President Xi Jinping‘s austerity drive comes at the right moment for China’s domestic fashion brands, notes WSJ wealth editor Wei Gu in the Wall Street Journal. China’s first lady Peng Liyuan puts a Guangdong brand, Exception, in the spotlight.
Chinese folk-song queen Peng Liyuan’s choice of a Guangzhou fashion brand called Exception on her maiden overseas trip last month with her husband, President Xi Jinping, has sparked a flurry of excitement among Chinese consumers. Internet searches for the little-known brand soared from 290 searches on March 21 to 31,626 searches on March 23, according to Chinese search engine Baidu BIDU -0.94% .
The timing of Ms. Peng’s fashion statement couldn’t be better. Her husband’s call for austerity has damped the mood of conspicuous consumption in China and taken the shine off the luxury brands that have thrived there.
“Overall, foreign brands still dominate—but going local is a trend, as showing off your wealth is a little risky now for high-profile people,” said Sam Flemming, chief executive of CIC, a firm that analyzes trends through Chinese social media for businesses.
Austerity was one of the subjects of this week’s China Weekly Hangout. Is Xi Jinping’s austerity drive for real, or just window dressing? Steve Barru and Fons Tuinstra discuss.
- Investing for a ‘beautiful China’ – Wei Gu (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- US green cards losing their attraction – Wei Gu (chinaspeakersbureau.info)
- A squeezed middle class needs more love – Wei Gu/Shaun Rein (chinaherald.net)
- VIDEO: Peng Liyuan: China’s stylish first lady (bbc.co.uk)