Chic reaches record attendance levels
Chic, which ended on 20 March, can boast having once again surpassed the 100,000-visitors mark by a longshot. The organisers of the Chinese fashion and accessories trade fair, which after 22 years of being held in Beijing took place in Shanghai for the first time, have said 125,000 visitors, from continental China but also Malaysia, Myanmar, Japan, Taiwan and South Korea.
In 2014, the fair's last time in Beijing, the event saw its numbers drop to approximately 90,000. Dapeng Chen, Vice President of the China National Garment Association, co-organiser of the trade fair, even spoke of exhibitors saying that there were too many visitors. But the jump in numbers can also be explained by the fact that Chic took place at the same time and place as Intertextile, the giant of textile trade fairs organised by Messe Frankfurt. As a result, many of the manufacturers took the opportunity to visit the fashion trade fair. "I have twenty years of trade fairs behind me and I have never seen one as big. Everybody comes in, I would even say that 70% of the visitors in this hall are manufacturers," said one of the French exhibitors. "China is very vast and so it is a difficult market to summarise. For example, how can the number of stores visited by buyers be verified?" said a representative of Monderer, an exhibitor at TheMicam Shanghai, which joined Chic.
A new 4.3 million ft² space, 25% of which is occupied by Chic, but above all a space still under construction… However, the choice of Shanghai was unanimous among the exhibitors "The quality of the visitors is really better here. Let's say that they are more professional than in Beijing. In our hall, I would guess that the visitor rate went up 40%. However, there is a lack of services, like the Internet and food options," said Chen Hangyin of New Mainz and former director of Bosideng. "Shanghai is without a doubt China's most open city in terms of fashion, with a fresh vision," said Leslie Azzoulai, at Giorgio & Mario.
Without forgetting that many of the buyers were visiting Chic for the first time and the international federations had to thus partly explain their brands to them. "It takes time for new habits to take root. And indeed, the Beijing clientele was partly absent," added Gérard Roudine, a consultant for the French Women's Ready-to-Wear Federation.
It now remains to be seen what will happen with the October session. Until now, Chic only took place once a year. This year, however, for the first time another date has been set for the spring/summer collections, on the 13th to 15th. The organisers had already tried out an event during this period with Chic Young Blood, the young and urban fashion trade fair, which didn't take off and was in the end integrated into Chic. The answer will thus be revealed in the fall. Chic will also host TheMicam and Pure Shanghai.
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