China is into digital shopping and athleisure

China is into digital shopping and athleisure

China is into digital shopping and athleisure 

"The top three words executives used to describe the fashion industry in 2016 are uncertain, changing and challenging", summarizes Melinda Wong, the owner of Vein concept store and an expert on Nordic fashion and design possibilities in China and Hong Kong. "Views on year 2017 are still rather pessimistic, but some opportunities are in sight", Wong says.

The GDP in China dropped from 10,6 (2010) to 6,7% (2016). That is considered normal cycle and in fact, necessary. However, any new entries are going to face more challenges than before. From fashion industry point of view there is a learning cycle going on.

China consumer habits are highly technology-driven. Digital shopping covers everything and people buy things via their phones ranging from a cup of coffee to luxury products.

Fashion is taking an athletic direction, as new consumer tribes are driven by casualization.

"More and more people are wearing casual, sporty clothes. The growth of sports-inspired apparel is five times higher than general clothing in 2016", Wong tells.

The Chinese people are joining gyms: a lot more people can afford and more importantly, are interested and willing to train – it's a new culture in China and presents a new need to dress up. People follow what fellow trainers are wearing. Celebrities are also an important source of fashion inspiration. "The current mentality is to follow whatever celebrities are telling them", Wong concludes.

Melinda Wong was a guest speaker in Finpro's Lifestyle - What's Up? open event December 13 for fashion and lifestyle companies.