Designer apparel and footwear (ready-to-wear) stores began to reopen in China from April after which they experienced strong recovery momentum. In-store traffic began to rebound especially in high-end shopping centres led by top-tier cities in early May.
As China was the first country to experience the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also the first to exit lockdown and ease restrictions. However, due to high rates of infection around the world, ongoing restrictions on foreign travel led to an absence of overseas purchases in this category in 2020.
Previously luxury brands were not extensive users of social media in terms of their marketing strategies. However, during the height of this unprecedented global crisis, most proactively turned to social media to communicate with consumers via the launch of short videos, which were highly successful in reaching their target audience unable to leave their homes during lockdown.
Milan Fashion week cooperated with Tencent Video to provide interactive live service for Chinese consumers. WeChat mini-programmes and livestreaming enabled luxury brands to reach out to consumers, especially younger generations au fait with this technology and boost their e-commerce sales.
Designer childrenswear was buoyed by strong demand from millennial parents who attach importance to the fashion of childrenswear and are willing to pay more for quality products. Many designer apparel and footwear brands exampled by Gucci and Emporio Armani are capitalising on the trend of luxury childrenswear each launching lines for children.
In China, millennials and Gen Z consumers have become a significant driver of sales in designer apparel and footwear, thanks to their modern attitudes and their desire to follow fashion trends, which have been propelled by the rapid growth of social media. Luxury brands will therefore continue to work hard to attract these consumers by rejuvenating their product lines and brand identities.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Designer Apparel and Footwear (Ready-to-Wear) industry in China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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