a business opportunity for luxury

The economic recovery has been confirmed in Asia for the year 2022. But the economic context is not the only explanation. The new generations consume differently than their older ones. In China, we are seeing the boom in the swimwear market. And Western luxury brands are starting 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. In a country where the holiday culture has just started to pick up speed, the swimwear market in China is now very attractive for luxury brands.

According to the latest analysis from China Baogao, the Chinese swimwear market is constantly growing. It represented $ 4.6 billion in 2019. In the wake of the health crisis, the market should reach $ 6 billion by 2022. And the report clarifies that the profit margin for the coming years is still significant.

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 watched lifestyle trends by users. And many Chinese influencers are now partnering with swimwear brands.

New consumer trends in China

Why such an interest? Because the summer holidays are now widely democratized in China. Just as China is experiencing 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 with simply adopting the summer lifestyle of Western consumers. They adapt it in their own way. And we are already seeing very remarkable differences between popular swimwear products in China and Western bestsellers. A cultural divide that luxury brands will have to take into account if they want to take advantage of the emergence of swimwear in China.

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

In a market that is already very attracted to western luxury brands, the latter has every interest in quickly positioning itself in the lively swimwear segment. But the key to success will depend on proper consideration of the cultural differences between Chinese and Western consumers.

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

In his recent article on swimwear 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 step

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

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

How to surf the Chinese fashion for swimwear?

In terms of swimwear, Western luxury brands are leaving with one benefit: their fame. Chinese consumers are already familiar with them and their desirability is at its highest. But is that enough? Probably not. To stand out, Western luxury brands will have to make a greater effort.
In the future, we can imagine capsule collections produced in collaboration with Chinese stars and influencers. Brands will also have every interest in investing more money in web marketing campaigns targeting social networks.

Another crucial element: the ability to implement better targeted outlets. In Europe and the US, luxury brands are already used to opening summer pop-up stores. They open their doors in resorts that are popular with luxury customers. And these outlets generally provide a more immersive and themed shopping experience than standard stores.

As seasonal tourism develops in China, this opportunity becomes more and more attractive. China already has some dream destinations for the summer holidays. Hainan Island, for example, which already attracts a rather privileged clientele 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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