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3000 Yuan A Monthly Key to Fashion
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Besides food, clothing, and housing, what do we live for? Fashion! What does 3,000 yuan (US$375) mean? Maybe a black Esprit overcoat, or the latest Lenovo PDA mobile phone, or the trendiest iPod …According to the VOGUE China Fashion Index Research Report in 2006 reported by yesterday's China Youth Daily, this salary marks the starting line of fashion in China.

Through street interviews coupled by an online investigation, the survey, conducted by the China National Research Association (CNRA), VOGUE and Chinaindexes.com.cn, covered 2,529 people aged between 20 and 45 from eight key cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Xi'an.

"China is not the avant-garde country of the world in the fashion, but an active supporter and participator," said Xiao Mingchao, a guest researcher from CNRA and director of Chinaindexes.com.cn.

He said: "After basically resolving the problems of food and clothing, the public begin to cast a glance at the modern style to improve their life. The changes of people's attitude toward life witness the rapid economic development and income growth."

Scoring from zero to 100, China's Fashion Index was given 65.3 based on consumers' satisfaction with fashion, brand knowledge and recognition, and consumer participation.

Many voters think the fashion stream dates back to the beginning of 1990s. From that time, with dresses diversifying, the boom of telecommunications and the rise of the Internet, it gained in influence. According to the survey, people hold great confidence in the economy and the development of fashion.

3000 yuan (US$375) is considered to be the starting line for the masses to purchase fashionable wares. Xiao said, "It marks off the will and action. 'Fashion level' is so close to one's income. The more one earns, the more modern one will be."

About 77.4 percent of voters depended on their first impressions to judge whether someone is fashionable or not.

"What people care about is the appearance or the outside sign. They want to use a famous fashion brand to improve their images and social status symbols," said Xiao. "Because China is at the stage of 'sensibility consumption', so the public focus on the change of style and satisfaction from sense perception."

According to the survey, most people believe that fashion lies in constant changes. 18.7 percent think that "fashion should match the time"; 17.0 percent hold that "it is an expression of personality"; and 15.7 percent accept that "fashion stands for future and innovation".

Xiao said that fashion brands in China changes so much, from packing to designing and style. Brand-recognition and seasonal trends still dominate the domestic market and opportunities are given to every enterprise.

(China.org.cn by Wang Ke, November 21, 2006)


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