citizens’ living standard and consumption power, which has brought forth a new era—the advent of China’s contemporary fashion world at full force.
In 2015, revenue of China’s fashion market hits 113 billion RMB. Chinese consumers’ passion for high-quality fashion products has changed the rule of game in China’s fashion market. There is an increased demand of innovation and personal expressions among Chinese customers.
Within this trend, a growing number of international brands choose to develop its offline retail market together with its online market.
For instance, renowned Dutch fashion brand C&A has opened its online store on Tmall.com and will open 100 physical retail stores in 25 big cities in China by the year of 2017.
On April 15, 2013, Dutch menswear brand Suitsupply also launched its e-commerce website in China. In order to fit better for Asian men, the brand has improved their suits’ cuts and increase sizes options. Meanwhile, this Chinese-language website also provides video description to optimize its online shopping experience.
“Many people consider e-business as a competition to retailing industry. But they two actually can be converged and achieve mutual promotion,” Vicki Jiang told the reporter from Eastday.com that e-business is the trend which cannot be neglected, and they have both online and offline teams.
According to Visa's 2015 e-Commerce Consumer Monitor Survey, 77% of Chinese consumers use smartphones to browse online shopping information, and 68% of Chinese consumers complete purchases via their smartphones, which are higher than the average data in Asia Pacific.
This trend brings significant opportunity to retailers. However, this realm of fashion retail may be unfamiliar to many foreign brands, since it has its unique ecosystem with its own trends and codes of buying behaviors that no other countries' online retail market can compare to.
Bain & Company’s 2015 China Luxury Market Study advises that foreign fashion brands need a flexible pricing system, a stronger digital strategy and greater focus on fashion to win with Chinese consumers at home.
Andrea Fenn, founder of the Fireworks which provides marketing services for foreign brand in China market for years, thinks that Chinese fashion market is consistent with e-commerce. A brand needs to choose appropriate channels as well as a suitable approach to its consumers.
“With the rise of Chinese middle class, these consumers are adept at using social media and other various online platforms,” Fenn suggested that foreign brands can make use of their consumption habits to build a more perfect sales model, whether online or offline, can achieve great success.
Fenn also mentioned that localization is very important for a brand to enter a foreign market.
China’s growing fashion market is incubating more possibilities. Today’s dialogue embarked more ideas in better connecting two fashion industries and even further, deepening the understanding of fashion between China and Europe.