2020 XMIFW has opened up an innovative testing ground for "Fashionable Sportswear"

December 10,2020

The vitality of a city comes from the young people gathered there. The tolerance and encouragement of creativity and innovation determine the future of the city.

On December 7, 2020 the four-day Xiamen International Fashion Week (hereinafter referred to as "XMIFW") drew to a close. This year’s XMIFW focused on the fashion and lifestyle of young people in the new era. In one respect, the event was a testing ground for the innovative release of fashion brands for the consumer market, showcasing the lifestyle, consumer attitudes, and brand values ​​of the young Chinese generation on multiple levels; In another respect, it was also an efficient communication platform that opened up the upstream and downstream resources of the fashion industry chain and established brand, capital, and terminal business channels. 2020 XMIFW featured:

  • 170+ fashion and lifestyle brands
  • 12 fashion shows fully open to the public
  • 30+ venture capitalists
  • 90+ commercial real estate

What kind of inspiration has this fashion and lifestyle event based on consumer insights and the deep participation of people from the entire industry chain brought to the industry?

Luxe.CO was invited to go deep into the exhibition site and meet industry professionals and visitors. In the process wecaptured four highlights:

  • Leading "Fashionable Sportswear": A Sunrise Industry + Innovative Track
  • Upgrading the "National Tide"concept: Using the Power of Design to Convey Chinese Culture
  • Thoroughly Developing the "Outdoor Sports" Segment: Multi-Treasure Brands + a Dynamic Niche Community
  • Enlarging "Cultural Creativity": Releasing the Deep Energy of More than 100 Billion Vertical Industries


Leading "fashionable sportswear": A Sunrise Industry + Innovative Track

Xiamen's local sports industry cluster advantage has a long history. In the 40 years since construction of its special economic zone began, many well-known domestic and foreign commercial clothing brands and independent designer brands have been born in Xiamen. The headquarters of leading domestic sports brands such as Anta, Xtep, and Peak are all firmly established in this city. So it comes as little surprise that XMIFW has takens advantage of Xiamen’s unique industrial advantages to further take the lead in the emerging field of fashionable sportswear.

50 sports and fashion-related brands participated in 2020 XMIFW, accounting for nearly one-third of the total number of brands. The confluence of sports and fashion stems from changes in lifestyles. The blurring and integration of people's daily fitness, life, and work are also due to the more inclusive and diverse aesthetics of young people.

Italian fashion sports lifestyle brand ellesse's first store in Fujian just opened in Xiamen in November, with the brand making its debut this month at XMIFW. In an interview with Luxe.CO, Jessica Linsen, business director for Asia of the brand’s parent company Pentland, said that although ellesse is a veteran brand founded in 1959 with tennis and skiing in its DNA, the brand’s current positioning is such that it will prioritize fashion for exercise. In terms of product design, while continuing the splicing features of the Italian brand's large color blocks, ellesse continues to absorb trend elements preferred by young users, such as clever use of fluorescence, and co-branding with well-known performers  in European and American rock music circles such as Smiley.

Peak Sports, a local Fujian brand, showcased its basketball culture series in cooperation with NBA Clippers star Louis Williams on December 7. Liu Wenyong, director of the Peak Sportswear Product Center, explained to Luxe.CO that Peak's products integrate elements from street culture and basketball. The fresh street basketball style has attracted many millennials to the show (pictured below). The fully open form of the Trendy Up show also fits the brand's concept of putting "user strategy" at the forefront of its approach.

The well-known sports and leisure brand SKECHERS, which was exhibiting for the first time, held a big show on the first day of XMIFW, displaying its new D’LITES 4.0 series featuring "Panda Shoes". In less than a year, the brand has opened two superstoress in Xiamen. SKECHERS Fashion Sports Director Wang Zhuoqun told Luxe.CO that, by holding such a full public show (pictured below) in Xiamen, the brand hopes to get more direct feedback from local consumers. As Wang said, “In the past, many brands concentrated their marketing efforts on major cities. We hope to learn more about other potential fashion-conscious cities, and make timely adjustments based on feedback from local consumers.”

