China’s millennial population is far more conscious of fashion than previous generations. Being more independent and connected to global trends, the millennials are willing to experiment more with their clothes and accessories. Here are some of the trends that Chinese millennials are watching out for in fashion ads.
China, for the most part, is racially uniform. However, there are still numerous ethnicities that make up the population of China. The millennial population is looking for diversity in fashion. However, the diversity they look for is far different from how diversity is defined in America. A recent Calvin Klein ad published in China infuriated many people as it featured a black transgender model. This was seen as an invasion of Western political correctness. In China, diversity means the inclusion of communities like the Miao, Hui, Mongols, Manchu, Tibetans, and so on. To forcefully push blacks, whites, Indians, and other races into the Chinese public space will inevitably be seen as a cultural invasion. Imagine how Africans would feel if their ads started showing Chinese, Latinos, and Japanese people as emblems of “diversity” instead of the minority communities within Africa.
Local but European
Millennials in China are also attracted to local brands that adopt European styles in their fashion products. Such brands would do well advertising since this attracts the eyes of millennials looking to buy these items. For instance, Juvil is a jewelry brand based in Guangzhou that openly describes its products as being “Scandinavian-inspired,” having “Nordic flair,” and so on. Young Chinese millennials interested in Scandinavian fashion will inevitably be attracted to Juvil’s ads.
Chinese millennials are not too obsessed with formal wear and are more interested in casual fashion clothing, shoes, and so on. Advertisers have noticed this and changed their presentation strategies accordingly. “Luxury brands that may be better known for handbags or heels have increasingly embraced casualization with streetwear and athleisure product categories like hoodies and sneakers… We found that 60 percent of fashion labels mentioned sneakers on their Weibo accounts during the study period… Brands are also boosting their visibility with Gen Z shoppers by teaming up with streetwear labels or young Chinese celebrities for product collaborations, which generate significant social media engagement,” Elizabeth Flora, the Asia editor of Gartner L2, said to South China Morning Post.
Just as with the U.S. market, Chinese millennials are becoming more interested in the idea of sustainable fashion that focuses on manufacturing practices that do the least harm to the environment. In fact, many millennials are dedicated to only buying environmentally-friendly products. These people usually check for sustainability labels on an item before making a purchase. As such, fashion brands that do follow environmentally-friendly policies should mention it in their ads. One example is Fake Natoo, a brand from China that makes clothing from up-cycled materials like discarded clothes, donated garments, and so on.
Millennials are not just buying luxury clothing for themselves but also their kids. One report reveals that almost 44 percent of millennial women brought clothes for their kids online. This means that kid’s fashion ads published online need to be tailored to the desires of millennial mothers to a large extent. Almost 91 percent of millennial moms use smartphones to read product reviews and compare prices. Advertisers that publish on such price comparison and product review websites can benefit from tailoring kidswear ads to highlight quality and price benefits as much as possible.