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French classical wear dancing up a storm on the mainland

By Emma Gonzalez | China Daily | Updated: 2016-09-16 09:49


French classical wear dancing up a storm on the mainland

An employee works on ballerina Cendrillon shoes at the production workshop in the Repetto factory in Saint-Medard d'Excideuil, southwestern France.[Photo/Agencies]

The expansion of ballet studios in China is encouraging French ballet clothes manufacturers to introduce their premium designs to a booming market with the help of local distributors.

Former professional ballet dancer Christophe Ridet recalls that his ballet wear company Wear Moi first started with the purchase of a sewing machine in Hong Kong in 1991, while he was on tour there with his wife.

When the French dancer retired a year later he decided to put the sewing machine to good use, to create customized ballet and musical-related clothes for his wife and other professional dancers.

Nowadays, Wear Moi is present in more than 50 countries, having entered the Chinese mainland market in April 2014 with the help of local distributor Weimo Ballet.

The French brand, which is expanding fast in China through an online store, is seeing that leotards remain the most popular product in their mainland customer's shopping baskets.

Additionally, the company notes that its light grey ballet clothes are a hot-selling item in the country as Asian women believe that it enhances their hair and skin tone.

This year, the company forecasts a healthy 30-40 percent increase in revenues.

"The increase in sales is not just a reflection of more people practicing ballet, it also shows that more ballet dancers are spending a higher amount of money on premium clothes," explained Christophe Ridet, founder of Wear Moi. "It is still a very promising market".

For Wear Moi, the adoption of ballet as an alternative workout and the fact that an increasing numbers of ballet studios in China are opting to use imported brands for their uniforms, are helping to drive sales up.

Emma Wang, director of the Beijing-based Morning Star Ballet studio, notes that the market for ballet clothes has changed dramatically in the last few years thanks to the addition of new foreign brands.

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