25/08/2015 — auf Deutsch lesen

Still growing

Impressions from the fair Photos: Vicky Sung

Impressions from the fair Photos: Vicky Sung

President Shen of Shenzhen Garment Industry Association and founder of SZIFB at the opening event

President Shen of Shenzhen Garment Industry Association and founder of SZIFB at the opening event

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The growing middle income class in China and the central government’s support of domestic consumption is bringing about growth to the fashion apparel industry, especially in Shenzhen, which is famous for its plentiful womenswear brands. It is also attracting foreign brands as well as textile producers that support the local brands.

The 15th China International Fashion Brand Fair Shenzhen (SZIFB - formerly known as SZIC) and the 2015 Intertextile Apparel Fabrics Shenzhen Pavilion (ITSZP) opened without a hitch at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Centre (SCEC) in Futian district from 9 to 11 July, just as Typhoon Lotus skirted and thankfully missed the city. Plenty of visitors came from all corners of China, not least because of South China’s reputation for its womenswear brands and production.

The banner “My Fashion Attitude, What’s Yours” continued to challenge the visitors in the two main halls. Hall 1, the larger of the two, included international exhibitors and garment accessories. Hall 2 housed mainly the biggest brands and the Rising Star designer corner with 25 designers as well as the Big Wave Longhua Creative Pavilion. These are good sources for talented designers and innovative design solutions.

Big Wave is a design area in the Longhua district of Shenzhen where designers concentrate on R&D in design and manufacturing. Each year, they support a design competition at the SZIFB Show. The final judging took place and was announced on the second evening. The winning pieces were paraded on the specially built stage in Hall 2. The Korean Pavilion was particularly impressive while the Macau Pavilion, though smaller, nevertheless attracted many creative brands to the fair.

The largest overseas exhibitor group was from Korea. In the past, only individual companies took up a stand here but this time round, they decided to join forces to form the Korea Fashion Avenue, featuring 68 brands supported by the Korea Fashion Association. They saw this as an ideal opportunity to capture the Chinese womenswear market at a show that attracts buyers from all over China. They showed a full spectrum of fashion items from head to toe as well as costume jewellery. In addition, they also had KDDM and Some brands from Dongdaemun market, the famous fashion wholesale market in Seoul. Some came with 14 brands and KDDM with 10. The response to their offerings was very good.

The Macau Pavilion likewise appeared for the very first time. In the past, Macau was mostly an OEM production location, fulfilling orders on behalf of its customers. Gradually, Macau is increasingly turning its attention to OBMs. The government of Macau has been very supportive of brand incubation platforms that help smaller brands develop in production as well as marketing by helping them participate in shows such as this one. The Character Creation brand is a good example of this scheme. They operate from several shops in Shenzhen, the Pearl River Delta and Guangzhou.

Künzli of Switzerland displayed shoes, Engel of Denmark had trousers, whilst Lacompel di Landi Andrea srl of Bologna, Italy, displayed fashionable fur clothing. Urbahia of Paris, France, was represented by Smile Fashion of Hong Kong. Designer and president, Guillaume Gaverlaux, who in the past chiefly focused on designing shoes and bags, has more recently discovered a passion for jackets. Accordingly, he has developed a collection of trendy jackets using high-tech fabrics which he helped develop in cooperation with textiles manufacturers. One such jacket was a ramie model with a leather-like outer finish. Slightly adjusted here and there, the jackets come in several styles.

Twelve US, European and Indian brands were displayed under the wing of Wei Fashion Inc (USA) and Wei Fashion Group Ltd (HK) which have offices in the US and Shanghai. They support brands that wish to enter the Chinese market. Pitched in the very high-end market, these brands are not sold in shopping malls and department stores but are found at exclusive club houses and luxury retail shops.

After a few years of remarkable growth, this year’s ITSZP – Intertextile Shenzen Pavilion posted a steady performance, roughly on a par with last year. Almost 700 exhibitors were present at this year’s Intertextile Shenzhen Pavilion (ITSZP) event. [Vicky Sung]

In an interview with textile network, President of Shenzhen Garment Industry Association, Ms Shen Yongfang, shared her thoughts on the fashion industry in South China. Ms Yongfang founded the event some 15 years ago, building it from a humble show to an international event.

“Shenzhen brands are very popular in China. It is a creative, all-embracing and tolerant city because it was born out of immigrants from other provinces, so it has an immigrant mentality - all styles and ideas come together and are welcomed. Shenzhen is very strong in womenswear. Shenzhen apparel companies have experienced rapid growth in recent years, each developing several brands to cater to different tastes. Some are even acquiring foreign brands.

Technology and creativity must go hand in hand; for example, recycling of clothing, interesting retail ideas, 3D body scanners at retail, e-commerce and internet shopping are all hugely dependent on technology. These days, we all need technology to manage the very details of our everyday lives. The fashion industry is closely entwined with technology and e-commerce.

Overseas exhibitors are most welcome to the show as it can help their businesses grow in China. China is still the strongest consumer market with an expanding middle class. This show is still focused on reaching the domestic market, making it a good platform for foreign brands wishing to penetrate the Chinese market.”

[Vicky Sung]