Just what the market’s been waiting for: a contemporary collection out of China with artistic links and cross-generational appeal.
Every once in a while a collection comes along that truly shakes things up. Enter Bosideng, an upscale contemporary Chinese brand that’s successful in Europe and Asia and is soon to launch in the States. (A pop-up shop in Rothmans NYC will open in late-January, as will the web launch; the broader retailer rollout is slated for fall…)
Happily, the fall ’14 Bosideng launch is perfectly timed to correspond with new global interest in China’s art and design. Bosideng (the name alludes to water flowing upward rather than down) draws inspiration from its Chinese heritage, but not in a literal sense. “You won’t see dragon-printed silk jackets with mandarin collars,” says branding consultant Marty Staff. “That’s where certain Chinese companies have gone wrong in the past…”
Established by Mr. Gao Dekang in the People’s Republic of China in 1976, Bosideng reports global sales volume of $1.6 billion and more than 10,000 retail outlets. Of equal importance, the company is famous for its social and corporate responsibility programs that focus on environmental conservation, education, public health and welfare, plus cultural and sporting event sponsorships.
With their new U.K.-based head designer, the very talented and charming Amelia Pretious (who, when she’s not working in London, lives on a farm, grows much of her own food and breeds sheep), the collection (incorporating both sportswear and tailored clothing with collaborations for accessories and footwear) looks sensational. Referencing the historical heritage of China and juxtaposing the aesthetics of East and West, Amelia’s been able to fuse two powerful cultures for a very cool look. “I’m delighted to have joined Bosideng at a time when men are expressing themselves more creatively, choosing style and trend over logo and status. Breaking the rules will be key to the future, as will clean contemporary looks.” For fall ’14, these looks include varsity jackets with jersey pants, a jumpsuit worn with a chesterfield quilted topcoat, full peak- lapel dinner suits, liberty-printed shirts, bolero jackets and many other surprises. All fabrics are out of Italy and England; prices are in the $695 to $995 range for suits, $125 to $195 for wovens.
As for marketing, don’t expect the ordinary. Says Staff, “Rather than simply presenting the line at trade shows, we’ll try unexpected things like showcasing a Chinese performance artist…”
Of course they will! It’s the year of the horse, a time of great energy and power.