BEIJING — Alibaba Group unveiled Thursday its initiative to feature the work of Fashion Institute of Technology graduates and other emerging designers on its Taobao Marketplace.
From Aug. 20 to 26, Taobao will hold an online campaign dubbed “New Wave Week,” during which the designers will make their debut on the Chinese e-commerce platform. Ten emerging designers, including five FIT graduates, will have their designs featured on Taobao. Alibaba said the company will assist the designers with marketing their products online, raising money via pre-orders and find garment manufacturers to help with mass production.
Luis Peralta, an FIT graduate who lives in Queens, will have his sportswear collection showcased.
“It is a great platform to have my designs shown to such a broad market, particularly the Asian market,” Peralta said. “A lot of designers are opening stores in Asia. It is exciting to be a part of this and to reach the Chinese market, to create a customer base and a fan base out of the Taobao consumers — every young designer should be watching them and supporting them.”
Alibaba said it is positioning “New Wave Week” as a digital fashion week where, in addition to the FIT graduates, dozens of other up-and-coming designers will have the opportunity to reach particularly young Chinese consumers who are looking for unique styles not offered by mainstream brands in big shopping malls. Taobao’s first fashion week took place in March. Alibaba said the event will take place biannually.
“Young Chinese consumers nowadays favor unique products that reflect their individuality and personal beliefs,” Xia Ji, Taobao’s marketing director said in a statement.
After this month campaign ends, FIT professors, in partnership with a Chinese university, will cooperate to create a permanent store on Taobao to showcase work from emerging designers. Taobao will assist with helping the designers collaborate with local factories for production.