Business, Fashion

Canadians to Woo China with World Music Fashion Festival

Photos courtesy Empress Communications | Two Flies Photography
The two worlds of fashion and music first collided during the Jazz Age of flappers and Prohibition. Ever since, this marriage of like artistic minds has played out in music videos, runway shows and commercials. Events like Fashion Cares and Fashion Rocks launched in 2003 brought music and fashion together for charity. This fall music and fashion come together for the future.  
 
The future of Canadian fashion. 
 
I heard about the World Music Fashion Festival (WMFF) on its first tour through China featuring Canadian designers Evan Biddell, Paul Hardy and Juma. Developed by Vancouver-based Empress Communications as part of the China Overseas Designer Program, WMFF helps expose independent designers and artists to the Chinese market. It’s only offered to a select number of designers each year.  Triarchy, Bustle Clothing and Lucian Matis participated in 2012.
Bustle Clothing’s Shawn Hewson
Luxury labels have had their eye on China for business expansion for years. While the recession has slowed retail growth around the globe, China’s middle class is booming, packing a lot of power behind consumer spending.  
 
Even though luxury is driving most sales – this year alone, Chinese consumers will account for about one-third of all luxury purchases* – there is also a growing demand for fast fashion brands and Western labels in general. That’s good news for young designers looking for buyers. So good in fact, that Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour and the Council of Fashion Designers of America recently sent three American designers to China as part of a joint Fashion Fund program. Rag and Bone, Marchesa and Proenza Schouler staged a fashion show near the Great Wall of China last month.
Wintour explained the benefits of this kind of exchange program in a recent interview, “One of the reasons the European houses went to China is that they needed to expand. The U.S. didn’t have that sense of need at the time, but young designers are working in a very different environment [than] when a Ralph Lauren was their age and they are thinking in a very different way. They are thinking globally.” (The Malta Independent, August 1, 2013).
The World Music Fashion Festival is gearing up for its third trip East this October.  Once again the festival will take Canadian singers, DJs, models and designers through three major cities – Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu in October.  Stay tuned for more from WMFF.  Until then check out previous year’s WMFF photos here.
 
(From Fashionbi.com’s Fashion Retail Trends in China, June 3, 2013)