CKGSB Knowledge Authors

“New luxury” and the rise of a Chinese luxury clothing brand

March 11, 2012

Mao Jihong, founder and president of Mixmind Art & Design Co., Ltd., is known internationally for establishing the first and most successful Chinese luxury brand Exception de Mixmind.

Mao’s success stems from his engagement with Chinese culture, and his persistence in establishing an authentic value and aesthetic system that is original yet with international appeal.

In 2005, Mao started promoting an idea of “new luxury” as the core of his fashion philosophy, after noticing Chinese consumer trends veer towards expensive logo-driven brands, rather than quality products.

Mao’s “new luxury” concept focuses on the ecological and humanistic perspectives of fashion. The brand’s emphasis on quality texture is shown in its use of environmentally conscious fabrics, such as cotton, linen, silk, and wool. Wuyong, the sister brand of Exception, focuses on using traditional manufacturing techniques such as spinning, weaving, dyeing and sewing to produce its clothing.

In 2006, Mao was invited to bring his ten years of fashion achievements to Paris Fashion Week. Displaying sculptures and various pieces of art expressing an anti-consumerist slant, Wuyong’s first foray into the international fashion arena established itself as a brand with a cohesive aesthetic.

Faced with the opportunity to open a flagship store in Paris, Mao wanted his brand to establish itself first in the Chinese market. Compared to some international brands that first produce high-end lines and then medium- or low-end lines to target different demographics, Exception established a luxury audience base in China first.

Now that Exception de Mixmind faces competition in the Chinese market from international luxury brands, Mao is embracing the challenge. Mao is convinced that wherever the battlefield is, the most important thing is to engage in a global vision and maintain consistent brand creativity.

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