China Daily - - LIFESTYLE - By HE QI in Shang­hai heqi@chi­

Blank, a brand and pop cul­ture ex­hi­bi­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion plat­form, has launched a bian­nual fash­ion fes­ti­val to pro­mote the coun­try’s do­mes­tic fash­ion brands that are catered to Chi­nese youth.

The in­au­gu­ral fes­ti­val, which was held in Oc­to­ber in down­town Shang­hai, fea­tured a com­bi­na­tion of fash­ion shows, art ex­hi­bi­tions, fash­ion fo­rums and pop-up stores.

Twelve do­mes­tic brands in­clud­ing Lifegoseon, FMACM and AND REO MA, and rap­pers par­tic­i­pated in the fes­ti­val where the ma­jor­ity of the at­ten­dees were de­sign­ers and young peo­ple from the in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to Ji Ji, the founder of Blank.

“The fes­ti­val is part of our plan to build a plat­form that helps dis­play and pro­mote orig­i­nal do­mes­tic de­signs and brands, which would in turn help the de­vel­op­ment of our own fash­ion cul­ture,” said Ji.

He added that the estab­lish­ment of the Blank brand this year was timely as the stan­dards of home­grown la­bels hav­ing been grow­ing, with some even on par with their coun­ter­parts from ma­jor cities known for their fash­ion cul­ture.

Be­sides host­ing the fash­ion fes­ti­val twice every year, Blank would also help its par­tic­i­pat­ing brands set up off­line stores, said Ji.

Ac­cord­ing to Chao Pai Hui, a web­site that fo­cuses on brands for the youth, the sales of many lo­cal fash­ion brands dur­ing the shop­ping ex­trav­a­ganza on Sin­gles Day on Nov 11 last year dou­bled that of 2016.

The web­site also quoted e-com­merce be­he­moth Alibaba as say­ing that the over­all on­line trad­ing vol­ume of trendy lo­cal fash­ion brands had hit 300 mil­lion yuan ($43.4 mil­lion) last year. This fig­ure is ex­pected to grow to 400 mil­lion yuan this year. Ac­cord­ing to Ji, the suc­cess­ful ap­pear­ance of Li Ning, the brand founded by Olympic gold-medal­win­ning gym­nast Li Ning in 1990, and Clot Fam­ily, which was cre­ated by Hong Kong ac­tor Edi­son Chen in 2003, at the New York Fash­ion Week in Feb­ru­ary 2018 was a clear in­di­ca­tion of the suc­cess of do­mes­tic fash­ion brands for young peo­ple. Ji added that the younger gen­er­a­tion in China to­day have be­come more ac­cept­ing of home­grown la­bels as com­pared to five years ago when they pre­ferred brands from other na­tions such as Ja­pan and South Korea. “Brand-aware­ness doesn’t mat­ter to the young gen­er­a­tion, es­pe­cially the gen­er­a­tion born af­ter 1995,” Ji said. “They care more about the ap­parel it­self and how it might help them ex­press their at­ti­tude. They have strong personalities and refuse to imi­tate, and Chi­nese de­sign­ers have now man­aged to get a hold of their at­ten­tion.”

Li Yun­gang, de­signer of Life­goe­son, echoed this sen­ti­ment. “There was barely a sup­ply chain, mar­ket­ing or a clear con­cept of de­sign back in 2012 when Life­goe­son was founded. To­day, the mar­ket is very dif­fer­ent. Our de­signs are also be­com­ing more orig­i­nal com­pared to years ago,” said Li.

Li added that he was grate­ful for Blank’s fash­ion fes­ti­val as it has al­lowed him to host his la­bel’s first fash­ion show.

“The fes­ti­val has pro­vided me with a great plat­form to dis­play my col­lec­tion and to learn from other de­sign­ers,” Li said.

“This is im­por­tant to us young de­sign­ers to cul­ti­vate our self-con­fi­dence and grow.”


Blank, a pop cul­ture ex­hi­bi­tion, builds a plat­form to help dis­play and pro­mote orig­i­nal do­mes­tic de­signs and brands.

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