January 09, 2006

The China Market

1/3 of the world population is Chinese. A Chinese company took over (part of) IBM and *gasp* Tommy Hilfiger as well (which is ironic seeing as he had discriminated against them some years back...)! It does seem like they're taking over the world doesn't it? LOL. Anyway, thats how the trend has been going for some time now. And thats how companies like LVMH and Prada has had such record high profits. As a results, there's been renovations and flagship stores opening all over the place. Now it seems that they're all taking it up a notch higher, and is catering specifically to the noveau rich Chinese out there.

As we all know, the Chinese loves to play mahjong. And they also love the monogrammed brands. Putting their two love together and viola-the brand named mahjong sets! Marketing genius. Here's the Gucci set. I've also seen the Vuitton set at the store. Isn't it cool that the Chinese culture is finally being taken into account by international giants of the fashion world?

But Prada, just so they don't miss out on the profit since they don't have a monogram, have taken to enlarging their name and emblazoning it oh-so-prominently onto their bags to compensate. At least thats what I think. I cannot find any other reason for a design that is so lacking in design. This design has been going on for a while now, when will it stop? Part of me takes pride by the fact that the Chinese are getting so influential that it can influence the design of Prada. But fashionably speaking, that is just not cool.

29 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pardon me if I have completely missed the point but how exactly did the Chinese influence Prada to enlarge their logo to such gigantic proportions? What does such an ostentatious display have to do with chinese culture or chinese people? I would love to know.

1/10/2006 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

$$$MONEY$$$ That's how. There are only over a billion Chinese... literally. Major lux brands have opened up shop there recently, and the money is just pouring in...

1/10/2006 2:31 AM  
Anonymous Annie said...

I agree with the first comment. What does enlarging Prada's logo have to do with Chinese influence on the brand? I'm sure it's just as easy to identify Prada with a smaller logo, and this enlarging isn't something unique to Prada bags found in China.

1/10/2006 3:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"which is ironic seeing as he had discriminated against them some years back..."

that statement is untrue, that was a rumor and lie that was spread quickly, both Tommy and Oprah (where Tommy has never appeared) denied the rumors.

http://urbanlegends.about.com/library/weekly/aa121698.htm

1/10/2006 3:35 AM  
Anonymous Annie said...

also, aren't only 1/6 of the world's population chinese? i don't think it's as large as 1/3.

1/10/2006 3:46 AM  
Blogger Barneys Girl said...

Well see, the reason they like the monogrammed brands so much is that it is so prominent that everyone knows that it is that brand and hence costs a lot of money. Its like a symbol of status. So by enlarging their brand more prominently, Prada is making their products more recognizable, serving the same purpose as monogrammed patterns.

As for the world population of chinese, thats what they told us in high school geo! And thx for notifying me about the Tommy rumor. Otherwise I fear I will forever remember it as fact.

1/10/2006 5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's not assume that the billion+ Chinese all want these brands. It's probably a safe bet that half of them have never even heard of Prada or LV because they live in the countryside, close to if not in poverty.

It's only the select few, mostly in Shanghai and Beijing, who can even begin to think about buying this stuff.

1/10/2006 5:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barneys girl: It's a tad ridiculous to assume that Prada enlarged their logo just to cater to the chinese and it's equally ridiculous to think that only the newly-rich chinese (if they are newly-rich, that is) are the only folks who want to display their status to the world.....I am sure people in other cultures/countries can be predisposed towards such blatant displays of logos and status symbols as well....if I am not incorrect, Americans have a lot more disposable income than the Chinese
which they have no qualms about disposing for luxury goods and the reason for that is their inclination towards displaying their "status" to the world.

1/10/2006 8:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah really....this post about the Chinese market influencing Prada and LV etc. is just a little far fetched. Sure, the Chinese luxury goods market is booming and growing rapidly but the top of the economic pyramid in China is still minutely small in comparisom with the rest of the population.

As mentioned above, there are other cultures/ethnic groups who also like to display the status in the same way as Chinese people do. The Russians for example are also a huge market. How about rich Jews in Europe and America? They have also been known to spend their disposable income on status symbols such as designer bags, jewellery etc.

1/10/2006 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Fashionista said...

Well it shows that Chinese peeps are too many to count now a days.

1/10/2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Are You the New Avante Garde? said...

Harrods and Barneys Girls, I was in China recently and the wealth there is absolutely overwhelming. I totally see the Luxury goods brands tapping into the Asian market, especially China. The people there know the difference between knock offs and the real thing and now no one wants to sport a knockoff so they're all saving up for a LV monogrammed bag.

Ciao

1/10/2006 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Bee said...

What you are assuming for this collection is entirely wrong and based on a poorly constructed theory. Not only that but it is offensive towards the Chinese culture. The nouveau riche does not always gravitate towards logos and status symbols.

As for the large logo, if you've been paying any attention at all, Miuccia started F/W 05 with a minimalist theme which explains the expanse of fabrics on her accessories and S/S 06 she used the larger proportions and fashioned a lot of her accessories on the old Prada luggage collections that her grandfather designed.

