The new edition of the Phoenix Report also highlighted some emerging consumer groups in China and their spending patterns, which could be essential knowledge for brands looking to reach customers in the country. “China has a wide variety of shoppers, and it’s really important for companies to know exactly to whom they are marketing, what their income levels are, how they feel about money and what drives their purchasing decisions,” said Allison Luong of Pearl Research. “Understanding the consumer segmentation is really the first step, and then you can really do a deep dive into what it is that motivates them to buy and what other brands interest them.”
Here are four key customer groups that are leading the spending spree in China:
“This is the majority of Chinese consumers,” said Luong. “They’re both working-class and middle-class and generally very thrifty — they won’t often spend too much on high-end products because they don’t have the money. But they’re very up-to-date on fashions and gadgets and really would like to spend a larger portion of their income on luxury products. Their hobbies tend to be much more lower end — they like to play sports and mahjong. They don’t really have the money to go traveling, clubbing or skiing, even though these are things they aspire to.” Favorite brands: Haier, Lenovo, Nike.
“This name stands for ‘Chinese yuppies’ and they’re really the group at the forefront of China’s burgeoning middle class,” Luong said. “They’re concentrated in the big cities, but are also starting to populate the smaller cities around China. They’re professionals, and they’re putting much of their savings into things like purchasing homes. They tend to be into higher-end hobbies, such as golf and traveling, and they tend to have a high interest in Western products.” Favorite brands: Apple, Nokia, Chanel.
“These are the country’s big earners and big spenders,” Luong said. “They usually work in an office environment — they’re bankers, doctors and lawyers. They spend money on traveling, clubbing, drinking, eating out and luxury products. They’re really all about showing off and consumption. While traditional Chinese society has been about saving, this group is about big spending and living in the moment. They tend to be very brand-conscious and have disposable incomes of at least $500 a month, which in China is very large.” Favorite brands: Armani, Prada, Burberry.
“This is a term that was first coined in Japan for young, single females, but it also really applies to China, as well,” Luong said. “Many of them live with and are supported by their parents, hence their name. The free rent and low everyday living expenses allow them to spend their disposable income on consumer products, like clothes, cosmetics and accessories. They tend to be fashion-forward and keep up with the latest trends in magazines or on the Internet. You see a lot of women in urban centers in China that fit this profile.” Favorite brands: Louis Vuitton, Lancôme, Motorola, Gucci.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast