Can China produce the same quality as Italy & France?
Modern technology and equipment today allow real miracles. China has now acquired a sufficient number of Western equipment and can produce products that are not inferior in quality to Italy or France, and they are the trendsetters in the world of luxury. Not so long ago, "Made in Italy" or "Made in France" were automatically perceived as the standard of quality and design brands.
China has stepped forward. They easily acquire the latest equipment. As for raw materials, China has been famous since ancient times for its art of porcelain, silk, woodworking and stone works. Over the centuries, China was able to create a whole industry and virtually divide the whole country into the provinces where different types of crafts flourished.
Suzhou was famous for the production of silk fabrics. In addition, there concentrated and all the handicrafts associated with silk: for example, handmade embroidery, the industry employs more than 140,000 skilled embroiderers for that.
However, if we look at the decoration industry and interior design, we see that China is still behind Europe, but not in quality. They lag behind in the level of design to be understandable to the European consumers. And even if the quality is flawless, there is still a hint of Chinese culture in the design, whatever they produce.
Therefore, realizing this very well, the Chinese, for the most part, follow the well-trodden path of copying European design. Here they have succeeded enough and are on an equal footing with Europe. Fendi and Bentley brands, now popular in China for interior design, were copied by them with imperceptible difference from the original.
Mentally, the Chinese are still closer to their national culture. That is why the market offers a lot of furniture and decor with distinctly Chinese motifs and Chinese chic. They are still very beautiful things. Copying European models is more of a tribute to fashion and self-affirmation in society. However, China is leading in Asian design without a doubt and the future of China is to create luxury national brands for sure.
Sooner or later, this will happen and it will take over the dominant position. Their national Silk Road program aims at doing just that: promoting ancient Chinese handicrafts, popularizing their products in the world, creating an image of China as an alternative supplier of luxury goods.
Luxury Home Décor - A Rising Symbol of Luxury
However, if you combine European aesthetics with the capabilities of the Chinese market, the result can be unusual. When I started working in China, I did not understand how the Chinese work. With their production capacity, their craftsmen of the highest level and their centuries-old handicrafts, why was the quality always a little lower than in Europe? I want to say straight away that we are not talking about mass-production, but about luxury goods.
This principle sounded something like this: almost good, almost ready, almost on time. These three "almost" became the cornerstone in changing the mentality and overall culture of production. It took many years to change this mentality.
In order to really get luxury products, and it is undeniably possible to get them, you need a combination of several conditions at once.
The first is the positioning of the factories themselves. It is necessary to understand what target audience they work for.
The second and the most important thing for Europeans is the question of how many owners there are. For Europe it is not so important, but in China it is a fundamental success story. The ideal is only one owner who speaks English. Otherwise, you have to communicate with an export director or just a manager.
With long-term cooperation, this is completely impossible. Personnel in factories change very often, and having established work with one person, when he leaves the company you have to start all over again.
Thirdly, in the luxury business it is required to have aesthetics of the owner. Otherwise, the principle of "almost" is unbearable.
Fourthly, in a factory it is desirable to have a European art director. He is also the main designer, who sets the direction for development of the brand. The Chinese do not accept the Europeans very well, unless they are just their customers.
So, it takes years to get close, to get to know each other, to like each other and to establish a level of mutual trust.
Why am I telling you all this? Because, if you follow these seemingly simple rules, you can get a unique production and it meets the concept of luxury goods.
And then a true renaissance will begin with such partners. This is a rising symbol of luxury. This is the first step towards building a real brand and not just an unnamed product, a copy, even if it is of very good quality.
Luxury Goods. One-stop solution for designers
If we pick a few key manufacturers who meet all the above requirements, we get an incredible concept for building a new business, which will burn the doors of international markets and fundamentally change the profitability of trade customers. This means we are creating direct competition to European manufacturers.
Let's explain the thought process. It only makes sense to produce goods in China under one condition: they have to belong to the luxury category. Otherwise, with the endless growth of costs and the cost of production even in China, mass consumption products become increasingly uncompetitive on the world market. It is no secret that the Chinese are moving more and more production to cheaper regions of Asia, such as Vietnam, where labor costs are still low compared to China.
Luxury goods, despite their rising cost, remain an attractive product in Europe and America: their production cost is incommensurably lower than in Europe. Therein lies the clue.
But are there many factories in China capable of competing with Europe? Not many! But they do exist. As a rule, they are not in full view of the market. They are focused on catering to the elite and are able to do projects on demand. This means we won't even be talking about quantity. It stays there, in the mass market.
To know such factories, you have to spend years working in China. No agent is able to unearth such factories. All Chinese agents work with the mass market. Moreover, you don't just need to know the factories, you need to know the owners personally and have experience working with them. The product in samples and showrooms is one thing, but the product after the order is quite another. Therefore, the level of trust has to be very high. And most importantly, if we want to enter international markets, a European who has worked in the luxury industry for many years must be at the helm.
If we succeed in all this, then we can get an excellent niche in the market and occupy it next to the Italians and the French, who will never be able to compete with us on price. This means that the market opens up a unique opportunity for us to get an army of designers, agents and owners of interior showrooms, for whom products will not just be much cheaper than European ones, but who can get really unique designs. They are simply not on the market. Provided that almost all products have the "bespoke" label, priority will clearly be given to such products. The whole issue is to get the word out about such new products, and about such a concept.
And then, designers will have a unique opportunity for one-stop solutions. Moreover, they will be able to create their own bespoke design and produce it in unique productions at the same time.
Luxury Goods of China. NEW Luxury World
This revolutionary breakthrough has been made. Under the auspices of the Chinese government and as part of the Silk Road concept, we created the Luxury World portal - everything for high-end interiors. Only manufacturers chosen for such a project based on many years of work in China are here. Their quality and exports are controlled by the government. This kind of project is about promoting China's luxury products, creating a new image, the world doesn't know it yet. We are pioneers.
We have chosen all those directions, which will help designers easily work on the interior of any complexity. Moreover, Luxury World promotes an absolutely unique service, which has no analogue in the world.
For the first time in the history of the luxury industry, Luxury World promotes a unique library of interior design ideas, where all products are used. Designers can use ideas for inspiration, or build interiors from ready-made templates.
But that's not all! The cost of interiors in our library is calculated in advance, and the approach to the implementation of projects is beyond the perception of the European consumer. In Asia, our experience in interior design and the design of private villas has come in handy for these purposes, and now we can evaluate interiors, as in China, at the cost of one square meter and not to calculate each item separately. Of course, with bespoke designs, you have to double-check the calculations, but for all the designs in our library, this principle still works.
For Silk Road Luxury, we've compiled the best of what the market has to offer:
- the production of solid wood panels using special technology (like a LEGO constructor) A total collection of more than 120 models designed to satisfy every customer's taste. Entire library of precious wood species will complement the uniqueness of the collection. All styles and trends are present;
- all types of joinery works: from molding, interior doors, inbuilt furniture, to special orders for art objects made of wood;
- production of bespoke furniture by author's sketches;
- marble mosaics and work with stone;
- wood carving;
- unique factory for the production of decorative carpets, which has no analogues in the world.
We continue to work on this approved Silk Road Luxury program, attracting new suppliers, checking their references and reliability in detail. In the future, on Luxury World portal designers will be able to find novelties, which they can hardly buy in Europe at such prices, which are offered directly from the manufacturers.