Landmark fashion alliance created

By Xu Junqian in Shanghai | China Daily USA | Updated: 2017-03-24 11:25

The Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and Chinese fashion agency Suntchi announced on March 16 that they would be entering a five-year partnership to help one another tap into their respective markets.

Founded in 1962, the CFDA is a New York-based non-profit organization that has a membership of more than 500 designers, including big names such as Vera Wang, Jason Wu and Ralph Lauren. The CFDA is also one of the main backers of the New York Fashion Week. This is the first time it is partnering a Chinese company.

Steven Kolb, CEO of the association, said at the news conference that the partnership is a result of the rise of the Chinese economy and was made only after an extensive evaluation process. He added that it took two years for both parties to reach an agreement on the partnership.

Kolb added that the CFDA has chosen to collaborate with a Chinese company because the association expects such a partnership to "not only bring more business opportunities to American designers, but also help further expand the influence of New York Fashion Week in China".

"New York Fashion Week is the youngest (fashion week) among the big four, thus being the closest to Shanghai in nature. The American fashion industry, similar to the one in China, has transitioned from a production-oriented industry to one where creativity has become the growth engine," said Kolb.

Shanghai Fashion Week used to be a municipal government-sponsored event that was fighting with its Beijing equivalent to be recognized as the national event for fashion. It has since its inception established partnerships with the British Fashion Council, the Italian National Fashion Chamber and the French Federation of Fashion.

Established in 2008 in Shanghai, Suntchi is an agency that offers services like brand management and intellectual property authorization for fashion companies and designers.

In 2015, it helped Aokang, a leading homegrown shoe manufacturer in China, to launch one of its most successful campaigns after gaining the IP rights to the James Bond movie Spectre and introducing the limited edition Bullock footwear.

This September, Suntchi will be launching an e-commerce platform called The company is aiming to turn it into the largest platform for IP authorization and commercialization in China's fashion and entertainment industry.

"The combination of the fashion and entertainment industries is something more lucrative than 'one plus one equals two'. Such an integration generates a new industry altogether," said Fang Tao, founder and CEO of Suntchi.

"The millennial generation pays for what they 'like' instead of 'want' and a great amount of their 'likes' are generated from what they see and hear on the mobile screens produced by the entertainment industry," he added.

The company said that it has been working closely with more than 100 A-list celebrities and 60 agencies in China and around the world. Its cooperation with the CFDA will include matters related to design, brands, supply chain, retail and capital.

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