The co-founder of Shanghai based multi-brand concept store XINLELU.com and our new guest blogger Yilei Wu gives us the low down on the city’s need to know trade shows.
As an independent fashion designer, you have probably heard a lot about the potential of China as a key retail market (as well as how difficult it is to break into). If you are lucky (and good), you might have already gotten in touch with some big Chinese brands and companies, who have generously offered to invest in your brand. For others though, if you want to check out the market yourself, these five trade shows below are a good starting point.
Founded in 2014, Pure Shanghai is a mini version of Pure London.There is no doubt that Pure will serve as one of the most important gateways for independent designer brands to enter the China market, among which, most are British. In partnership with Chic, Pure Shanghai certainly has a strong connection with government. However, setting the date almost one month prior to the other three main trade shows for independent designer labels might be an indication that they really need to build up more domestic industry connections.
A/W 16/17 | 16-18 March 2016
As the only official partner of Shanghai Fashion Week, Mode started from A/W 15/16 buying season. Different from other trade shows, Mode only accepts showrooms rather than individual brands. Extremely smart, creative, and… bureaucratic.
A/W 16/17 | 8-11 April 2016
Yilei’s favourite! Lead by fashion veteran Ms. Yeli Gu, Ontimeshow stands out with their international vision and competitive team. Launched in October 2014, this young trade show rapidly built up a wide connection of distributors and an amazing brand portfolio covering both men’s and women’s, including Nicole Zhang, Chaireyes, Arete, Hiuman, Min Wu, Hua Jia and etc. Since last year, they also started to work with overseas showrooms.
A/W 16/17 | 09-11 April 2016
Showroom Shanghai was the very first professional trade show for independent designer brands in China. Launched in 2014 by Ian Lin, Danny Yang and Jiashen Yin, Showroom Shanghai was an instant success and caught the eyes of a number of single brand franchisees that were undergoing a transition to becoming multi-brand designer boutiques. Although the team and operations need some work their marketing ability and local connections are very strong.
A/W 16/17 | 11-15 April 2016
As the largest fashion-related trade show in China, Chic is proud of its ‘we have it all’ approach. Altogether there are 16 sections including- Sourcing, Urban, New Look, Prestige, Heritage, Impulses, Secret Stars, Young Blood and… Pure Shanghai ( For me, I am fascinated by those names… ) The trade show’s main target is potential franchisees of local brands rather than serious designer label fashion buyers. However, there is a chance for you to meet local fashion gurus who might just invest millions in your brand and open 50 stores in a year. Good luck!
A/W 16/17 | 16-18 March 2016
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born and raised in Shanghai, Yilei Wu graduated with a MA in Strategic Fashion Marketing from the London College of Fashion. Wu is the co-founder of XINLELU.com a multi-brand concept store with an online-and-offline presence that is dedicated to introducing and promoting emerging fashion designers and labels to China’s fashion community. A well known public figure in Shanghai’s fashion scene she is the primary author of the boutique’s popular WeChat columns ‘Discover New Designers’ and ‘Redefine Shanghai Girls’. In her time away from her retail venture Wu also runs an independent fashion label 1/2 Eternity specialising in all-white women’s shirts and blouses.
You can follow XINLELU.com on Instagram or on WeChat (WeChat id: xinlelu)