#Aの83. What’s The Key for Independent Asian Fashion Brands To Work To Survive In The Niche Market?

Writing by Avantelier, Photo|proofreading by CHERNG DESIGN team

Avantelier is a sustainable fashion platform that focuses on bringing sustainability forward in the fashion industry. We are a growing platform that highlights green fashion brands based in Asia, as well as topics around trending issues of fashion, innovative tech and global talent. In March and April, we are very honoured to collaborate on the “International Women’s Day” project with female sustainable designers and various professionals. We received a good response from our viewers. Therefore, in May, we are going to explore the male perspective on sustainable fashion and their experiences of working in the fashion industry.

The designer and the founder of CHERNG DESIGN, Li Chenghan, education was based on fine art: Painting, which guides his garment design development uniquely. During the interview, we felt we were talking with an artistic and responsible designer, not a businessman. The angles of running CHERNG DESIGN are mostly about creation, production development and listening to customers’ needs, not just about making profits. Chenghan is building friendships with his customers. We believe this type of mindset is driving his brand forward.

Inspired by the conversation with Chenghan, we reflect on the current situation of the Taiwanese fashion market. From our perspective on the Taiwanese fashion market, independent designer brands surviving in the fashion market in Taiwan is extremely challenging. How to say so?! The independent brands have to fight one side of fast and cheap outfits from other Asian countries and the other side of well-known overseas brands. With raising awareness and the consequences of climate change, the residents choose quality over quantity. Even so, their purchasing priority is well-known overseas brands. This phenomenon, not a special case, just occurs in Taiwan, it probably occurs in all areas, but we would say it increases the difficulty for local brands to survive. The proportion of independent designer brands in the market will gradually decrease. This imbalance may lead to a tendency for major fashion suppliers to dominate the supply and demand of the market, as well as to lead the global fashion trend, along with the problem of homogenization creation and hybrid creation. Independent brand exists for creating independence and transferring fashion creation diversity to customers.

A brief about CHERNG DESIGN. The two Cs of his brand logo are Confidence and Comfortableness, which are the experience of wearing his collection that he would like to deliver to customers. The brand’s ethos is “Fashion is an Attitude toward Life”. The attitude is filling colours into the city’s scenery. CHERNG DESIGN’s outfits are colouring the cities, no matter where you go, once you wear their garments, you are a part of the city painting. Paintings and drawings are therapy to cure humans’ souls from Chenghan’s perspective. that the atmosphere of the brand can bring people a sense of healing, thus, he defines himself as a therapy-type designer.

CHERNG DESIGN is part of eco-friendly materials usage at present and tends to make outfits using more environmental resources. Until now, Solotex, the fabric that CHERNG DESIGN has always used, is a new type of environmentally friendly yarn developed by Teijin, based in Japan. The eco-friendly feature of the fabric is 37% of the raw materials come from plants to reduce resource consumption. And the fabric has the characteristics of comfortable stretching and memory restoration.

A: What are the biggest challenges for you on the project you have done? How did you solve the issues?

C: The biggest challenges at present are marketing management and promotion. It may also be because the brand has only been running around for three years. The number of people who know CHERNG DESIGN is still accumulating. However, We have received various feedback, plus, the Taiwanese market is relatively conservative for new brands. I and my team think that raising CHERNG DESIGN’s awareness still takes more time. Make consumers fully understand the value differentiation between designer brands and well-known luxury brands.

Sometimes, I stand on the front line to work as a salesman to receive customer feedback and increase interaction with them. Now some of my customers have also transferred to be my friends. They share some ideas with me and encourage our design team from time to time. Appreciate these supporters. On the other hand, standing there, I can also feel the state of mind and the problems faced by the employees. I hope that all employees can look after each other from top to bottom. 

A: What’s your plan for this year? Does the plan (project) relate to sustainability?

C: I had a sketching class at AAU in San Francisco when I was a student ages ago. In the class, everyone sketched their favourite angles of the nude models or just drew their perspective on their styling. I would like to bring this kind of experience to my next event. It aims to guide potential customers to know and understand closely CHERNG DESIGN’s ethos in this way, offering everyone to experience a relaxed state of mind during painting and feel the beauty brought by art.

The background and experience of sketching and art arouse my desire to print images as our ads card, the images will be from our customers’ drawing creations. My collections a year are divided into spring, summer, autumn and winter four seasons. If everything goes smoothly, I aim to present my collections in this way every year and also to have my looks recorded through drawing. I’m not sure if it would be continuous activities, but I think these activities are conducive to the experience and improvement of aesthetic feeling. 

A: Some of our audience are fashion students and young creators, could you please share your mindset with them?

C: While creating, we often need to put ourselves in customers’ or employees’ places. Doing this can help us to maintain a humble attitude. I don’t think this means losing yourself, it’s a way to find the brand’s positioning and find the target market. And then you have to look forward to the moment of your success.

“You have to look forward to the moment of your success”

What’s the key for independent Asian fashion brands to work to survive in the niche market? Brand creative uniqueness and interaction with customers. On the path of fashion creation, you might never feel lonely. But you may feel trapped and alone on the road to developing brand uniqueness. As long as you persist, you will achieve extraordinary results. It also works in any field. Furthermore, building friendships and organising creative interaction with your customers, making them feel they are part of creation, like CHERNG DESIGN is doing. Let’s make the fashion industry more vivid, with less homogenisation creation, but more hybrid creation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Basket