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Global catwalk struts into China

By Joseph Catanzaro | China Daily | Updated: 2013-11-03 08:09

Global catwalk struts into China

Although it is difficult to break into the Chinese market, Peter Caplowe has made it much easier by starting a fashion trade show in Hong Kong. Zou Hong / China Daily

A British fashion consultant is helping connect designer fashion houses with the Chinese market. Joseph Catanzaro reports.

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Peter Caplowe weaved his way through the crowds thronging Beijing's Nanluoguxiang hutong, neatly side-stepping stylish young couples browsing the ancient alleyway-turned-shopping hotspot.

The UK-born executive and consultant, who has made a name for himself in the notoriously fickle international designer clothing business over 20 years, is certain of at least one thing: In the world in which he moves, the flood of image-savvy Chinese youths flowing past him is a river of gold.

Sitting in the shaded courtyard of a hutong residence that was once the childhood home of a Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) empress, Caplowe talks of an immutable truth in international designer clothing: Styles change, trends end and fads are just that, but making money is never out of fashion.

And the money, he says, is now in China.

For many European and US fashion labels, though, finding a way to break into the Chinese market so they can access that wealth is challenging for several reasons.

Caplowe, 50, thinks a new venture he has co-founded with business partner Richard Hobbs will make the process much easier.

Caplowe's brainchild, called the Hub, is an exclusive, internationally branded fashion trade show launched last month in Hong Kong.

"The Hub is for the international market to meet Asian retailers," Caplowe says. "But when we spoke to all the brands about what excited them the most about the Hub, universally, they said China."


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