iQubator Fashion meets Louko

On August the 28th iQubator Fashion met Emilie Lobel, French woman founder of LOUKO 路口. Listening to her story gave us the possibility to deeply understand the reasons behind her style and creativity. Looking at her clothes flooded our eyes with beauty and unspeakable emotions.

 

iQubator: What brought you to Shanghai?

Emilie: My husband and I decided to come in China for a new experience in Asia, a part of a world which has always been attractive for both of us. In France I was a legal advisor, but I always loved fashion and the singular Parisian style, so trendy. In Shanghai, I seized the opportunity to start my business in a creative world that pleases and motivates me. My goal was to propose high quality garments, French design and tailor-made, thanks to the small team of tailors who works with me. Then I started to design and produce styles and up to this moment 2 collections have already been brought to the public, in France and in China.

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Qubator: How many collections per year do you do?

Emilie: Two collections per year, fall-winter and spring-summer, each collection usually has 30-35 pieces. I propose a collection and then details can be changed according to my customers’ needs and desires. This way my customers can be somehow involved in the creation process and this I find very important. It gives everyone the possibility to have something special and unique at the same time.

iQubator: Is there an arts style that inspires you more than others?

Emilie: Yes, I am very fond of Art Deco. My creations are all inspired by this visual arts design style born in France in the beginning of the 20th century.

iQubator: Where does your personal style come from?

Emilie: Certainly from Paris. I used to be a business woman myself, so now I mainly design clothes for active business women. My clothes are elegant, but also comfortable, perfect for long busy days, but also for a drink with your colleagues or friends right after work.

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iQubator: How can your customers find you?

Emilie: I very often attend designer markets in Shanghai, but customers can meet me at my show-room based in the ex-French concession where I organize private sales as well. People can reach me by email contact@louko.fr, or via Wechat ID: LOUKO_clothes
For France, my clothes can as well be found on the online store: www.louko.fr and for China, customers can buy them on Wechat.

HOW LUXURY BRANDS CAN REACH CHINA’S ‘CASH-RICH, TIME-POOR’ TRAVELERS

As the number of outbound Chinese travelers continues to rise, their trips are getting shorter.

According to a newly published study on Chinese travel trends by IPK International, the average length of international trips by Chinese travelers nearly halved between 2007 and 2014 even as total travelers rapidly increased. Although Chinese tourists spent an average of 10 nights abroad in 2007, that number dropped to 5.5 in 2014. This decrease was powered by short international trips lasting three nights or less, which grew by a staggering 444 percent in that time period, while the number of longer trips declined.

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These statistics mean that Chinese travelers are “cash-rich,” yet “time-poor” on their trips—which illustrates how luxury brands must aggressively compete to become worthy of travelers’ limited time. The good news is that 80 percent of international Chinese trips are currently for leisure, and shopping remains a favorite activity.

There are several key ways brands can reach short-term travelers. First, creating a quality experience is key—the report found that Chinese travelers are increasingly shelling out for first-class hotels, with 55 percent opting for luxury lodging and fewer spending on budget accommodations. This means that experiential luxury is becoming a growing priority, and it’s not just hotels, but boutiques that need to respond to this trend.

For luxury brands, a significant presence in top Chinese travel destinations is crucial, and this means they need to look to Asia. Shorter flights make the region a popular destination for Chinese tourists with limited travel time—according to IPK’s study, Asia accounts for 68 percent of all trips by Chinese travelers. This was followed by Europe at 18 percent, Australia/Oceania at 9 percent, and the rest of the world at 5 percent. Brands should also make sure they have a presence in top Asian cruise stops—over the past seven years, cruise participation among Chinese travelers has increased by over 1,300 percent, and these sea-bound tourists are doing serious shopping when they disembark at ports along the way.

