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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.

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

 

 

 

E-commerce is booming in China

China will never stop amazing the world with its numbers.

At the beginning of 2012, China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) issued a report claiming that in 2011, the user scale in China for online shopping increased to 194,000,000 in total, which is only 10% of the population of China, but nearly equal to the sum population of France, German and the United Kingdom. By the end of 2012 there were over 300 Million shoppers, 146 million mobile shoppers and 500 million social media users. 66% out of these 500 million users were in average following 8 brands each! The market size is expected to reach over 250 BILLION USD by end of 2013 or beginning of 2014. And the fashion market is already over closing up to 500 BILLION.

Luxury fashion brands doing ecommerce in China

China’s online sales of clothing were worth $50 billion in 2012, but only 41 percent of luxury fashion brands have any e-commerce offerings of their own. Furthermore, there’s an overall lack of commitment and direct involvement with a mere seven global couture brands selling directly to Chinese consumers from their own sites. That’s the stark summary presented in the new L2 Digital IQ Index: Fashion Supplement.

Digging deeper into the report, it shows some interesting e-commerce trends in China, as well as other ways in which luxury fashion brands are failing to reach out to Chinese e-shoppers.

The most interesting trend is a shift away from consumer-to-consumer shopping when it comes to clothing. In 2011, 80 percent of China’s fashion sales came from amateur shopkeepers on Taobao, China’s biggest C2C site. But, in 2012, there’s a clear leap towards more official sources, such as brands’ virtual storefronts on sites like Tmall, or from flash sales sites like VIPshop or GlamourSales:

The truth is that with the fast development and popularization of Internet, China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest e-Business market by 2014. The more and more affordable and widely available Internet across the country, the continuously rapid growth in the number of Chinese consumers shopping online, and the relatively low cost of logistics are all driving the expansion of e-Business, this booming industry in China.Luxury fashion brands doing ecommerce in China

You no longer need a company in China to start up your business, you can get paid directly through your website by integrating the Chinese cross-border payment systems such as Alipay or Tenpay. With a Chinese site placed just outside of the mainland, with payments in place and with office and representatives on the mainland in a matter of days, business in China is something for everyone and E-Commerce is the way to enter it!