Tiger NE

New Wealth, New Luxury Market: The Rise of China

Isaac Mostovicz writes that Chinese consumers’ opt for Western luxury status symbols...

China is becoming the biggest luxury market in the whole world, but what is interesting to note is that Chinese-owned luxury brands are hard to come across, while Western brand shops dominate the Asian market.

I have written before about how luxury brands are eyeing up consumers in emerging markets, particularly in China, who have helped contribute to the record sales of numerous luxury labels over the Christmas period.

BBC News published an article this week that contributes to the high volume of discussion over China’s emerging class of consumers.  The article notes, however, that there are few high-end brands that originate from China.

Zhang Zhifeng is the designer of Chinese fashion label Tiger NE which he says is one of the few Chinese luxury brands. “In Beijing and Shanghai, our shops are still mainly surrounded by Western brand shops”, he says.

As the journalist notes, “when people start to become consumers, what they want is a little bit of luxury”. What is apparent in the Asian luxury market trend is that the western ideals of luxury appeal to these new consumers. The idea of “fitting in” with western fashion seems to be the force behind the Asian consumers appetite for luxury, whereby the brand becomes a status symbol.

For Zhifeng’s homegrown brand, though, the increase in luxury consumption in China means good news for his sales. And as more and more retailers realise the differences between the Chinese and Western clothing industries, and the huge potential in moving into the high end fashion business, there might emerge new Chinese-owned luxury brands from those looking for a slice in this expanding market.

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