In addition to the show and exhibition format, XMIFW presented a special "Sports yo Future" FEDSHOW forum. Taking the stage at the forum were Arc'teryx, Particle Fever, Douyin (Tiktok China) Sports, Luxe.CO, MoCreative and other brands and platforms guests, the well-known singer and sports expert Vivi Jiang, and representatives of Generation Z sports managers, who shared their insights in the field of fashionable sportswear, as well as industry trends captured on the front line. Particle Fever, Musician Jefferson Qian and ballet dancer Viki Duan also launched a creative cross-border show (pictured below).

XMIFW also launched the online event in collaboration with Douyin (Tiktok China) Sports, extending the influence of "sports fashion" to a broader social platform.

Upgrading the “National Tide” Concept: Using the Power of Design to Convey Chinese Culture

Auspicious clouds, the Chinese zodiac, blue and white porcelain, embroidery...When mentioning Chinese cultural elements, what comes to mind? Designers no longer stop at attaching concrete Chinese elements to their work. As part of the “national tide”, China’s new designers are deeply engaged in finding coherent ways to integrate the DNA of Chinese culture, and even the elements rooted in regional culture, into the design of their works.

Liu Shengyi, owner-principal of the accessory designer brand WOW-IN, said, "I am from southern Fujian. My mother's family has survived by their skill in tailoring since the Republic of China. I have learned from them unconsciously since I was a child, and I particularly like the style, structure, and proportions of their clothes." Inspired by the hats worn by women from Hui’an in southern Fujian, he designed a minimalist handbag (pictured below), which is displayed in his latest series.

On December 5th, the 4th China International Accessories Design Competition held its final with the theme of "Ancient Chinese Poems". The contestants who stood out after six months of competition have integrated their understanding of traditional Chinese culture into their designs. Miao Binying's work "Golden Cloth", inspired by the famous seven-character Tang dynasty Yuefu poem of the same name, won the gold medal.

"The development of China's traditional clothing industry towards the fashion industry requires not only an international perspective but also unique positioning. I hope that in the future there will be more and more ‘small but beautiful and special' brands in the industry," the Xiamen designer Chen Yu explained to Luxe.CO.

Other local Fujian designer brands participating in XMIFW included JWB and YES BY YESIR, while designer Ms MIN shared her insights into the Chinese fashion designer industry on the Mix Talk forum. Designers from other parts of the country also brought their works to Xiamen. UOOYAA and FIONACHEN from Shanghai expressed to Luxe.CO their hope to present a more three-dimensional brand image to young consumers through the  Xiamen exhibition.

Thoroughly Developing the "Outdoor Sports" Segment: Multi-Treasure Brands + a Dynamic Niche Community

The most popular exhibition area at XMIFW’s main venue was undoubtedly the internal combustion engine area opened by the MIXPARK fashion concept experiment. The brand matrix of outdoor, sports, and fashion brands was gathered there.

The MIXPARK X exciTING LITESTYLE immersive interactive experience area brought together 10 outdoor lifestyle brands covering RVs, tents, ski gear, skateboarding gear, land surfing gear, electric cross-country motorcycles, water paddleboards, and other sub-categories. Behind the brands are young "enthusiasts" who share common hobbies. "Love" and "community" are high-frequency words that Luxe.CO hears in communication with them. If you are not a professional enthusiast in a certain field, you may not be familiar with the standard names of these outdoor pursuits, nor know the working principles and "black technology" behind their products.

The SURRON all-terrain bicycle booth held a flying platform performance. The on-site staff member told Luxe.CO that he was an all-terrain bicycle enthusiast before. After discovering electric all-terrain bicycles he fell in love with this environmentally friendly and cool new pursuit even more. Xiamen is surrounded by mountains and seas, with many hills and beaches, and the landforms are varied. In an atmosphere where young people gather, it is particularly suitable for promoting this sport. Also, in recent years, more women have started participating, accounting for 30% of all enthusiasts. A modified red motorcycle on display was in the private possession of a female rider.

