New York—West meets East! The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) said today that it had inked its first Chinese partnership with Shangpin.com, one of China’s leading online fashion retailers.
Already some CFDA designers, such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Milly by Michelle Smith, and Stuart Weitzman, work with Shangpin which sells their merchandise, the agreement will pave the way for additional U.S. designers to enter the fast-growing Chinese marketplace.
Meanwhile, Shangpin agreed to help CFDA designers “develop their business in China in various marketing and PR programs to promote American designers in the Chinese media and to its affluent customer base.”
Steven Kolb, CFDA’s chief executive, said, “We are excited to introduce Shangpin to our members and look forward to opening new paths for our designers into China. These are exciting times and we are looking forward to supporting the overall growth of American Fashion into China.”
Shangpin.com is China’s first online retailer to sell in-season contemporary and designer brands at full price. Although online retailers have been doing this for years in the West, this is a new e-commerce model for China. Boasting one of the highest online sales averages in China, Shangpin has strategic partnerships with several leading Chinese banks and more than 3 million VIP customers.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the CFDA to assist the designers in developing new business in China,” said David Zhao, Shangpin’s ceo. “We look forward to sharing our insights on the Chinese market with the members of CFDA. China is a challenging market to enter, with limited distributors to cover such a large geographical area. This is why e-commerce in China, much more than in the West, is the most effective distribution and marketing platform for designers who want to reach across China into many regions where traditional brick and mortar stores do not exist. Shangpin currently sells into more than 400 cities across China, or 80% of the country, and we have the ‘pulse’ of the evolving Chinese fashionista consumer.”
While Zhao said that the fashion industry is still emerging in China, growth is expected to be explosive due to the growing number of middle and better income consumers.
China’s 300-million-strong middle class is projected to reach 700 million, or more than 50% of the population, in the next 20 years. And online is where many of them get exposure to Western brands.
“Many of the American brands are true lifestyle brands; from ready-to-wear, accessories, fashion jewelry and home, for a total offer in aspirational lifestyle with affordable luxury prices,” added M. Claire Chung, vice president of global business development at Shangpin. “We believe in the long-term growth of U.S. brands in China.”