BrandWatch is StreetwearTalk’s series showcasing some of the hottest styles from lesser-known brands. This issue shines the spotlight on GAON Clothing, a Shanghai-based label that offers a glimpse into the enigmatic world of Chinese streetwear.
China is one of the world’s largest consumer markets. With over a billion citizens, it’s no surprise, then, that Western companies have been trying to tap into this massive audience over the last few years. Western film and video games industries have seen some success, but the Chinese fashion market tells a different story.
This story is one of culture and domestic pride. This story is also one that local Chinese streetwear brands like GAON Clothing are here to help us tell.
East Meets West
The story of streetwear in China is a bit different from that in the West. Instead of underground countercultural niches, spotlights and celebrities were the driving force behind streetwear’s popularity in the country. A growing middle class also meant that more and more people now had the money to buy and wear the same brands and logos as their favourite celebrities. This is only further helped by China’s blossoming relationship with Western sports leagues like the NBA.
No Place Like Home
Despite the success of Western streetwear brands in the Chinese market, recent years have ushered in a new trend dominating the streetwear scene. This trend sees consumers buying into locally-owned streetwear labels like our showcase brand, GAON Clothing . Established in 2015, this Shanghai-based label specializes in streetwear essentials with trendy cuts and bold designs.
While GAON and other Chinese streetwear brands don’t quite have the innovations of their Western counterparts, what is important to note is their reception by Chinese buyers. Since 2017, local labels like GAON Clothing have been dominating the Chinese streetwear market.
In particular, Chinese buyers are now turning to local brands for two reasons. The first is their value proposition, as locally-produced pieces offer similarly good styles at much lower prices. The second is a strongly-ingrained culture of nationalism that encourages the support and patronage of local brands.
With their success and growth secured, it is interesting to see what’s in store for Chinese streetwear moving forward. So keep it tuned to StreetwearTalk for more of the latest in streetwear news.