As one of the largest meeting places for fashion professionals in Asia, Chic Beijing, taking place from March 26th to 29th 2014, will attract more than 1,000 exhibitors and 100,000 visitors. FashionUnited spoke with Chen Dapeng, president of ChicBeijing and vice president of the China National Garment Association about the fair.
Asked about his expectations for next year, Mr. Dapeng said: “Chic Beijing 2014 will be the 22nd edition and we are really glad that within over 20 years, the trade show developed into an international meeting point for the fashion sector. Around 1,000 exhibitors, thereof 400 from other nations, will meet around 100,000 visitors. Among these visitors we count responsible persons from shopping malls, department stores, e-commerce fashion portals, buyers, smaller boutiques and agents from all over China, but also from other nations worldwide.”
Chic Beijing 2014 bigger than everSprawled over 100,000 square meters in eight halls, Chic Beijing will take up the whole New China International Exhibition Center and feature mens-, womens- and kidswear as well as jeans, casual, denim and urbanwear along with lingerie and accessories including shoes and bags. Among the new areas are ‘Bespoke’ for tailor-made mensmear, introduced this year, ‘Shirts’ featuring leading Chinese shirt makers and ‘Denim World’, showcasing the country’s best of denim. We’ve asked Mr. Dapeng to elaborate on each new area a bit.
“Every year we present new developments as nowadays the fashion sector is so dynamic that changes have to be done in order to inspire with new developments. We started last year Bespoke for menswear as business wear requires a perfect fit. We realized that more and more men in China like to have their suit tailor-made – a trend that is also upcoming in Europe.”
Bespoke is an important new segment“Based on the achievements we’ve made with Bespoke, we will go ahead and present more diversified forms of men’s suits besides BESPOKE, such as industrial techniques for mass made to measure (for example Red Collar) which break the bottle neck of traditional custom made suits by modern technologies and achieve the integration of information, personal demands, differentiation and internationalization. We have many specialists in this sector who are specialized in menswear including shoes and accessories. Some of them have good clients in UK or in the USA. We are sure that this sector will encourage also international buyers to come and see”, Dapeng adds.
Shirts are such an important part of the menswear sector that a whole area will be dedicated to this segment at Chic Beijing with exciting plans ahead. “A new circle will be built with leading shirt makers – we call it The Shirt, which plays an important role in cross-dressing. The official shirt or the casual shirt – there are so many diversification. We have the best shirt makers from China and are sure that with this area we give an excellent orientation for expert visitors. And China offers an enormous creativity. We will present the best upcoming design talents in the Designers’ Corridor,” explains Dapeng.
Light lux coming for womenAsked about ‘Bespoke’ in particular, Dapeng still sees it as mainly a menswear activity but also as a “trend for mass made to measure with modern technologies”. In terms of a trend for women, Dapeng says: “Women all over the world are much more flexible in fashion trends even though their business dress code has changed. They like to look smart, but it could be also ‘smart casual’. Next year, we will also present some new features in women’s fashion, such as light lux and evening dress. All of these are the result of the changes of lifestyles and will also bring the new opportunities for the market.”
With both A.T. Kearney and Euromonitor International confirming China’s number one position as the most important growth market for apparel retail development due to its size and strong growth in clothing sales, it is no wonder that international exhibitors and visitors are steadily increasing at the fair – about 40 percent of the exhibitors at the 2014 edition will be from outside China.
International participation at 40 percentWith about 100 brands, Italy will send the largest contingent of exhibitors, followed by France with about 80 brands. The German pavilion will focus on ready-to-wear, bags, shoes and kidswear and designers like Anja Gockel, Annette Goertz, Beate Heymann, Lola Paltinger and Moon Berlin have confirmed their participation for the first time. Joint country pavilions will present products from Austria, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey.
The UK is still working on their pavilion with more information being available by the first week of January according to Mr. Dapeng as he informs of another development: “This year we have also concluded a joint venture with leading associations in the sector of shopping malls, department stores, e-commerce and also an advisory council will assist us in bringing the best to Chic.”
Last but not least, Mr. Dapeng elaborates on the uniqueness of Chic Beijing for European visitors and exhibitors: “May I stress that Chic is a platform which is the bridge for European brands who want to enter the Chinese market. Chic is a comprehensive trade platform, where European brands cannot only get orders but also experience and learn the different business models in China. This is the key to their success. … European visitors will meet many Chinese brands of which they never have heard but which are important brands in China. Just to mention Bosideng who opened his branch in London and counts among the biggest manufacturers in China. They are running around 6.000 stores in China.”
Photos: At Chic Beijing 2013 / Mr. Chen Dapeng; all photos courtesy of Chic Beijing