CFDA Enters Chinese Partnership With Shangpin.com

The online fashion retailer will support designers in developing their businesses in China via various marketing and public relations programs.

NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America has signed its first Chinese partnership with Shangpin.com under the auspices of CFDA’s Business Service Network.

This story first appeared in the February 26, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Shangpin.com is an online fashion retailer in China that, with its strong relationships with leading Chinese banks, has over 3 million high-end shoppers. It sells in-season contemporary and designer brands at full price, although there is also a flash-sale component on the site.

In the arrangement with the CFDA, Shangpin will support CFDA designers in developing their businesses in China via various marketing and public relations programs that will promote American designers in the Chinese media and to the Shangpin customer base.

The plan is to have CFDA designers selling on the Shangpin site by yearend, according to a CFDA spokesman. The Chinese e-commerce site currently works with CFDA designers Diane von Furstenberg, Milly by Michelle Smith and Stuart Weitzman.

Steven Kolb, chief executive officer of CFDA, said, “For us, this is a real opportunity not just for advice on the Chinese market, but also for the [CFDA] designers doing business in China to [gain] knowledge about Chinese e-commerce and doing business in China.”

Kolb said the new partnership grew out of a trip in July coordinated with New York’s Empire State Development agency to Shanghai and Beijing for eight designers, where the CFDA met with representatives from Shangpin.

David Zhao, ceo of Shangpin, said, “China is a challenging market to enter because there are limited distributors to cover such a large geographical area. This is why e-commerce in China, much more than in the West, is the most effective distribution and marketing platform for designers who want to reach Chinese regions where traditional brick-and-mortar stores do not exist. Shangpin currently sells into more than 400 cities across China and has a pulse on the evolving Chinese consumer.”