The fashion industry in China is an exciting place, a convergence of new consumer habits, emerging digital trends, and big spenders. The China Trends Index White Paper 2013 released last week by China Trends Media reflects all these and more. We look deeper into the data to get more insights of China and its fashion industry.

A Recap of Chinese Fashion Trends in 2013


General fashion: Emerging importance of mobile

As mobile channels (phones and tablets) become increasingly popular, they jump to the top 3 channels consumers use to access fashion information, following internet and fashion magazines. As for the place to buy the fashion products, the offline store is still the predominant channel which takes up more than half of the market share.

Luxury: Back to the status quo

The motivations for luxury consumption remain the same. People purchase luxury products mainly to improve life quality and psychological satisfaction. At the same time, they also appreciate the design and quality of the luxury goods. Clothing, jewelry and watches are the top 3 categories in terms of average spending. Similar to the general fashion industry, offline stores are also a major channel for luxury purchases, followed by overseas shopping.

Designer brands: On the rise

Another interesting trend mentioned in the whitepaper is the rise of designer brands, which have been deemed as post-luxury. More people who have purchased luxury have also purchased designer brands in 2013 (about 4% more than 2012). People value the design, uniqueness and material of the designer’s own products.

Same geographies, new opportunities

On the city fashion index ranking, the four 1st-tier cities-Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen-rank top the list as expected. The 2nd-tier cities such as Tianjin, Wuhan, Hangzhou and Chengdu also have good performance in fashion.

According to the survey, Chinese consumers are become more independent when choosing fashion brands. The traditional retailing channels are facing challenges from e-commerce even they’re still the majority. To adapt to the changing consumer habits, O2O (Online-to-offline) is an inevitable trend.

This article is written by Hanna Chen, L'Atelier Analyst Consultant based in Shanghai