Alibaba’s Tmall is going to be bringing a little bit of Hangzhou to New York Fashion Week — and vice versa.
Tmall, the largest consumer marketplace in China, has linked with fashion, lifestyle and entertainment management company Suntchi to get into the fashion week mix at NYFW: The Shows.
The partnership will help U.S. designers and brands use Tmall’s scale and technology to reach the Chinese market. Tmall will feature U.S. designers in its second-annual see-n0w-buy-now fashion show, a global event next month in the run up to the 11.11 Global Shopping Festival. Last year, the event’s live-stream attracted more than seven million views and more than 50 international brands.
As part of the collaboration, Tmall and Suntchi will also put together a showcase during New York Fashion Week dubbed NYFW: China Day, which will debut next September and will give Chinese brands an opportunity to increase their exposure in the U.S.
The initiative builds on Suntchi’s partnership with the Council of Fashion Designer of America, which was revealed in February.
Michael Evans, Alibaba group president, said the new effort would “bring U.S. brands and retailers the ability to reach the ever-growing Chinese consumer base. Alibaba’s scale, technology and deep consumer insight provides brands and designers with truly unique offerings to engage with consumers in the world’s largest market in new and innovative ways.”
Paul Fang, Suntchi’s chief executive officer, added that his company was looking for a way to both bring U.S. brands to China and Chinese brands to the U.S. “IMG’s New York Fashion Week: The Shows is the perfect partner to help us establish the basis of this operation,” he said.
And Catherine Bennett, senior vice president and managing director of IMG Fashion Events and Properties, said, “NYFW: China Day will be a phenomenal resource for Chinese designers looking to introduce their brands in the U.S. market.”
For tech companies looking to build their fashion businesses, linking up with fashion weeks is one path to a bigger profile.
Amazon has cozied up to the runway in the past, serving as principal sponsor of New York Fashion Week: Men’s for its first two years before moving on. It’s also sponsored fashion shows in India.
Fashion week sponsors can gain style credibility and also strengthen their ties with brands. Alibaba is in a push to get more brands into its already gigantic business, which last year drove revenues of $23 billion for the company as its platforms handled a merchandise from third-party sellers valued at $547 billion overall.
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