SHANGHAI — The premiere edition of Shanghai Mode Lingerie, an exhibition of lingerie brands and materials organized by France’s Eurovet, received positive reviews for brands seeking to crack the tough but growing Chinese market.
The event, which opened Oct. 26 with a fashion show and party at the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum and continued for two days at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, was also a venue for Chinese brands to pursue export opportunities. The trade show included Interfiliere Asia, a showcase of 87 international but primarily Chinese lingerie textile producers, and the exclusive Private Lingerie, which featured 20 high-end brands from France, mainland China, Hong Kong, Italy, Romania, Switzerland and the U.S.
As Chinese lingerie producers eye the global market, the rest of the world eyes China. Eurovet editorial director Valerie Charrier explained at the opening news conference that Chinese women spend only 5 percent of their apparel budget on lingerie, compared with 20 percent for French women and that the Chinese lingerie market grows by 20 percent annually. The city of Shanghai sees more than $1 billion in lingerie sales each year.
“Shanghai is at the front end of this creativity boom, and this show is to put together and offer the opportunity for an even brighter future,” Charrier said.
Anne-Manuele Hebert, international director of Eurovet, said attendance exceeded 2,500.
“We welcomed visitors from all over Asia, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Europe and America,” Hebert said.
Exhibitors gave the show’s format a thumbs up.
“I’m totally happy with the approach,” said Mary Green Swig, president of Mary Green Mansilk, the only U.S. exhibitor in Private Lingerie.
Although the brand has been producing in China since 1978, Shanghai Mode marked its first participation in a trade show here.
While Mary Green Mansilk already has suppliers in China, it came looking for additional ones, as well as distributors. Swig said contacts made at the show included freestanding stores, department stores and distribution on eBay China, which already has an authenticated brands section.
“The show has been very good and very interesting,” she said.
Marie-Pierre Cherifi, fashion director of Le Caprice de Marie, a small French line that has produced and sold in China since its launch in 2003, welcomed the show.
“We’ll definitely be back next year,” Cherifi said.
A spokeswoman for Shanghai-based Gujin Underwear, one of China’s leading domestic lingerie firms, said the company wanted to pursue import and export possibilities.
“Exports help our brand,” she said. “We want sales to be half domestic and half international, but are a long way from that target.”
She praised Shanghai Mode’s setup as “very professional,” but added that the small size of the venue was disappointing and hoped it will be larger next year.
Woody Wu, director of Nanjing Rey Ping Textile & Embroidery, also expressed some dissatisfaction with the size.
“I hope it’s bigger next year,” Wu said. “It was too crowded. They need a bigger space next year.”
The Taiwan-based company, with a factory employing 300 in Nanjing, China, produces half for domestic consumption and half for export, but hopes to expand its international market share.
Eurovet, one of the world’s leading lingerie trade fair organizers, held the exhibition in cooperation with the Shanghai Exhibition Center, Promosalons China/Ableling, Invista and the China Knitting Industrial Association. Additional support came from the French Textiles Industries Union, the French Knitwear Federation, Habillement Rhone Alpes, Lyon Vision Mode, Espace Mode, Region Rhone-Alpes, the Shanghai Underwear Trade Association and the Hong Kong Apparel Industries Association.
Eurovet plans to hold the show on the same dates in 2006.