Last Friday, foreign sports brand Nike launched the "Shanghai accent" series of sportswear, printed with the architectural design of Shanghai, with strong Chinese style. In fact, with the continuous improvement of the consumption power of Chinese consumers, many foreign sports brands try to make an essay on the Chinese wind. However, some people in the industry say that foreign sports brands need to have an in-depth understanding of Chinese culture in the process of product design, so as to avoid self defeating.
Foreign sports brands favor "Chinese style"
It is reported that the theme of the "Shanghai accent" series of sportswear launched by Nike is Shanghai. In addition to the Chinese "Shanghai" and the Shanghai architectural patterns on the sports jacket, Nike also introduced the "Shanghai accent" limited edition running shoes. The heel of this shoe embroidered the pattern of some buildings in Shanghai with embroidery. In order to show the Chinese style, the shoe upper of the limited running shoes was made of satin fabric and matched with the window texture.
It is worth mentioning that there is a special map in the shoebox of the running shoes. Consumers can scan the two-dimensional code on the map with Nike WeChat applet to see the panoramic view of Shanghai, which can be seen through the augmented reality technology (AR). They can also find some sports areas in Shanghai, such as basketball courts and soccer fields on the map.
Sports brand Puma has recently launched a series of Chinese style sportswear. In July this year, Puma jointly launched the sports dress with the fashion brand "Chinatown market". The design of the sportswear was integrated into the elements of Chinese chessboard and ink painting. It is reported that the series of sportswear is on sale at the Chinatown Mini Museum designed by Puma. In this museum, Puma has set up fruit shops, candy stalls, traditional Chinese medicine shops, pawnshops, record shops and ice rooms.
Adidas launched the blue and white porcelain limited edition of RIVALRY in January this year. Adidas official said the pattern of this shoe resembles a classical Chinese painting on the shoe body. The contrast of the blue veins of the whole body shows the Chinese wind. The white vamp presents a tortoise crack, echoing the peculiar kiln burning crack of blue and white porcelain.
In addition, the two sides of the shoe's inner tongue are embroidered with the Chinese words "tiger tiger Valley, and all animals tremor", which adds to the Chinese flavor and expresses the current trend of youth's independence.
In January this year, Reebok launched the series of "Jin Sheng Shui" series of sports shoes, which embroidered the Chinese word "Reebok" with embroidery techniques, symbolizing the spirit of Reebok's enterprising spirit and expressing the meaning of "sharp" and "step". The series also features a red insole and a special shoe box with pig year logo. Reebok also transformed the image of the Chinese Zodiac pig into a mechanical pig with mechanical sense, and printed the image of a mechanical pig on the series of sports shoes.
China's market performance is crucial
Why are foreign sports brands launching the Chinese style sportswear? Liu Liang, a clothing industry expert, believes that this is because the performance of the Chinese market is very important for foreign sports brands.
Nike's first quarter financial results for the 2020 fiscal year show that its revenue during the reporting period was $10 billion 430 million, an increase of 7% over the same period. Among them, the market performance of the Greater China region is quite eye-catching, and its revenues during the reporting period reached 1 billion 679 million US dollars, up 22% over the same period last year, maintaining double-digit percentage growth for 21 consecutive quarters.
Mark Parker, chief executive of Nike, said that for more than five years, the revenue of Greater China has maintained double-digit growth every quarter. He believes that greater China has become Nike's most important position, Nike will speed up the pace of expansion in Greater China.
It is reported that Nike's revenue in the Greater China market is still growing faster than expected. In the first quarter of Nike's fiscal year 2020, the Greater China region can achieve over $6 billion 500 million in fiscal year 2020.
Adidas released its second quarter results in fiscal year 2019, which showed that its revenue grew 4% to 6 billion 149 million US dollars during the reporting period, while the Greater China region remained strong, and the second quarter revenue grew 14% over the same period.
Rothd, chief executive of Adidas, said that the Greater China region is a strategic growth point for Adidas, which has achieved double-digit growth for 21 consecutive quarters. This performance has given Adidas full confidence.
Puma released the 2019 quarter fiscal year second quarter earnings report, driven by the Asia Pacific market, its revenue grew 16.9% to 1 billion 369 million U.S. dollars, operating profit grew 39% to 89 million 630 thousand U.S. dollars.
Bjorn Goulden, chief executive of Puma, especially mentioned that China's market revenue has maintained a high growth rate, and its revenue is expected to be shoulder to shoulder in the US market in the next five years. Driven by China's market performance, the second quarter revenue of the Asia Pacific market increased 23% to 350 million US dollars over the same period.
Liu Liang said that the performance of the Chinese market has a great impact on the performance of foreign sports brands. In order to cater to the needs of Chinese consumers, foreign sports brands launched Chinese style clothing.
In addition, he believes that Chinese consumers have a strong sense of identity towards Chinese culture. Chinese consumers have long been influenced by Chinese culture and are very familiar with Chinese elements. This kind of intimacy can stimulate the desire of Chinese consumers to buy.
Product design should be close to Chinese aesthetics.
However, in the process of introducing the Chinese style sportswear series, many foreign sports brands have stepped on the "thunder".
For example, Vans, a sports brand, has published a Chinese style slippery shoe named "good luck". This shoe is made of satin face, and embroidered with traditional Chinese flower and bird pattern. It is meant to be "a hundred birds are lucky." The skateboard shoe has aroused heated debate in the social media of the United States. Many foreign consumers show strong desire to buy. They think this skateboard shoe is very beautiful and represents Chinese culture. However, the general comment of Chinese consumers on this kind of skateboard shoes is "spicy eyes", "too earthy" and "shoe upper designs like Grandma's quilt".
Nike has launched a Chinese style running shoes, which is difficult for Chinese consumers to accept. The heel of this shoe is embroidered with two characters, one is "hair" and the other is "blessing". Although these two words have a beautiful meaning, if the two words of "fat" are put together, the meaning of these words will inevitably embarrass Chinese consumers.
Li Xiaodong, a fashion designer, told the China Commercial Daily that foreign sports brands are concerned about Chinese elements and their behavior in product design is worth affirming. But in the way of application, foreign sports brands usually use relatively simple Chinese symbols. Because foreign sports brands do not know enough about Chinese culture, their use of Chinese elements is not flexible enough. Some designs are just stacked with Chinese elements.
In addition, he believes that foreign sports brands are always decorated with dragon, Phoenix, blue and white porcelain, peony flowers, and so on. The content of our traditional costume patterns is very rich. Foreign designers need to have a better understanding of the deep connotation of Chinese culture in order to make better use of Chinese elements.
Source: China Commercial Daily writer: Xie Yu Xing