ZERORAY, an innovative technology clothing brand that focuses on temperature control and other functions, demonstrated how its clothing products heat up to 53 degrees Celsius during 10 seconds of charging. Brand designer Jin Ping explained to us that the brand uses fabric technology exclusively developed by DuPont and other suppliers to meet the different performance needs of modern urban young people for diversified outdoor activities such as skiing and hiking. The export business of this direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand is an important part of its business overall. Their main markets are Japan and the United States, and the current export-to-domestic business ratio is 4:6.

Australian water paddleboard brand MOLOKAI SUP entered the Chinese market in 2017. The brand set up a large water experience area (picture below) at XMIFW to demonstrate different paddleboard products for sports, travel, and surfing. According to the booth staff, the popularity of floating board projects in the Chinese market has increased in recent years, and the types of products will be gradually subdivided according to different water conditions, user scenarios, and professional levels.

In addition to the above, Smoothstar, a brand that offers the experience of surfing on land, VSLOAR, a brand focused on expanding the lifestyle business of large camp tents (picture below), and Amplid, a snowboard brand from Austria, set up a wealth of experience programs on the exhibition site.

Enlarging "Cultural Creativity": Releasing the Deep Energy of More than 100 Billion Vertical Industries

Xiamen, which takes folk intangible cultural heritage, niche art, and Internet celebrity cultural tourism landmarks as its  drawcards, has brought together the earliest cultural and creative forces in China. According to the Xiamen Municipal Government, the city's cultural and creative industries are now worth 100 billion yuan. Through the leading cultural and creative s organizations and creative brands present during XMIFW, we see the potential for further expansion of this market.

Alfilo Brands, which was exhibiting for the first time, is the exclusive license holder and operator of foreign cultural and art organizations in China. Those organizations include: the British Museum;the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Victoria and Albert Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Gallery of Britain; and BBC Earth.

The exhibition area presented 2021 annual theme series "Female Hedonism" and "Olympia in the Museum", extracting classic museum art elements, and closely integrating with the current times and thinking, breaking the "take and use" approach in the creation of cultural and creative products.

The Forbidden City Culture Development & TENPRINCES’ booth continued the eye-catching arrangement of large color blocks on the background of the palace wall and became a holy place for online celebrities. In addition to the iconic red, yellow, and green colors and the classic collections "A Thousand Miles of Rivers and Mountains" and "Hai Cuo Tu", the new series of Forbidden City Culture Development & TENPRINCES appeared at XMIFW.

The "His Ten Royal Highnesses" series took the micro-cultural elements of the Forbidden City as its creative inspiration, refined the cultural connotation of each ridge animal, and created clothing, bags, and other products. The staff explained that some of these products were made of sustainable recycled materials. Through material and design innovations, the cognition and emotional connection to traditional culture among present-day youth are further enhanced.

The core exhibit of the Chinese character art design brand Liao Cao Design from Wuxi is the porcelain teacup series "Kwords" with three-dimensional Chinese characters engraved on the bottom. Brand designer Xue Leiqi introduced that based on the profound relationship between Chinese characters, cups, and Chinese tea culture, he will consider further expanding the possibilities of his works, tea culture, and food culture.


The 2020 Xiamen International Fashion Week, dedicated to building a platform for "enabling and pushing the new", has come to an end. XMIFW included events from the big show at the main venue, the experimental display, the brand image display of the roadshow, to the "Capital Wisdom·Fashion Future" capital forum to open up industry investment and terminal retail channel resources, and the "Business differentiation and evolution seminar under the dual cycle background." The cutting-edge insights and viewpoints of the fashion lifestyle industry met in Xiamen in a rich display of passion and expertise.

While thoroughly exploring the advantages of the sports industry and further opening up the new field of fashionable sportswear, Xiamen continues to strengthen its youth vitality community, build on its original design strengths, pioneer its advantages in the cultural and creative industries, and attract more outstanding talents by extensively connecting the resources of the entire industry. Brands, companies, and platforms have truly arrived to build momentum for industrial development. Open and tolerant Xiamen has always embraced new market opportunities as an innovative and creative city.

Extra: More pictures on-site

| Photo Credit: XMIFW

| By Jun Liu, Jingjin Jiang


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