ith the Chinese consumer landscape changing rapidly, homegrown brands are struggling to attract affluent young customers. But Erdos, a Chinese household name when it comes to cashmere, is trying something different — creating two brands from one.
Erdos held a fashion show in Beijing on Sept 1, presenting two brands — Erdos 1980 and Erdos. And supermodel Liu Wen and actress Zhang Ziyi were on its guest list.
Theshowopened with a ballet performance in which dancers were all dressed in cashmere.
The collections on show comprised coats, dresses and sweaters, highlighting simple lines and subtle colors.
Erdos 1980 reinterprets the classic style of the original brand with its emphasis on quality and comfort, while Erdos targets China’s well-educated middle class, which looks for both quality and fashion.
Although China’s apparel industry is facing difficulties, new opportunities are emerging as consumers today have more specific needs, saysWang Zhen, vice-president of the Erdos Group, who is also the daughter of Wang Linxiang, founder of the company.
“This is an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss,” she says.
“Our customers are changing and diversifying, and we have to meet their needs.”
The strategy adjustment is based on long-term market research that includes a survey byMcKinsey&Company,which covered 5,000 consumers in more than 30 cities inChina.
Founded in 1980, Erdos is a well-known name in China, but it used to be more associated with quality rather than fashion.
But as China’s consumers shift toward class and style, the company has been gradually diversifying.
The Erdos Group, which owns the Erdos brands, launched 1436, a luxury cashmere brand, in 2006, and it founded Blue Erdos in 2012, which targets the young crowd with its simple designs and affordable prices.
The Erdos Group, which has more than 1,000 stores in over 500 cities in China, and stores in Tokyo and Osaka in Japan, also has plans to expand into other countries.
Meanwhile, the company plans to revamp its store on the Chinese online marketplace Tmall.com in an attempt