NOVOMANIA, THE TRADESHOW WHICH BRINGS INTERNATIONAL FASHION TO CHINA, HAD ITS START TODAY.
READ THIS INTERVIEW WITH GUILHERME FARIA, GENERAL MANAGER OF NOVOMANIA, CONDUCTED ON THE SHOW NOT ONLY TO GET AN IDEA ABOUT THE SHOW BUT ABOUT SHANGHAI AND ITS FASHION SCENE IN GENERAL.
What is special about Novomania?
We really understand the fashion market as Novo was a retailer and a distributer so we understand what the brands want and what the market wants. The joint venture with UBM brought in the exhibition side and this made it possible to create something special about the show.
We introduce new international concepts to the market. These don’t only have to come from the international market to China but can also origin from China. This country is starting to produce very interesting things, and it is just a matter of time until these creative Chinese brands go international.
What can European and US companies expect if they exhibit at Novomania?
Independently of how big you are in your own country, in China the amount of people who know you is limited. And if they don’t know and understand the concept of your brand, they will not buy your product. So you have to expose yourself and show your brand to the people. We are the only platform where you can do this.
For the Chinese customer, it is more about the image of a brand than about the product. What we offer, is a platform for brands to introduce their concept to the best in fashion of China.
Tell us a wisdom about the fashion business in China.
The most important thing is, that you don’t leave the market on its own. This market is too important for any CEO than to just find a distributor. This market can completely change the roots of any company.
You come here and you have to adapt. You don’t need to change your product completely but your communication has to be different.
If you come here, you come as a trial and error.
Tell us the best places in Shanghai for shopping for fashion.
There are many places. It really depends on what you want. A couple of streets are famous like Nan jing road where the big monobrand stores are. Even though there are many new developments there, it is still very much a shopping mall culture, which is fairly repetitive. Novomania plays a major role in innovating this, as we give new concepts and new ideas. This is very important for shopping malls, as the only way to differentiate themselves, is to open multibrand stores. With multibrand stores, each store will always be different as it pushes a different brand or concept. Of course, also the little streets in the French Concession are great and you can find multibrand stores there, which are small corner stores made with love.
What are the best multibrand-stores in China and the best e-retailing websites?
There are a handfull of good e-retailers in China.
The most important group to mention is Alibaba, which developed the tmall.com platform. Unless you are registered as the legitimate brand you can’t sell your product there. This platform almost covers half of the market.
However, there are also a lot of independent sites and flash sales. The price still plays a big role, which is why campaigns are very important to have online.
At present there are more mono- than multibrand stores in China. Do you expect that to change in the future, if so – when?
It already changed in Russia and in China it will change even faster. Already, the Chinese ultra high-net worth individuals are looking for alternative brands to the known luxury brands as people don’t want to be confused with the up and coming middle class, which already can afford those luxury brands. This bears the opportunity for multi brand stores to establish themselves with sophisticated and new labels.
What should I not miss to see or do in Shanghai, apart from Novomania, when I am visiting your fair?
You definitely will realize that Shanghai is a dynamic and top developed city. But you should leave Shanghai to understand what China is really about. Come with an open mind as brands can learn a lot from coming here and hopefully they can open their mind and learn that China works in a different way and will certainly not adapt.
Please name a few good restaurants and places to go out at night in Shanghai.
Shanghai grew such an important hub for international companies, that the foreigners who come here bring quality and lifestyle. Restaurants on The Bund like el Willy or Mr and Mrs Bund, which is a contemporary modern French place, are good.
Lost heaven is a must for Chinese food for foreigners. There is one on The Bund and one in the French Concession.
As for nightclubs M1nt, Bar Rouge or Unico are good to visit. But also don’t forget all the bars and the hotels on the Pudong side.
What is your goal with Novomania in the near future?
We want Novomania to be the reference for fashion in Asia.
And my personal one is that i want to help transform fashion in China.
As a retailer from outside China, is it worth coming to Novomania?
We show not only up and coming Chinese brands but labels from countries like Korea, Japan, Australia and Hongkong. These brands you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world. There are so many nice things popping up in China. And we see many and talk to many of them.