a business opportunity for luxury

The economic rebound is confirmed in Asia for the year 2022. But the economic context is not the only explanation. The new generations consume differently from their elders. In China, we see the boom in the swimwear market. And Western luxury brands are beginning to take an interest in it.

China: the new swimwear trend

In a context of economic recovery in luxury, China is a crucial market. And its progress is still significant. Case in a country where the holiday culture is just starting to gain momentum, the swimsuit market in China is now very attractive for luxury brands.

According to China Baogao’s latest analysis, the Chinese swimwear market is growing steadily. It will represent 4.6 billion dollars in 2019. In the aftermath of the health crisis, the market should reach 6 billion dollars in 2022. And the report specifies that the margin of progress for the years to come is still significant.

The enthusiasm is also found on social networks. On the Chinese network RD, the hashtag #swimwearrecommendations continues to break impression records. Swimwear is now one of the most viewed lifestyle trends by users. And many Chinese influencers are now forging partnerships with swimwear brands.

New consumer trends in China

Why such an interest ? Because summer holidays are now widely democratized in China. Just as China is seeing a boom in winter sports, there is now a boom in summer vacations. And this trend is leading to a boom in interest in swimwear.

The younger generations are not content to simply adopt the summer lifestyle of consumers. They adapt it in their own way. And there are already very noticeable differences between the popular swimwear products in China, and the exhilarating bestsellers. A cultural gap that luxury brands will have to take into account if they want to capitalize on the rise of swimsuits in China.

Swimwear market in China: the rules of the game for luxury

In a market already very defined by Western luxury brands, the latter have every interest in quickly positioning themselves in the buoyant swimwear segment. But the key to success will require proper consideration of the cultural differences between Chinese and in-depth consumers.

The conservatism of Chinese consumers is particularly blatant in the swimwear segment. In the women’s magazine press, the bikini does not make young Chinese women dream. And models deemed too provocative scare away customers. What is the best-selling swimsuit model in China? The one-piece swimsuit. Which is largely against the current of Western consumer trends, where the two-piece remains the best seller.

In its latest article on swimsuit shopping habits in China, Jing Daily also highlighted a crucial point. Brands will have to take into account the differences in morphology between Asian and Western customers. Chinese customers can afford luxury swimwear. But it is still necessary that they really correspond to his needs and his tastes.

Luxury swimwear in China: promising first steps

At present, several Western luxury brands have begun to develop a dedicated strategy in the Chinese market. In October 2021, Michael Kors managed a great communication operation. The American brand presented its new collection by calling on several influencers. The latter wore the brand’s latest one-piece swimsuits. And the relay on social networks ensured great visibility for this new collection of swimwear.

The British brand Agent Provocateur has also made an effort to adapt to the Chinese market. Exit pin-up silhouettes. The brand is capitalizing on one-piece swimsuits with a more sober design to meet Chinese criteria. For its part, Louis Vuitton preferred to play the product placement card in a very popular Chinese reality TV show: Single’s Inferno. Good pick: the media exposure of the swimsuit presented on the screen quickly made the buzz on RED.

How to surf on the Chinese vogue for swimwear?

When it comes to swimwear, Western luxury brands share one advantage: their notoriety. Chinese consumers already know, and their desirability is at its highest. But is it enough? Probably not. To stand out, Western luxury brands will have to make more effort.

In the future, we can imagine collection capsules produced in partnership with Chinese stars and influencers. Brands will also have every interest in investing more money in web-marketing campaigns aimed at social networks.

Another crucial element: the ability to respond to better targeted points of sale. In Europe and the United States, luxury brands are already used to opening summer pop-up stores. They open their doors in resorts popular with luxury customers. And these points of sale generally represent a more immersive and themed shopping experience than standard boutiques.

As seasonal tourism develops in China, this option becomes more and more attractive. China already has some dream destinations for summer holidays. The island of Hainan, for example, which already attracted a privileged clientele rather thanks to its luxury hotels. So, when will there be Dior, Chanel or Prada pop-up stores on the island for swimwear collections?

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