With such short travel times, Chinese tourists often conduct significant research prior to their trips—including what products they’ll be buying. To reach these travelers, brands need to have a strong digital presence that makes it easy for them to research store locations and product information before they leave. This includes not only information on the brand’s official website, but a comprehensive WeChat account that offers product descriptions, a global store locator, and customer service live-chat that can address requests regarding any region in the world.

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Wanna drive Chinese tourists to your shop? iQubator,based in Shanghai,China, can promote the overseas shops of the international brands through Chinese Social Media and own website to increase awareness of the brands in China.

Don’t hesitate to contact us now !

(source: http://jingdaily.com)

Fashion Week Berlin is back

Fashion Week Berlin is back in the capital of Germany! From 07 to 10 July the new looks for spring / summer 2016 will be presented on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Berlin at the Brandenburg Gate. Four days long everyone’s attention are directed to the capital and Berlin is once again the hot spot for national and international fashion.

In addition to established fashion labels also promising young talents show their trends for the coming summer season. Berlin makes the start in the international look calendar for the Spring / Summer season 2016. This is followed by the Fashion Weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Here is a short summary of the best looks of the first and second day.

Enjoy!

DAY 1:

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Left: ALEXANDRA TAMELE, Right: BRACHMANN

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Left: MARC CAIN, Right: MARCEL OSTERTAG

 

DAY 2:

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Left: ANJA GOCKEL, Right: ESTHER PERBANDT

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Left: HIEN LE, Right: HOLY GHOST

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Left: KILIAN KERNER, Right: LOUISE FRIEDLAENDER

 

[Daimler AG 2015]

 

New Opportunities for Cross-border E-Commerce

In 2014, China’s total number of internet users reached 649 million (CAGR 17.5%) while number of online shoppers grew to 316 million (CAGR 32%), which is roughly the size of the entire US population.iloveshopping

E-Commerce accounted for 10% of China’s total retail sales in 2014 and has been forecast to reach 20% by 2017.

 

According to Steven Zhong, associate director of PwC Operations Consulting Department, over half of Chinese consumers use e-commerce to shop with overseas retailers particularly for clothing.

ladysittingoncomputerThe Chinese government has relaxed policies on customs and foreign exchange to spur cross border shopping.

 

Cross-border commerce accounted for 14.8% of China’s total foreign trade in 2014 and is expected to climb up to ¥6.2 trillion (US$ 1 trillion) by 2016. Innovative projects like the cross-border E-Commerce pilot zone in Alibaba’s heartland, Hangzhou, will fuel the development, setting the standard for procedures and supervision of E-Commerce transactions including tax refunds.

 

The launch of Tariff Free Zone (TFZ, 保税区) is a big step forward of cross border ecommerce in China.

4 characteristics:

  • No Chinese legal entity required for overseas companies
  • Receive sales proceeds in foreign currency
  • Reduced customs duty
  • No income tax

 

 

 

Tmall Continues To Lead Ecommerce in China

tmall1According to Steven Zhong, associate director of PwC Operations Consulting Department, by 2018 China is expected to eclipse the US as the world’s largest B2C ecommerce market. With more spending shifting to mobile, Tmall’s dominance is expected to continue.
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According to iResearch and Emarket(2014), Tmall dominated both online and mobile channels.

Tmall International, as a branch of Alibaba, was officially launched in 2014.

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Tmall International has stricter specification for retailers in order to provide high-quality services to customers.

First of all, the retailers on Tmall International should be an overseas legal entity. Further, it is preferred if the overseas entity operates for over 2 years with annual revenue over USD 10 million.

The overseas entity must be the brand owner or authorized brand agent with a full documentation of purchase vouchers.

What’s more, the after service and goods return recipient shall be provided in mainland China. Services that iQubator Fashion can provide if you are eager to sell on Tmall International.

Nowadays, cross border ecommerce is a hot topic in China, and therefore Alibaba has focused more on cross border ecommerce. It will be more likely and easier for international brands to get into China through these channels.

Latest Duty Regulations in China

Duty regulations are changeable in China. As the cross-border ecommerce is becoming more and more popular, the Chinese government also tries to catch up with this trend.

