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Personal stylists find a growing demand for advice in China

Last modified: April 18, 2019

The country of the Great Wall is an outlet of primary importance for the products of the luxury sector, which local customers buy in industrial quantities. Here is the new trend.

The weight of the Chinese market for fashion

From 2012, the year of the Great Overtaking in which China overtook Japan becoming the largest world market for the luxury industry, the ride has not stopped. With a slowdown in 2016-17, perhaps, however, canceled a 2018 in which Chinese consumers have returned to buy.

They are invaluable customers because young people (20-34), informed, grew up in a China already entered – decisive moment – in the WTO (December 11, 2001: from that moment the growth of what is currently the second world economy has obviously exploded).

They are boys – tens and tens of thousands – who quietly spend one million yuan or more, per year, in fashion and luxury goods (one million yuan is equal to 127 thousand euros: that is, their monthly budget for fashion is over ten thousand euros a month).

Hungry for information on style

Since fashion has become a constant feature in the Chinese population, especially in large cities like Shanghai and Beijing, it is always looking for the perfect style and above all luxury. For this reason, if only the richest people were allowed to have a personal stylist, now even young Chinese under the age of 30 are always looking for more advice in the field of fashion.The figure of the personal stylist has always been affixed to celebrities or actors, but for the Chinese it is not like that.

Ordinary people, with a good capital, are investing more and more in this professional figure, who not only chooses the right clothing for them, but makes a real image advice.

Chinese customers are enthusiastic as they can increase their knowledge in terms of fashion and not buying a product, whether it is clothing or accessory, just because it costs more. In the last 5 years, fashion schools have also grown with these types of courses. An example is the establishment of Marangoni, a well-known Italian fashion school, which opened a branch in Shanghai a few years ago. According to the director of Zanatta Institute, registrations by Chinese citizens in the last year are increasing by 64%.

The driving force of fashion

It is the new upper middle-class world that is currently pulling the fashion industry: and it would be misleading to think that everything happens in the glittering boutiques of Nanjing Road in Shanghai – the giant Chinese street Montenapoleone – and in those of Beijing. Because there are 260 million Chinese living in 15 cities: that is enough 15 Chinese cities to host half the population of the entire European Union. No, the Chinese market is also split up and especially in smaller centers (everything is relative in China: the lost Ürümqi, in the northwest, tiny by Chinese standards, is more populous than Rome).


So there is a huge middle-high class of Chinese “big spenders“, about eight million people, who often live far from the big centers, in the city that the average western has never heard of and could not indicate on a map , but that experts in the luxury industry, Italian and French, know by heart.

The growth of the luxury market in the last ten years? According to McKinsey, it is thanks to them. They have an average of 28 years, ten less than their Western “colleagues”.

From personal stylist to personal shopper

China has a strong propensity to luxury, which feeds new trends, such as purchases made using the help of particular personal shopper. These subjects buy products at the best price, even on foreign markets, to resell them online.In China they are called daigou: they are personal shoppers and buy mostly online.

These are the results of the market survey of the China e-Commerce Research Center reported by the Financial Times: from 2009 to today this professional figure has grown 19 times and in 2013 generated business equal to 74 billion yuan (about 9 billion EUR). And 60 percent buy luxury products, from leather goods to jewelry to high-end cosmetics.

Savings can become very important when Chinese duties are circumvented, with spending cuts in the order of 50%, but here we enter the territory of illegality, which the government rightly seeks to counter. The authors of this “smart” trade go to Hong Kong, Paris, London and New York, to do their operations, with the intent of making the most of the travels, trying to avoid the heavy customs duties.

Sometimes they are pinched by the police, who arrest them. There are some students who spend their free time shopping on the internet or abroad, to check prices lower than those practised in the country of the Great Wall, where the list of articles grows in a frightening way, due to the strong system of taxation. By avoiding these “steps”, they manage to supply the tasty items at much lower prices, gross of what they hold back. The business is important figures, with fast-growing turnover, even when the business is carried out legally, with intelligent purchases, perhaps based on careful research or volumes.

The importance of e-commerce in China

However, the phenomenon witnesses the great growth of e-commerce in China: according to a study by the research company Bain,

about 60% of consumers who buy luxury goods have turned at least once to a personal shopper.

New Agents are the trendsetters

The success of these new agents is probably due to the higher reputation of goods produced in other countries and to the growing purchasing power of consumers. According to an analyst from the China e-Commerce Research Center, Mo Daiqing, the main cause remains the duties on the importation of luxury goods. To realize the magnitude of the phenomenon, according to the Financial Times, just type the word ‘daigou‘ on the main C2C e-commerce engine (Taobao, belonging to the Alibaba.com group): there will be more than 240 thousand virtual stores.

The Chinese are the largest buyers of luxury goods on a global scale, covering 29% of the market in the sector.

New E-Commerce like Secoo

more information on Secoo aand here

Now they are preparing to earn the record also in e-commerce, driven by the advantages that this practice offers, thanks to the strategy put in place by the personal shoppers we are dealing with.

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2 thoughts on “Personal stylists find a growing demand for advice in China”

  1. giovanni pedata

    hi, contact from italy, i’m a super luxury man fashion designer, we produce very high tailor made neapolitan tailoring, bespoke suits, shoes, shirts, lether jackets, we sell only abroad, but not in china, we are very interested in the chinese market, we do unique things in the world, for rich Chinese, you can help us, to get rich Chinese men, we can’t give you a monthly, but we can give you high percentages, on sales, greetings jovanny, http://www.jovannycapri.it

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