Thursday, May 29, 2008

ASIAN BIKINI Fashion Designers

Their purchasing power and the growing sophistication of a more established wealthy clientele is creating a very diverse market for fashion, says Angelica Cheung, editor of Vogue China. The magazine was launched in 2005 and it has 320,000 readers.

"It's very different from the West, there are a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities and there are wealthy people emerging all the time," said Cheung.

"A young woman who might now be on a monthly salary of 5,000 yuan (US$716) could next year be running her own business. So it's a very aspirational market. Her first luxury product might be a Louis Vuitton bag but within a few years she might move on to something more niche such as Marni."

Chanel is the most preferred high-end fashion brand for affluent Chinese followed by Giorgio Armani, according to a report by MasterCard.

Oscar de la Renta says China is central to a strategy for Asia which it hopes will account for 20 percent of its sales within five years, up from 5 percent at present, helped by its burgeoning accessories' business.

Luxury brands can easily sell their perfume and cosmetics in local department stores. But when it comes to ready-to-wear fashion, they are all competing for space and customers in a handful of luxury malls such as Plaza 66 in Shanghai and Lane Crawford in Beijing where rents are sky high.