As we all know, there are several types of cross border ecommerce. The first one is sales though a global website, the second one is sales through bonded warehouse and the third is sales through a Chinese website.

In the first two cases, if the imported packages by mail for personal use have a total value of RMB1, 000 or less, or the package only contains 1 article with the exceeding RMB1,000, China Customs uses an “assessed value” approach to impose customs duties.chinacustom

There are 4 ranks of customs duty rates (i.e. 10%, 20%,30% and 50%). And articles having a customs duty payable of RMB 50 or less can be imported free to duty (Personal Parcel Exemption), unless the articles belong to “20 commodities prohibited from duty exemption”, such as camera and TV. There is no VAT for this type of cross border ecommerce.

On the other hand, if the imported package by mail having a total value exceeding RMB 1,000(except for only 1 product contained),it should be regarded as a “general goods”, rather than as an article for personal use purpose. Duty and VAT are payable based on the commercial value of imported goods. The duty rates are based on the HS codes of the imported goods.

Starting June 1, imported goods such as skincare products, cosmetics, sneakers, diapers, and other daily use products will become less expensive as tariffs will be reduced by almost two-thirds in some cases.

Revised taxes on imported goods include: a 7-10 percent tariff on Western clothing goods, down from 14-23 percent; a 12 percent tariff on footwear, down from 22-24 percent; a 2 percent tariff on cosmetics, down from 5 percent; a 2 percent tariff on skin care products, down from 6.5 percent; and a 2 percent tariff on diapers, down from 7.5 percent.

The Ministry of Finance explained the temporary adjustments are intended to stabilize economic growth and stimulate domestic consumption.

New Consumer Rights Law for Goods Return in China

According to a revised “Consumer Rights Law in China”, online shoppers can now return the goods unconditionally for refunds within seven days of purchase but they have to shoulder logistics cost.

It also lists products not suitable for unconditional returns and refunds, such as digital products sold via downloads, audio-visual goods with the packaging removed, bespoke products, fresh and perishable goods, magazines, newspapers and software.

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Consumers can seek compensation from online trading platforms if the platforms fail to provide contact details for vendors using their networks. After compensating consumers, the platforms are entitled to claim compensation from the vendors.

Each coin has two sides. As to the cons of ecommerce, the brand needs to establish delivery mechanism, set up goods return option and build customer confidence in the market. Especially Chinese consumers are used to the return policy. According to PwC, Total Retail Survey(2015), Chinese consumers concern more about online purchase returns available in-store(74%) than global range(67%). So if you want to expand your market into China through online channels, it’s necessary to have a returns point in mainland China. Also because of this new policy, the rate of turns increases a lot.

So get prepared before you enter China through ecommerce channels.  iQubator is willing to help any international brands to get familiar with Chinese market and consumers and provide customized services according to your own business plan and strategy.

The Little Dior Theatre in Shanghai

Today The Little Dior Theatre is held in IFC Mall in Shanghai for one month. It takes us back to an event that struck Parisian hearts and minds in 1945.From the tiny Bar ensemble to miniature ball gowns, they encapsulate all the essence and spirit of Dior in the delicate proportions of a doll’s house.7f025a97jw1esc6bbugsqj20qt11utgg

There are 11 sections of the mini exhibition.

  1. The New Look

February 12,1947,”The New Look” was born. Among all the silhouettes in this revolutionary show, the Bar ensemble left the strongest impression.

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  1. The Dior Allure

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3.The Dior Garden

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4.Miss Dior

It was the first perfume that Mr.Christian fulfilled.

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  1. From Pink to Red

This section is very special. All the dolls look like a lipstick. The dolls go up and down, and turn around and around. “Rouge Dior” also inspires Raf Simons to continue with the Dior Spirit.

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6.The Dior Ateliers

Everyone is amazed how Dior produce each works. From garments to watch,  from lipsticks to shoes.

