NEW YORK — In the coming years, China doesn’t just have the potential to become the world’s factory. With a population of 1.28 billion, it could become an enormous consumer market.
But China’s arcane legal system and sometimes inscrutable business style can make breaking into the market a tough challenge for U.S. marketers.
New York consultants Jassin-O’Rourke Group and Shanghai-based consultant George E. Williams have joined forces in an effort to help U.S. companies take the plunge into selling into China. Williams recently established a licensed wholly owned foreign enterprise called Nan Ying Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. to act as an agent and adviser to U.S. firms.
"Many people know that China is hot," said Williams, who works with his wife, Nan Ying, who previously served in the Chinese government in Wenzhou. "But few people know what is going on in China."
U.S. brands often join forces with Chinese manufacturers with which they’ve done business when trying to crack the Chinese market — a move that seems logical given there’s already an established relationship. But for some U.S. manufacturers, these deals have turned sour.
He noted that many U.S. apparel executives know little of the Chinese way of retailing. Most fashion goods in China are sold through company-owned boutiques. These can be either freestanding stores or shop in department stores, which lease space to brands and then take a cut of revenue off the top, typically from 25 to 35 percent, Williams said.
"We bring a Western discipline on quality, on what you can do in a strategic alliance, on what image a Western brand wants to project at retail," he said. It’s important to keep a close eye on what’s being done with a brand in the Chinese market because, he explained, "Lawsuits in China are not necessarily a fruitful endeavor."
Williams said there are estimated to be between 100 million and 300 million people in China classified as "middle class," which means they have annual income of $8,000 to $10,000. China’s per capita gross domestic product was $4,600 in 2002, according to U.S. government data.Financial terms of the partnership between the two consultancies were not disclosed, though both parties said they’d be steering clients to one another.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
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Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)