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China’s garment industry: needs its own foundation and characteristics

China’s clothing industry: needs its own foundation and characteristics In China’s apparel industry, efforts to spread influence to the fashion field have never stopped. But …

China’s clothing industry: needs its own foundation and characteristics

In China’s apparel industry, efforts to spread influence to the fashion field have never stopped. But have we made clothing that can represent the Chinese nation? Have you created a brand that can represent China? Does it really have a place in the fashion world? We are not confident enough to face these problems. Since there is no “national”, we cannot become “the”. Therefore, we must make greater efforts to explore the “national”. So, we heard the words “Chinese concept”.

The “Chinese concept” includes both China and the present, as well as history and contemporary times. This has been generally recognized by China’s clothing industry. But knowing is one thing and doing it is another. Therefore, various voices such as affirmation, denial, and doubt come and go. Especially when the Olympic Games are approaching and various Chinese promotion activities are held abroad, foreign media pay more attention and discuss this. In this situation, what kind of thinking and actions should the Chinese garment industry take? This is undoubtedly worth paying attention to whether it is an enterprise that wants to go global or an enterprise that focuses on the country; whether it is an enterprise that emphasizes Chineseness or an enterprise that is public. Because the right to speak in international fashion is still controlled by the West, because consumers are still following the fashion trends of the West, because China will always be the foundation for the survival and development of Chinese clothing companies, because “only national ones are the best.”

In the field of fashion, the proposing of concepts has long been commonplace. Some concepts are well-founded and well-received, while others are just empty shells. If you peel away the concept itself, you can’t find anything else.

The proposal of the Chinese concept is more derived from thinking about design. Therefore, many people understand Chinese concepts from a design perspective. This is a level that is often encountered. Some entrepreneurs and researchers have begun to extend it to the brand and industry levels through design. This is the second level of the Chinese concept.

The Chinese concept is not a public welfare concept, but a business concept. Therefore, for designers and brand companies, it is absolutely impossible to have empty enthusiasm. They must stand firmly on the market land with consumer demand.

When many comments mention Chinese clothing and think of plagiarism and imitation, designers, brands, and industries are heartbroken. Hong Zhaoshe said: “Only the Chinese concept is the breakthrough for an enterprise to be evergreen; as an enterprise, survival and development are the fundamental starting point, and showing off is not pragmatic.”

Easier said than done. Although Chinese clothing has always referenced traditional culture, and although Chinese clothing has long been made, as Caravaggi said: “Those clothes that use traditional symbols cannot be regarded as Chinese concepts. In major shopping malls in major cities, it is still difficult to see genuine A clothing brand with a Chinese concept in the sense.” Therefore, how to create a Chinese concept has become a major challenge faced by designers, brands and the entire industry.

Don’t think that the Chinese concept is centered on “God” and we can operate based on our feelings; don’t think that because we are Chinese and grew up on Chinese soil, we must have an innate understanding of the Chinese concept. When the criticism comes that “Chinese designers and brands do not use Chinese concepts as well as foreign ones”, what we can and must do is to study the history, craftsmanship, and technology on which Chinese concepts rely more professionally and deeply. Styles, patterns, fabrics, etc., as well as a series of modern operating techniques required now, are then made in a way that consumers like to see and hear.

When the Chinese concept is no longer limited to one level of design, then in the process of operation, we must also look at the whole. After all, design must be subordinate to a brand, and brand must be subordinate to an industry. As Xia Hua said, the Chinese concept should penetrate into the overall planning of industries and brands.

When viewing the “China Design Now” exhibition, a foreign reporter expressed the hope to see a display of products that real Chinese people are using, rather than some conceptual and superficial expressions.

Even if consumers have demand for Chinese-concept clothing, there are undoubtedly many differences in the needs of different regions, different levels of consumer groups, and specific consumers. Without understanding the market, we cannot develop Chinese concepts in a targeted manner.

The idea and practice of combining Chinese and Western elements are no longer new. Wang Xiaolin said that in the early 1990s, she discovered the creativity of combining China and the West and launched Mu Zhen with Chinese cultural characteristics – “At that time, everyone was imitating Europe, and there was no such thing in the market. I Just integrate Chinese elements into fashion. This is actually the result of starting from people’s basic aesthetics.” But now, our understanding and practice of combining Chinese and Western styles still seem to be unsatisfactory and still need to be improved.

The Chinese concept has just started. It is impossible to act too hastily or procrastinate. Therefore, it is important to control the speed.

In order to ensure long-term development and respect the current market situation, brands such as Yiwen, Oudifen, and Muzhen have limited Chinese-concept clothing to a relatively small range. When some foreign media point out that “what China lacks is not inspired and creative designers, but an overall environment that can stimulate creativity,” we also need to interrogate our creative environment.

On the way to making Chinese concepts, consumers’ lack of confidence, designers’ lack of confidence… we have to overcome them one by one.

Therefore, please remember Caravaggi’s words: “The right to speak of Italian clothing is also won by our own continuous efforts to win recognition. Only when we get recognition can we have the right to speak.” Therefore, we must have confidence and then work hard!

Designer Wang Wei once pointed out in an interview with foreign media that his age and experience are not enough to fully understand Chinese culture and express the Chinese spirit. “When I am 40 or 50 years old, maybe I will be more confident. to express the Chinese spirit.” Do our young designers, brands and even our industry still need to wait?

In short, when we propose the Chinese concept and create the Chinese concept today, it is definitely not to seek temporary popularity, not to make China even have a Chinese style and demonstrate China’s temporary prestige; rather, it is from the long-term perspective of industrial development and enterprise development. Think about it and find your own foundation and characteristics for Chinese clothing brands and Chinese clothing industry.



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