Defining China’s “new luxury”: key points from the Fashion Zoo x Jing daily panel

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Now that Chinese Generation Z has become an emerging driver in the luxury market, the local youth culture has started to modernize and transform the fashion industry to meet its needs. The main business-to-customer mode exchange platform in China, Fashion zoo, is at the forefront of this revolution, choosing to host this year its International Festival of Culture and Art for Young People under the theme “Futur Players”.

On October 16, the opening day of Fashion Zoo 2021, the cutting-edge platform collaborated with Daily Jing to host a panel to explore the definition of new luxury in a Chinese context. “As a platform specializing in the new youth culture, we believe that the current younger generations are reshaping the definition of ‘luxury’, as everyone persists in self-expression and emotional worth by showing their attitudes, ”said Amy Fan, CEO of Fashion Zoo. This dynamic could be seen in the Fashion Zoo 2021 agenda to decode the future actors who will shape the fashion landscape.

The panel featured moderator Agnes Wu (editor-in-chief of Daily Jing) as well as the speakers Grégoire Caillol (CEO of by FANG), Zorro (marketing director of the brand on the big fashion industry of Xiaohongshu) and Amy Fan (CEO of Fashion Zoo). With perspectives from institutions, marketing experts and brands, the conversation explored what defines new luxury among today’s Chinese consumers and what is driving the shift from typical luxury to a new kind in the world. Chinese local socio-cultural context. Below, Daily Jing highlighted three key points from the panel.

Self-reward triggers purchasing decisions

Luxury consumption is no longer limited to luxury bags, clothes or shoes. Today, the concept has been imbued with a growing cultural and community awareness among Chinese youth. Hence, emerging lifestyle trends such as collectibles, hospitality, and glamping are exploding as new social currencies.

This ever-changing consumer mindset was driven by comprehensive factors, according to guest speakers on the panel. Zorro addressed the emergence of highly diverse malls like TX Huaihai, rural travel, niche sports like skiing and surfing, and the trend to drink at home.

Meanwhile, Fan put forward the concepts of “emotional demand” and “consumption of personal reward”. “Compared to showing off, meeting emotional demand is more critical for younger generations,” Fan explained. “They are looking for personal expression and a sense of identity.” This trend aligns with the Bain x Tmall 2020 China Luxury report, which indicates that the main factor triggering Gen Z luxury purchases is “reward for myself”, followed by “fashion pursuit” and of “confidence enhancement”.

Cultural mentalities enrich the new luxury

Younger generations have been exposed to diverse cultures, having grown up with rapid digital transformations and new cultural hybridizations. Amy called this group “Internet nomads”, with “community and knowledge becoming social currencies on various social platforms.”

Caillol also shared FANG’s approach to integrating Western and Eastern cultures, such as how he drew inspiration from the Chinese cultural art of Zhezhi (paper folding). When asked about the brand’s localization, Caillol said the two aspects are “artistic localization” and “marketing localization”. He also highlighted FANG’s efforts to incorporate “Chinese cultural symbols and crafts with Western cuttings.”

New luxury promotes new values

From a brand perspective, Caillol said sustainability is a crucial value represented by “new luxury” and offered the environmental benefits of faux fur. Fan also attached great importance to sustainability as a core value of Fashion Zoo and “new luxury”.

According to New Youth Culture Insights, published by CBNData in collaboration with Fashion Zoo, “sustainable consumer culture” is one of the top eight cultural expressions for younger generations. For example, Gen Z has experienced the fastest growth rate of any age group in online consumption of sustainable footwear.

In conclusion, Fan divided the definition of “new luxury” into three key attributes: emotional value, sustainability and cross-cultural mindsets, adding that all of this is reflected in Fashion Zoo’s commitment to nurturing local creative talent. By paving the way for globally oriented Chinese brands and creating cross-cultural communications, Fashion Zoo hopes to give international fashion communications a contemporary meaning.

Reported by Eva Liang and Wenzhuo Wu


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