The rankings for the 2010 Top Global Fashion Capitals have just been released and Greater China has put in a strong showing. While it’s no surprise that New York was once again named the top fashion capital of the world, sitting pretty at number 2 is Hong Kong. This is the highest ranking ever for an Asian city and is the first time that the number two spot goes to a city other than the classic four – New York, Paris, London and Milan.
Shanghai also fares well, rising two spots from last year to sit in 12th place, outpacing even Tokyo (#14).
For full list of results, click here.
What is a Global Fashion Capital?
A fashion capital is a city which wields great influence in the world of fashion. It is the home of many top designers and modeling agencies and is decided by the amount of business generated. The Top Global Fashion Capitals rankings are based upon non-profit group Global Language Monitor’s Predictive Quantities Index, a proprietary algorithm that tracks words and phrases in print and electronic media in relation to their frequency, contextual usage and appearance in global media outlets.
This year the list was expanded to forty cities (from thirty in previous years) to reflect the growing number of emerging and diverse players affecting the industry.
“The importance of the emerging regional fashion capitals demonstrate a major global re-alignment in the multi-trillion dollar global fashion industry. This year’s list of the Top Fashion Capitals shows the global fashion industry to remain in flux, with the relative decline of some of the previously leading players and formerly regional players emerging as significant new influences.”
- Rebecca Payack, fashion correspondent for the Global Language Monitor
Is this a harbinger of things to come? With fashionistas eyeing the East, is it possible that one day New York will be dethroned and replaced by China as the top fashion spot in the world? Shanghai is becoming widely recognized for its art, architecture and design scenes. It has a vibrant and dynamic energy led by youth embracing a new China. In previous years, China was known for its copycat designs, but as Chinese talent grows in knowledge and in confidence, supported by the Chinese government and breaking free of past shackles, we see a well of strength and creativity springing up.
What This Means To You As Marketers
We’ve been talking a lot about the digital space in this blog because, frankly, that’s been a hot-topic (and very relevant topic) concerning China. We’ve also mentioned music, as indie and rock music are emerging scenes here, not to mention a well-established pop scene (Mando-pop anyone? And of course, the adored K-Pop and J-Pop). Many brands have already jumped onto the music bandwagon, structuring their strategies and messaging around the music culture. Coke did a great job owning ‘food’, with their extremely successful “Coke with Food” campaign. Now, how about fashion? Can non fashion-related brands convincingly enter into the fashion space? I see fashion as being similar to music; that it’s something consumers are passionate about or can relate to. It also has positive image associations. Brands likely won’t want haute couture, but what about ‘up and comers’? Indie fashion labels or designers? Collaborations to design a new spin on, or a new look for, a tired product? The fashion scene in China is young, trendy, blossoming, chic … these are definitely great images to associate with your brand.