Translated by Du Mingming
2013: custom-made consumption on the rise
2014: industrial scale emerges
With the release of the Chinese film Personal Tailor, the custom-made trend has flooded like a wave into the luxury industry in China. Many super-rich Chinese consumers are “escaping” from normal luxury goods and turning to the embrace of customization.
Ipsos Market Research Group found that as China’s luxury consumption market matures, some wealthy people are not only pursuing “high-end, with good taste, and of high quality”, but paying more attention to uniqueness and personal character. It can be predicted that high-end, customized niche brands and emerging new luxury brands will see rapid development in the future.
Chen Rui, a partner with Adfaith Management Consulting, says that consumers’ pursuit of luxury goods can be divided into three stages, namely pan-luxury, high-end, and differentiated. Chinese consumers are now developing into the second and third stages. Custom-made involves pursuit of personalization and differentiation.
Zhao Ping, Deputy Director of the Consumer Economic Research Department at the Ministry of Commerce, says that the current consumers of custom-made goods are mainly sports and show biz stars, business elite, and government officials. Sports and show biz stars are fashion leaders who are permanently under public scrutiny, and what they need most is to showcase their individual personalities. Government heads and officials represent the image of the country. In addition to personal taste, their dress should also fit their temperament and image. The business elite regularly attend social events; they choose custom-made to avoid being seen wearing the same kind of clothes as other people.
Zhou Ting, head of Fortune Character Institute, is not optimistic about the customization of luxury brands. “On the one hand, big luxury brands have missed the optimum point for the development of high-end customization. On the other hand, the international big brands may be reluctant to do so. A high-end custom-made service will increase costs and lower profits. They are more likely to stick to selling their classic and relatively more standardized goods to keep turning money over quickly.”