China Fashion is not well known to the western world outside of China. China's mega
clothing manufacturers are famous for their ability to copy designs and mass produce
economically. Even though there are Chinese Fashion Designers, their brands are
virtually unknown outside of China. For instance, major Fashion brands in China
such as Great Wall and Ante have yet to make it big in the international markets.
Development of China Fashion Designers
The development of China Fashion Designers can be segregated into three different
Pre-liberation (before 1949)
Rather than purchasing clothes from a retail outlet, most Chinese had their clothes
tailored prior to the liberation of the Chinese people by Chairman Mao in 1949. There
are two schools of China Fashion designers during that time: Ben Bang and Hong Bang
Ben Bang means Chinese tailoring school where traditional Chinese robes and jackets
were designed and made. Chinese tailors focused on fine craftsmanship.
Hong Bang or western tailoring was influenced by foreign fashion immigrants establishing
themselves in China. They hired local Chinese workers to assist them. These individuals
learned the western fashion design skills and soon passed it on to other Chinese.
Western designers knew more about fabric cutting that their Chinese counterparts.
Chinese clothing during that era tend to be flat in style due to the lack of cutting
2. China Fashion Forbidden (Chairman Mao era 1949-1980)
Fashion design houses which were private businesses during the Mao era, were either
bought by the government or merged with government run design studios. The China
Fashion industry became state owned in a completely socialized communist system.
Western suits which became popular in the 1960's were stifled during the government's
management of the Cultural Revolution.
3. Post Mao Era (After 1980)
After the Mao era, western influence became prominent. Initially the Chinese nation
was shocked to see Chinese women in western high heels, long hair and fine jewelry.
Men were also seen wearing long hair, moustaches, side burns, flowery shirts, and
bell bottom pants. This lead to a country of confusion mixed with enthusiasm and
rebellion. The reformist eventually won which resulted in the dress code being separated
from the communist political ideology in the 1980's. Ever since that time, the China
Fashion industry has experienced some significant developments.
Future and Import Opportunities for of China Fashion
China has become the world's largest manufacturer and exporter of clothing and textiles
since 1994. While the state still controls the clothing companies, there has been
an increase in joint ventures in the past two decades. The Chinese government has
played a role in developing the China Fashion industry. In an attempt to attract
fashion buyers from abroad as well as locally, the China Garment Association and
the China Garment Designers' Association organize events such as Fashion Week to
showcase the designers of China Fashion.
The city government at Shanghai has declared its ambitious goal of making the city
as one of the fashion capitals of the world alongside of Paris, Milan and New York.
It is anticipated that China will become a center of fashion in the future. Soon
it will begin exporting the next generation of fashion products around the world.
This is an exciting time for the importer who is interested in importing China Fashion
into his or her own country. Not only are cheap mass produced clothing available
but China's high fashion brands will soon makes its way around the world.
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