2009: What will be new on the streets of Beijing?
Following are some of my predications regarding fashion on the streets of Beijing and other cities in China in 2009. I’m not an expert on women’s fashion, so please forgive the emphasis on males.
1. The gap is closing: Beijing is soon only three months behind London and Tokyo in adopting new styles. Slim tartan shirts, skinny jeans must already be old in those cities. What is next? All of these styles trickle down to second-tier cities in the space of a year.
2. Trouser waists: Higher waists for men’s and women’s trousers, but the fuller leg doesn’t really catch on and tapering remains the mainstream choice.
3. Ankles: The skinny leg with stacking around the ankle becomes the norm for fashionable people in wealthy second-tier cities.
4. Ties: Really skinny ties (1-2.5 inches) become popular for the late adopters but reach a saturation point for hip kids. Other colors beyond the basics become more popular as do the knit ties that have been sweeping Korea and Japan. Among young business men around the world, demand for a happy medium width of around 3 to 3.25 inches is agreed upon and becomes the mainstream. Wide ties of 3.75 to 4 inches remain unfashionable, but are still the most common type of tie in China and abroad. In mainstream Chinese society, ties are still a necessity rather than a joy to wear. Will one of the producers in Shengzhou improve quality to compete with Como, thus driving the Italians further into a corner in terms of their remaining competitive advantages (better color, ability to do small orders, taste, style and design)?
5. More sophistication for 2009, combined with frustration at the lack of quality in simple cuts on the market; more brands rise to trye to meet this demand. Fewer loud labels, lace, and pleather as people go for better quality.
In general, my assessment is that Beijing has made incredible progress in terms of style and is pretty close to being on par with all cities but New York, London, Milan, and Paris. There are so many more possible predictions than this. What do you think?