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China's Fashion Market

The relationship between the Italian fashion industry and the Chinese market is multifaceted, shaped by cultural appreciation, economic factors, and evolving consumer trends. As the global economic landscape experiences shifts, there's a pertinent question on whether these changes have influenced the demand for Italian fashion goods in China. This article provides commentary on the performance of Italian exports to China, the appeal of “Made in Italy" among Chinese consumers, and the current standing of Italian fashion brands within this dynamic market.


Italian Exports to China


In 2023, Italian exports to China saw a growth of 14 per cent in the sector, with a decrease of 3.2 per cent for textile products to EUR 460 million, an increase of 9.9 per cent for clothing articles to EUR 1.8 billion, and a substantial increase for leather products of 24.4 per cent to EUR 1.7 billion. It's important to evaluate the most recent trends, but lifestyle remains predominant in bilateral exchanges between Rome and Beijing.


Chinese Consumer Preferences for Italian Products


"Made in Italy" is appreciated by Chinese consumers regarding fashion, wine, food, and innovation. Italy has been invited to participate in major expos in China in recent years despite the pandemic and has been the guest of honour at both the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai and the China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan; in this context, Veronafiere organized the Wine to Asia fair in the city of Shenzhen and a roadshow dedicated to Vinitaly in the main Chinese cities.


The Current Landscape for Italian Fashion Companies in China


Italian brands target the high-end segment and the domestic luxury market is expected to grow by 6 per cent in 2024 according to estimates. China has the highest savings/gross domestic product ratio among the large economies, and the urbanization rate is expected to vary from 50 per cent in 2010 to 70 per cent by 2030 according to World Bank forecasts. Moreover, economic development increases the number of individuals in the middle-high income bracket. These factors contribute to an increase in the demand for high-quality fashion products, with new opportunities for Italian companies operating in the sector.


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