The China International Fashion Fair in Shanghai .
SHANGHAI — Visitor numbers to the latest edition of the China International Fashion Fair here appeared to be up on the previous edition, according to organizers, as buyers were keen to view new product offerings from manufacturers forced to transform in a cooling economy.The apparel fair ran from March 15 to 17 at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, including more than 1,200 brands from more than 21 countries and regions.The fair coincided with China’s National Bureau of Statistics release of retail sales figures for the first two months of the year, which showed that even as the economy cooled, apparel sales figures remained steady with a growth rate of 6.1 percent year-over-year.Chen Dapeng, vice president of the China National Garment Association, organizers of CHIC Shanghai, believes that although growth is slowing, there is no reason for panic.“Last year, for the clothing industry in China, the growth rate was about 6.8 percent and for the online clothing industry, it was about 18.6 percent and they were actually lower than our expectations. You have to see this figure from a comparative position because from the whole global market, this figure, 6.8 percent of growth, is actually quite large,” Chen said.According to Chen, the challenges facing the apparel industry are forcing manufacturers to change. He believes that the most important transformations surround technological progress, creative designs and talent.One such Chinese company implementing new technologies to provide enhanced service and drive demand is Baoxiniao Group Co. Ltd. The group recently launched a platform, called 4.0, which allows customers to create and store the design requirements of individual items of clothing and follow each garment along the production chain. After a break of 11 years, the company returned to this edition of CHIC to promote the new platform.“With this technology, we can offer private label to any type of customer, no matter if it is a big company, or just a little shop, even for one single piece, no matter where you are from Italy, Germany, France, or America,” said group technician Paolo Vecchiato. “The more elastic you are, the lower the minimum, the better it is because you offer a faster, elastic service, while maintaining the quality, of course."As the trend of Chinese manufacturers moving up the supply chain continues, the importance of nurturing domestic design talent and unique Chinese brand identity is becoming more prevalent.Simin Wu, vice president of Zhejiang Nuozhi, a manufacturer and exporter of fine leather and fur garments, said rising import taxes and increasing labor costs have meant that the company’s main client base has shifted from European and U.S. brands to Mainland Chinese customers, as international buyers look to Southeast Asia to source products at lower costs. Exhibiting for the first time at CHIC, the company has ramped up efforts to create enhanced product offerings by transitioning to an ODM business model.“We are focusing on the design part, because we are not only making the clothes, we are ODM, so we are actually designing these items, that's why we still have good business going on,” Wu said. “The price is quite sensitive, but now we focus on the design part and the quality part. We used to only make these garments, but now we have also spent a lot of time to improve our quality and improve our design."The company has also reconsidered product design in order to create multiple price points to appeal to price conscious buyers, by combining fur with textile in new designs.Not all Chinese buyers at the show were price sensitive, or as easily swayed by new Chinese brands and designs, showing that the Chinese appetite for foreign brands remains robust.“I am looking for foreign designers because foreign designers are much more preferable in the Chinese market, like high-end brands and also street style from America,” said Wax Wang, a buyer for Senchuang Garment Co., a men's wear brand based in Zhejiang. “Price is not a concern for buyers because they have their target audience and they base it on their shop."Nathalie Blanc, head designer at Smart & Joy, a London-based clothing brand that returned for a second edition of CHIC, said the fair connects her company with many Chinese multibrand store owners and concept store owners.“[We chose CHIC] because it is practical and because we wanted to have a window on the Chinese market and this choice seemed the most obvious to us. We have the office in London, but since we have the manufacturing in China, it made sense to at some point try to sell in China,” she said.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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