Import From China Business

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China Fashion

China Fashion Background

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 eras:

  1. 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

Ben Bang means Chinese tailoring school where traditional Chinese robes and jackets were designed and made.  Chinese tailors focused on fine craftsmanship.

Hong Bang

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 skills.

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.

Real Experiences!

Sadegh M. - Import to Iran

“I am importing children’s clothing from china to Iran.  Thanks for all your guidance from the information on your website.  Keep it up.“