Each works is a work of art.

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7.Dior &His Artist Friends

The film on the screen is playing all the time, telling the story of Dior and his artist friends.

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8.Versailles:The Trianon11

9.Paris

Paris represents a sense of finish and perfection.It is there,more than anywhere else,that quality of craftsmanship is really understood and we must preserve this tradition”,wrote Christian Dior.

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10.J’adore

It’s one of the most popular and classic perfumes in the world.

There is a button in front of the visitors as well. When you press the button, you will smell the fragrance of J’adore.

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  1. The Grand Dior Ball

“To make each woman a princess ”. Dior made it!

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Little things make a big difference. Each detail of the exhibition shows the reason why Dior can stay successful in the past few decades. The answer is, striving for excellence.

 

 

 

 

Fashion Hub in China

sfwChina has a fashion market which is full of opportunities.

The Chinese fashion industry is set to become the world’s second largest fashion market by 2020 and will account for an estimated 30% of the global fashion market’s growth over the next five years.

It makes a major contribution to the Chinese economy and the fashion market is a US$90 billion industry. The annual growth rate of fashion & textile industry was 12.5% in 2007 and as the foremost city in Asia, Shanghai acts as an international hub for trade, finance, transport, and fashion. It is the reigning fashion capital of Asia, ranking 10th worldwide, above both Tokyo and Hong Kong [Mode Shanghai 2010].

 

Shanghai’s contemporary fashion design and our impressions of its Fashion Weeksfw2

With more and more young designers and models, Shanghai Fashion Week was originally aiming to build up an international professional platform, to attract top design talents from all over the world. It is held twice every year in Shanghai, one in April and one in October. Shanghai Fashion Week also serves as a platform for designers that are aiming at the Chinese market and it acts as an indirect sales channel since it attracts many buyers during the event. The iQubator team attended some of the shows during this past season of SHFW and there were some really unique and breath-taking designs.

However, different from the Fashion Weeks held in Europe, it seems that Shanghai Fashion Week is more focused on Chinese designers. While these Chinese designers get to showcase their new collections and shine under the spotlight, there are many foreign designers based in China that are hoping to bring a flare of the exotic flavour to the local fashion scene.

Fashion Finds in Shanghai

As mentioned in our last post, there are many foreign designers based in China that are hoping to bring a flare of the exotic flavour to the local fashion scene in Shanghai. iQubator wants to give some of these designers the opportunity to reach out to our followers and talk about themselves and their brands and it’s worth taking the time to read what they have said. Meet very interesting and creative designers with us. – This week we had a nice chat with Alexandra Rolfe a British designer with a passion for the 60s, collars and all things vintage. Her and her partner have their own shop which is also her studio space in a lane on Shaanxi Nan Lu, called “Select 18” which is definitely worth visiting. Here you travel back in time to find unique rarities and very special pieces.

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iQubator: When did you start designing your own clothes?

Alexandra: Moving from East London to Hong Kong I soon realized the shopping environment was completely different and I was surrounded by lots of brands and small independent shops which didn’t stock many sizes.  I regularly went back to London to buy vintage clothes to wear in Hong Kong although sometimes I did feel abit out of place! I just couldn’t find clothes that were me.  After many years of travelling in China visiting factories for my job I got a better understanding of production and learnt a lot.  This inspired me to create my own brand for the future.  At week-ends I would take a trip over to Shenzhen where there are some very good tailors and started creating my own designs plus an extra couple of pieces to sell in my boyfriends store in Hong Kong.

iQubator: Did you also study fashion design?

Alexandra: I studied BA Fashion & Textile management, which is the whole fashion business cycle. It starts from design process through to production to merchandising, buying to marketing and in the final year concentrated on management. In my 3rd year we needed to do an industrial placement, which I got at Oasis Stores (http://www.oasis-stores.com/?lng=en&ctry=GB&) I opted for buying and once graduated I returned to the Oasis as Assistant Buyer and worked my way up before moving to Gap (http://www.gap.com ) and later to Hong Kong for a German brand called Colloseum (http://www.colloseum.net )

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iQubator:  Did someone inspire your designs?

