The little leaguers, aka kids, have proven a hotly trending China consumer collective in past years with the children’s apparel market currently one of the Middle Kingdom’s fastest-growing sectors. This greedy market makes budding brands and parents alike feel like a kid in a sweetshop — not sweatshop.
China’s “4-2-1” family structure (four grandparents, two parents and one child) in China was subjected to a change after the Chinese government in early 2016 announced it was to adopt a “newly” “amended” “two-child” policy. (Plenty of quotation marks required in this Party rhetoric.) In reality, this amendment does mean more opportunities for the nation’s children’s apparel market.
“The growth of children’s apparel market in China is set to continue in the coming years as the demand for children’s apparel is expected to increase due to the new policy of two children per couple.” Daxue Consulting
Temper Magazine’s Trending segment casts a net upon all that is throwing tantrums within the world of China Fashion across a variety of global sources. This very necessary segment dips its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle Kingdom fashionable astonishment.
This time around, we try to shed slight light on the future of China Fashion through the future adults of this world, i.e. the little league. From New York to Shanghai, the playground stretches far and wide.
The “kids playing Victoria’s Secret lingerie dress-up on a shopping mall catwalk” controversy in Southwest China this August, child models swapping daily school hours for daily photoshoots… China’s children — and what they’re wearing — have been making headlines in 2017 thus far. And the end of their little emperor-styled reign is not yet in sight!
“Over 30% of household’s daily expenditure for families is child-related consumptions, of this; about 18% is on children’s apparels.” Da Xue Consulting
Hong Kong Reports For Duty
The 2017 children’s apparel market analysis as conducted by Hong Kong Daxue Consulting Agency reports:
“Even though the performance of the market is forecast to stabilize after high growth in the recent years, the growth of children’s apparel market in China is set to continue in the coming years as the demand for children’s apparel is expected to increase due to the new policy of two children per couple. In 2014, China’s population for people in between the age of 0 to 15 years old accounts for 17.5% of the total population. As the announcement of the Chinese government about the “two-child” policy, we expect the percentage of the children in China to grow. Studies show that children’s market in China is forecast to grown at an annual compound rate of 10.5% between 2014 and 2018; this is considerably much higher than the global rate of 6.4%.
Over the entire children’s apparel market, baby and toddler wear is the best performing sector. The growth of girls’ apparel exceeds the growth of boys’ apparel. Girls’ apparel has considerably higher purchasing frequency and unit price than boys’ apparel. Parents are will to spend more on their children, especially in major cities in China such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Wuhan, etc. Over 30% of household’s daily expenditure for families is child-related consumptions, of this; about 18% is on children’s apparels.”
New York Reports For Duty
A standout designer example of kids apparel taking to the catwalks is that of Vicky Zhang (Xu Xinyin). Zhang in 2011 graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and is the founder and designer behind Vicky Zhang (VICKY’Z), one of China Fashion’s most famous family -themed brands. As one of the most talented rising stars in the fashion industry in China, Zhang’s also the first family-themed clothing designer brand to launch during China International Fashion Week. Her brand VICKY’Z in September 2016 first created a show at New York Fashion Week consisting of fantasy gowns and family-themed looks, with an emphasis on “mommy/daddy and me” looks.
In September 2017, Zhang once again graced NYFW with her presence. Take a look (courtesy of the Fashion Feed YouTube Channel):JOW by Angelle Chang. Courtesy of Angelle Chang[/caption]
Holland Reports For Duty
Dutch clothing brand JOW on October 3, 2016, went e-commerce for all to buy! Hongkongese Dutch founder and designer Angelle Chang positively and passionately celebrates body-image and -confidence in all its fabulous facets; sustainable and attainable for all. With keywords such as ageless, timeless, design, passion and sustainability, one ponders… Flaws: Socially excluding or fashionably exclusive? Feisty, either way.
The JOW brand was named after Chang’s 4-year-old son Jowin who was born with schisis, better known as a cleft lip. Appearance-conscious as this can make you, and given the uninvited attention or stares a scar draws in, she wanted to give people something to really stare at: His little rascal ‘rough-n-tough’ clothes. A brand was born.
JOW is all about being ‘bold’: Clothing, design and attitude alike, at any age, for both parents and kids. The designs come from a mamma’s point of view, meaning they’re practical and playful. And showcase Chang’s Dutch-Chinese roots.
JOW by Angelle Chang, as a fashion label, for the designer personally is one way of making a difference for kids like her son; each and every single one perfect because of their imperfections. Additionally, she hopes that through the clothing and designs in se or by walking in the brand’s shows or partaking in the photoshoots can give both these ‘perfect’ kids and their parents more support, more energy and more confidence! The core message is: ‘Perfect Because Of Imperfections’.
Shanghai Reports For Duty
Bearing the motto “Big business for little consumers!”, the China Kids Expo is gearing up to once again cater to “trade visitors from all over the world looking to experience the latest trends and product news by well-known international baby brands and Asian-Pacific manufacturers in the fields of childcare, toys and kidswear. The entire exhibition space exceeds 150,000 square meters featuring more than 1,700 exhibitors. China Kids Expo is the country’s biggest business-only event, where visitors and exhibitors can concentrate on the orders and where brands are able to stand out to the quality buyers of the region.” Hosted at the Shanghai New International Expo Center October 18-20, 2017, the fair aims to provide visitors with the opportunity to get to know all child industry trends and product releases in one place.
If you’re a kiddie brand owner and aim to enter the booming China market, this exhibition might be the place to go for you. In assisting international brands and agents who are planning to enter, or have already entered, the China market, the Shanghai-held expo promises to deliver the following three key items:
1. To gather feedback from mainstream distributors and retailers before launching new products in China for 2018.
2. To understand the extent of market acceptance of their new products, and reduce risk.
3. To increase the awareness of the public for the products shortly before the start of sale.
You too can become the poster child for big baby booming brands everywhere.
Social Media. At Your Service!
“Nowadays, social media has a huge impact on consumer purchasing decisions. This is especially the case in China since Chinese consumers generally engage more actively on social media platforms than other countries. China has the largest number of social media users in the world and the highest percentage of Internet users as active social media members. These platforms are particularly relevant for the children’s apparel market as parents are inclined to buy children’s wear brands recommended by relatives and friends, whereas retailers increasingly engage with consumers through social media and hope to build positive word-of-mouth,” another DaXue Consulting marketing study concludes.
Most children’s apparel brands currently adopt a multi-channel retailing model: Brick and mortar, online stores and mobile apps all combined facilitate the every need of different consumers. Having stated that, despite the increasing popularity of online channels, many Chinese parents still hold qualms about the quality of the clothes their offspring puts on — thus online channels largely serves as a supplement of physical stores.
China’s E-commerce market in the past five years has been rapidly evolving, with mobile (M-) commerce growing into an ever-bigger part of the E-commerce realm. More and more children’s apparel brands have built up both a digital and mobile presence to help customers using mobile devices obtain product information and carry out purchases. Many brands have set up their own online transactional website or mobile app and a large portion of them are also selling their products via the immensely popular WeChat and its linkedin Weidian platform.
What can we say… It’s child’s play!
Featured Image: Courtesy of Suit B AW 2017 for AliExpress.
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