China is fast becoming one of the leading global markets worldwide. While the majority of the world has struggled due to the economic downturn China has thrived. There are many reasons for this but the main one is Chinas membership of the World Trade Organisation. As recently as 10 years ago China was a lot less successful economically it’s truly amazing how far China has come in this short period of time. Chinas GDP is now an astonishing 5 times what it was 10 years ago. (GDP is market value of goods and services produced in a year, in a country. )
Designers and fashion brands have sat up and taken notice too with most of the major players having opened exquisite large stores in recent years. The Chinese have developed a lot of love for western high end brands. There was a time not so long ago when western brands were a rarity on the Chinese high street but that has drastically changed. In 2000 Versace launched in China, followed by Tiffany in 2001, Armani in 2004, Valentino in 2005 and Rolex in 2006. Now there aren’t many luxury fashion brands not selling in China.
Fashion magazines have also taken note with Vogue China becoming a lot more popular both in China and internationally. Vogue US also ran a feature on the rising popularity of Asian models.
Another reason for Chinas strong economy is their dominance of the textile industry. Textiles are still one of Chinas most popular exports especially cotton. China is the largest supplier of cotton in the world and as you probably know a lot of products are made from cotton.They also are one of the dominating nations in silk production. This isn’t too surprising as they were the first country to produce silk.
All in all the future looks bright for China. Both in terms of their presence in the fashion world and their consumption of foreign luxury brands. Even high street brands like H&M and Zara have a growing following in China. I fully expect more fashion brands to cross over to China as they realise the buying power that Chinese consumers possess. We may even see the fashion world taking inspiration from China and Chinese designers becoming more popular on the world style stage. This may lead to a lot more Chinese models on the catwalk and in top fashion magazines and ad campaigns. Only time will tell but 2011 looks to be an exciting time for China.