THE FUTURE OF FASHION IS CHINESE
Adidas, the Germany-based sports brand (#1 in Europe and #2 worldwide) is heavily investing in China (again), where standing ahead of Nike and crowned as the best-selling sports brand, its growth is three times higher than in the rest of the world.
Supported by strong innovation capability throughout multiple sponsorship agreements, Adidas plans to add 1.000 stores more to their asian empire and to distribute its products across 2.400 Chinese cities. An important channel to achieve such presence will be the internet, where Adidas has been registering a super fast growth (its online sales in China increased by 50% in 2018).
This success also comes from its willingness to tap into fashion amidst a global fashion streetwear craze that is especially strong in the Chinese market. The potential of the Asian market is clear for the brand.
“China and North America are responsible for half of the world’s sportswear market, and winning the largest share of the pie in both markets is a top priority for the company, which plans to create specific millennial products by launching collaborations with local celebrities”, says Kasper Rørsted, the company’s CEO
But why China?
In China the economy is mainly concentrated in the metropolitan area of the East Coast, that is, Shanghai and its environs; and within this, the phenomenon of growth of the fashion market, is headed by a very particular niche, the new generations of the digital age.
After many decades of being apart from the Western world, the access (at any price) to international brands has generated a real market euphoria, growing from 2017 to a staggering 20% annual rate, meaning a fashion market with a value of over 22 trillion dollars. These stratospheric gains are not seen anywhere else in the world, that’s why many firms are setting foot in China, which in case you've forgotten, is the most populous country in the world....makes sense right?
Today many companies are looking for a way to occupy a greedy space in China's streets and shopping malls, which is not easy, as the Chinese realize that they have control of the situation, realize the tremendous development that their country is having and are aware of the competitiveness that exists between brands to earn the trust of their highest bidder, who is gaining more and more power.
With an advantage thanks to its sales, Adidas has managed to establish itself as one of the first brands representing this immense Asian influence that sooner or later, will mark a before and after in the history of fashion.
Their flourishing economy, the taste for luxury of its wealthy inhabitants and the numerous emerging Asian designers, have made up a perfect ecosystem for fashion to live a moment of impressive development.
Although it may be exciting to see how current fashion is affected by Asian aesthetics and to imagine how such a powerful union could influence our current knowledge of fashion, is it inevitable to ask whether it will be possible to maintain a balance beneficial to both horizons or whether, on the contrary, fashion will end up being invaded by the Asian giant.