Alexandra: Frankly a lot of my inspiration comes from the past, as I love the 60’s I am very influenced by Mary Quant. I love collars or any kind of neck details and so did she. Naturally Twiggy was very iconic during this period too. I love typical shift dresses, the shape is easy and classic.  Alexa Chung Is someone I always feel would wear my designs so well, she has a thing for collars and has a very British aesthetic. In general I like her effortless style.

iQubator: Where would you look for inspirations?

Alexandra: I find old cities inspiring, for example Shanghai is full of art deco references, which I would love to merge the details into future collections. A lot of old things captivate me whether it be a building, tiles or even a book.  There is always elements which fuel new ideas.

iQubator: How do you think your brand fits in the Chinese market?

Alexandra: From what I can see fashion demand is veering towards uniqueness.  My style is niche but this important now. I have great customers who get the look and are experimental and are open to try which is great for me.  My brand is very personal to my style and my journey, it’s authentic and now is the right time to share with Chinese girls.

select182iQubator: What do you have in your closet?

Alexandra: I have only dresses from my collection and lots of special vintage pieces, which I have been hoarding for years, even they don’t fit I can’t throw them away!

 iQubator: Only dresses?

Alexandra: I would say 99% are dresses, the odd skirt and blouse but I rarely wear!

iQubator: Even in winter?

Alexandra: Yes (laughs). Of course coats for winter though!  I haven’t worn Jeans since I was at university and I used to wear ‘Cheap Mondays’ the days of being super skinny!

iQubator: What do you carry with you all the time?

Alexandra: Lipstick. I always have my red lipstick it completes my look.   Apart from that nothing particularly out of the ordinary!

iQubator: So your red lipstick is your favourite piece?

Alexandra: Generally I wear only MAC, I have a new one from them which is called ‘Retro matte’

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iQubator: If you were a colour, what would it be and why?

Alexandra: Probably green.  There are lots of different shades of green, which I like to wear and it works well with white collars.

iQubator: What are your upcoming projects or plans?

Alexandra: At the moment I am shaping up my brand and will launch a new name soon.  I came to Shanghai with the first priority to set up the store and this became the platform to sell my collections and understand Chinese customer.  We have been here almost two years now, I have learnt a lot and now ready to take my brand to the next level. I plan to develop as an independant lifestyle brand

iQubator: Are you more focused on having physical stores or online shops?

Alexandra: Online is naturally important here but I would also like physical stores as I want customers to understand the brand from walking into our stores and build an emotional connection

iQubator: Was it hard for you to find this store in the beginning?

Alexandra:  Before we physically settled we did a few pop ups, the last one before we found this space was in XTD which we did for 3 months and was great exposure.  Here a friend introduced us to this location.  We were toying with should we set up on the street front or a lane house.  As this is a really great space we took it and decided we have to work a lot harder on the marketing side.  Its still very central and even we are in the lane, it’s a beautiful lane, which attracts a lot of people and tourists.

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iQubator: Do you have more Chinese customers than foreign customers?

Alexandra: 80% is Chinese, we have a lot from different parts of China also many Taiwanese and Hong Kong

iQubator: So do you manufacture in China?

Alexandra:  Yes only China – I have some good connnections from my previous job, which I co-operate with and a tailor locally to help with small quantities.

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iQubator:  How is your average pricing?

Alexandra: Prices range from 600 – 2000 for wool coats

iQubator: Do you have some peak seasons, where you do sell more than usually?

Alexandra: I generally find A/W very good and as soon as the sun comes out summer dresses are snapped up

iQubator: Where do you usually advertise?

Alexandra:  Now we have our official WeChat account, this is the biggest channel for advertising.  Word of mouth is also very good and magazines

 

We thank Alexandra for sharing her story with us.