From Australia, Mei Ping Doery is International Business Development Manager at NC STYLE, here in Beijing. I recently had a chat with her.
NF: What brought you into the fashion world? Is your life more now glamorous?
澳洲人Mei Ping是NC STYLE的国际业务发展经理的。我最近跟她聊了一会。
MP: Fashion is about self expression and creating an aspirational and glamorous lifestyle that essentially, people want to buy. I think the glamorous element is actually a bit of a facade when you work in the industry. I remember one of my first jobs in a boutique in Melbourne. Al the girls working there always looked stunning. We were fortunate enough to be able to wear the most amazing designer pieces to work each day but at the same time had to prance around a store looking glamorous for 8 hours a day in 6 inch heels! Nothing glamorous about that!
NF: Is there any city in Australia as glamorous as Beijing?
MP: It is not the same as the bling bling glamour that is all too common in Beijing but I think there is something uniquely glamorous about the Australian lifestyle. We know how to enjoy life and most Australians are lucky enough to live and work near the sea in a pristine natural environment. So I think in certain areas particularly around Melbourne and Sydney, yes in its own way.
NF: There must be some unique challenges you face in marketing to mainland Chinese. What is some advice you might give to foreigner brands trying to develop here?
MP: Give it time and develop a long term strategy. The market has only really opened up in the last 15 years and it has come leaps and bounds since then. For many of the smaller labels we work with many of them are aggressive in their expectations of the market here. While there is tremendous potential and consumer tastes are becoming much more sophisticated there are fundamental challenges particularly in distribution that still makes it very challenging for younger labels to be successful here.
In addition to this, while we are bringing in new labels it is also so important to spend time educating the local fashion market. Because the industry is relatively new many people working in fashion here have had limited experience in the fashion industry themselves. So when bringing a new brand into the market it is not only important to make it available but also nurture and encourage the industry to look at and recognize good quality and design that isn’t from top tier luxury fashion houses.
NF: Any style advice for Beijing girls? Do you think style in the capital is improving?
MP: Beijing style is improving rapidly. Even since I arrived a few years ago I have noticed a significant change in people’s style and desire to express themselves. Chinese people in general people are really starting to experiment with different looks, styles and interpretations of international trends. I think because of Beijing’s influence of culture and the arts people really get it here. While there still is some distance to go I think there are definitely more and more ultra trendy people in Beijing that could give many European and NY fashionistas a run for their money.
I think people should have fun with fashion. Although while its great to experiment with different looks my biggest piece of fashion advice is to not be too obsessed with trends and fads. Style is really captured through finding a look that enhances and suits your own aesthetic, personality and lifestyle.
NF: Do locals find you to be beautiful? Why or why not?
MP: I think intrigued more than anything. Being Eurasian most Chinese people are always curious to know where I am from. When I ask them to guess I get everything from Korean, Spanish, Middle Eastern to French. No one ever seems to guess I am from Australia though.
NF: What are your favorite luxury and fashion brands? Any Chinese designers?
MP: Chloe, Vanessa Bruno and one of my all time favorite Australian labels – Scanlan & Theodore. One of my favorite Chinese women’s wear designers is Lu Lu 12.28 for her use of beautiful fabrications and really wearable pieces. Another one to look out for is Zhang Chi – I think he will be big.
NF: What are your favorite hotels, restaurants, bars, galleries, etc. in Beijing?
MP: If proximity to the CBD and budget are not of concern then you can’t go past the Aman at the Summer Palace – truly exquisite. I love Yotsuba for Beijing’s freshest and most authentic Japanese, Capital for M for a fancy meal and to admire the contemporary Art Deco inspired design and Pace is one of my favorite galleries out in 798.
NF: 做推广在中国是个独特的挑战. 你有什么建议给外国牌子想在这里发展?
MP: 给与它充裕的时间和一个长期的战略计划。 15年前这个市场才真正的开放起来并且有了一些飞跃发展。对于一些同我们工作的小品牌， 他们中很多对这个市场的期盼都雄心勃勃，充满斗志。但是同时有大批的潜在消费者变得越来越成熟，而且有许多最基础的挑战尤其是在分销上，这对于一些想成功的年轻品牌来说还是很有挑战性的。
NF: 你很有品位。能不能给北京的女孩几个建议关于style? 北京人的穿者有没有进步？
MP: 北京风格进步得很快，几年前我到这里时就发现，人们的穿衣风格和表现自己的意愿发生了很大的改变， 中国人真正开始去体验不同的装扮和风格，并且去诠释着国际的趋势， 我认为这主要是因为人们是受当今北京文化和艺术的影响。当然，前面的路还很长，我确信越来越多的赶时髦的北京人会给很多欧洲和纽约时尚人士带来在中国发展的机会。
MP: Chloe, Vanessa Bruno 还有其中一个我最喜欢得的澳大利亚品牌——Scanlan & Theodore， 其中一个我最喜爱的中国女装品牌是 Lu Lu 12.28，这是因为她用漂亮的布料还有舒适适用的款式。 另外一个是张弛，我个人认为他会很出名。
MP: 如果说靠近中央商务区并且不考虑预算的话，在颐和园的Aman真的不能错过，它真的很精美。餐厅我喜欢Yotsuba，因为它有北京最新鲜并且正宗的日式料理，我也喜欢M的美食以及欣赏它的富有灵感的当代艺术装饰。Pace 是我最喜欢的798的画廊之一。