1/10/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous alex said...

Something I found really interesting when I was in Taipei a couple of months ago was there were not just one, but two LV/Gucci/Diot/etc stores across the street from each other. I can honestly say I have never seen that, even in NYC.

1/10/2006 12:35 PM  
Anonymous EMMA W said...

YAH! IM ASIAN! GO ASIANS!

lol. But im North American...so...

1/10/2006 1:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to like this blog, but that post was just annoying. Yay, monogrammed mahjong sets for a niche market but it has NOTHING to do with Miuccia's designs. The Logo was enlarged as a reference to old handbags. You remember those large, well structured italian made, and italian leather bags that sold in the leather goods stores? Some were emblazoned with the store/designer's logo, mostly through embossing. Miuccia started it a couple of seasons ago on leather handbags

1/10/2006 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can´t stand this logo desease. It´s just poor minded.

1/10/2006 9:42 PM  
Blogger Harrods Girl said...

I think what Barneys Girl is trying to say is that many luxury groups are making very obviously brand-named things to make money from the people who love flashing brand names. It doesn't mean the fashion houses only made these things to cater the Chinese, but to all flashy people.

I split my time in between Hong Kong (China) and London, and I can really see that the Chinese love their monogram bags more, and the British tend to carry plainer leather bags (eg. Mulberries). And the funny thing is a lot of time when I see monogram bags in London, people who are carrying them seem to be non-British. Just a little cultural difference I observed.

When i was in Taiwan in Christmas, I did indeed see loads high-end stores grouped together. But the weird thing is, not many Taiwanese were actually carrying brand-name bags. A few LVs and Guccis here and there, but not many.

If you have been to the big cities in China, then you'll understand the message Barneys Girl is trying to say. We're only talking about what we observe around us. We're not trying to offend the Chinese here.

1/10/2006 9:42 PM  
Anonymous Aerin said...

I am sure no one is trying to offend anyone and I am not asian but I do agree with a few of those anon comments up there. The whole assumption about Miuccia enlarging her logo to cater to the Chinese or any other emerging power-spenders seems very far-fetched. It really is all about looking back in the archives and re-inventing some old things. And, Harrods girl, I have spent a year in China and another year in Japan, with a brief stint in Taiwan, so I have seen the "big cities" and I still don't understand the comment about Prada and the Chinese.

1/10/2006 10:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is actually a trend in china now, that is a total departure from the kawii and lotila fashion. Think nutrals,looser clothing, and no brand names.

1/11/2006 6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Prada,

Thank you for taking such interest in the Chinese culture. While we have a wide range of influential art forms, RICE BAGS are not one of them. Keep that in mind for your next bag.

Gucci & LV,

I applaud you for your marketing strategy. I can already see my grandparents viciously playing mahjong in order to rack up enough money to afford one of those sets.

1/12/2006 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I live in China as well but go to university in England and am half Chinese, half Welsh. There are cultural differences that are undeniable and the longer I stay in England the more this is confirmed. These differences spread to fashion as well. My points are as follows;

No. 1, that prada bag is not it's most attractive creation and usually prada is very low key, with a small logo, why would they put such a large one except to catch more attention.

No. 2, most of my non-chinese friends don't really even know what mah jong is, if they do, it's a vague understanding that it's a game. Why would anyone who's not chinese want to buy this product?

No. 3, so many companies now are trying to tap into the huge China market not just because it is currently huge (e.g. if 5% of people can buy a product, this is still 78 million people) but because it is growing FAST (because more people are growing richer, not because the actual population is growing) and getting in now would mean getting a head start. Why is it so hard to beleive that Prada would create a few products to try and buy into this market.

No. 4 One big cultural difference between Chinese people and caucasian people in England is that they are NOT shy about talking about money (to an extent) whilst caucasian people usually are. They are also into their status symbols, why do you think that for a long time Hong Kong had the most rolls Royces per capita, this was not a coincidence.

There are simply cultural differences that the big brands are buying into and observations that the blogger is making. I don't find this blog offensive but just funny because it is so true, not of all chinese people, maybe not even a mojority, just a sizable percentage. Why does everything that says one culture is different (which they are, not better or worse, just different) seem offensive to anyone. Is it because you have never loves amongst another culture (and when I say lived amongst, I don't mean "oh yeah, I go to china town/little Italy all the time, my city is multicultural" because they are living in YOUR culture, you are not living in theirs and have to observe and adjust to their cultural differences.

1/12/2006 5:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tommy hilfiger = HOTT
prada = HIDEOUS

3/02/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Kate said...

errr.. i dunt get it but I'd love to say there are many chinese actresses out there now! Lucy liu (my favourite!!!) Gong Li( ok shes not that well known but she's china's most famed actress) and obviously oscar nominated Ziyi Zhang , Du Juan that chinese model?

7/14/2006 11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what can i say but "naive" towards your points :( this kinda thinking is disturbing sometimes, to all peoples

11/06/2007 6:12 PM  
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Anonymous Sell RS Gold said...

this is just too cool for words! :)
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