China/Asia Sourcing agent

Discussion in 'International Business' started by Andy Hughes, Apr 30, 2019.

  1. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    197 27
    Lol you mean the women's magazine article you found from 7 years ago.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    There are many articles . . . . . .

    "Balenciaga’s foundation is rooted in luxury. The Paris-based brand’s founder, the late Cristóbal Balenciaga, or who Mr. Christian Dior called "the master of us all,” put his eponymous label on the map thanks to his precise tailoring and technical mastery. One of most influential couturiers of the 20th century, he continues to be revered as “the supreme deity of the Paris salons more than 40 years after his death,” and the house that he built, the source of luxury goods rivaling those of the other well-established French houses that show b-annual couture collections.

    Fast forward to 2018, though, and things look a bit different. You need not look further than the tags that adorn some of Balenciaga’s products as of late. One of its buzziest products – the Triple S sneaker, which was initially produced in Italy – is now being made in China.

    As documented by Business Korea, until a few months ago, the sneaker bore “a ‘Made in Italy’ mark on its insole, but those currently available have a ‘Made in China’ mark inside the tongue.” The Seoul-based publication aptly notes that Balenciaga is not alone in re-locating at least some of its manufacturing out of the confines of Italy and France to lower-cost centers, including China but also Eastern European countries, such as Romania.

    While the manufacturing source of the shoes has changed, the price tag has not, and some consumers are conflicted, in part because despite any of the sizable cost saving benefits that brands garner from shifting production to lower cost hubs, many luxury brands continue to mark up their goods, at least in part to bolster their luxury image.

    A Larger Trend
    Balenciaga is not alone. In fact, compared to the practices of other brands – many of which have opted to keep such information out of the spotlight (due to the enduring perception that items made in China and other many Eastern European countries are of lower quality than those produced in France and Italy), in some cases by swapping “Made in China” tags for more luxury-oriented “Made in France” or “Made in Italy” alternatives – Balenciaga appears to be one of the more forthcoming in its labeling.

    The news of Balenciaga’s seeming bait-and-switch comes after a much more controversial occurrence involving Louis Vuitton, which, according to a June 2017 report, makes all but the soles of its footwear in "well-kept secret [factories], their identity closely guarded" in Transylvania, Romania before they are "finished" in Italy and France, where “Made in Italy” or “Made in France” tags are affixed.

    This may be perfectly legal because the country of origin according to the European Union’s rules of origin is where the final production process is carried out, but according to the Guardian, it tends to conflict with the brand’s boasting of its Italian footwear workshops, which embody “ancestral savoir-faire” in a region “revered for its fine shoe craftsmanship."

    Right around the same time, a French broadcasting station reported that Prada and Gucci are producing shoes in the same way. Gucci has produced some sneakers in Serbia since 2004 and Prada is producing shoe tops in Slovenia. In addition, Prada, Burberry, Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu and so on are producing products in China. About 20 percent of Prada bags, clothes and shoes are manufactured in China.

    Still yet, Gucci, Balenciaga, and Saint Laurent’s parent company Kering came under fire this part summer when specialty eyewear retailer Selima Optique filed suit against it, alleging that it employs a “bait-and-switch scheme” by “deliberately and falsely represent[ing] that their eyeglasses and sunglasses are ‘Made in Italy,’” when “in truth, their products, or substantially all parts of their products, are made in China, and (at best) shipped to Italy for final assembly and packaging, and then exported.” Kering vehemently denied the allegations from the outset and the parties managed to settle their differences out of court by the end of the year with Selima Optique voluntarily dismissing its complaint with prejudice.

    In connection with the case, Kering was adamant that its “luxury products are indeed manufactured and distributed in compliance with all ‘Made In’ laws.”

    Prada, on the other hand, seems to be far less concerned. As Miuccia Prada – some of whose own label's garments and accessories bear tags that read "Made in Romania" or India or China or Peru – announced several years ago, it does not matter where things are made anymore. Or in her exact words, "'Made in Italy'? Who cares? You have to embrace the world if you want to live now.”

    Similarly, as Cathy Horyn wrote for the New York Times in September 2009, this is not a wildly uncommon practice: "Today, despite 'Made in Italy' promotions, a lot of manufacturing is done outside Italy — in China, Romania and dozens of other countries." And Luigi Maramotti, the chief executive of MaxMara, echoed this notion, saying, “It’s not a scandal if in 10 years clothes are made somewhere else — if we know how to do it.”

    As for whether consumers will warm up to the idea of luxury goods being made outside of the world’s traditional luxury manufacturing capitals is another matter.

    Your best bet is to go to Dongguan and visit the shoe factories there as well as the denim factories. You will then see with your own eyes, what is being produced and for whom.

    Most brands will not want to 'advertise' they are manufacturing in China, but they do.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    Another article for your album . . . .

    The new meaning of made in China

    In the glamorous world of fashion, there is nothing like the 's' word (whisper it: sweatshop) to generate bad press.

    It's a widely held misconception that the period just after a catwalk show is a good time for designers such as New York City's Alexander Wang to pop off on holiday.

    In fact, the catwalk presentation and time leading up to it is just the tip of the iceberg. What comes next - the all-important business of sales, manufacturing and distributing the collection - is the busiest time of all.

    Even getting a great write up, as Wang did for his most recent collection, won't guarantee an order from Bergdorf Goodman, Harvey Nichols or Boutique1. First, they must be confident the designer's production and manufacturing base is sourced and ready to spring into action, so it cannot only deliver on time but to an impeccable standard.

    This might sound easy but it isn't. Failure to sort out manufacturing is the most common stumbling block for designers. This is the reason Stella McCartney works in cohesion with the clothing giant that part-owns her brand, Gucci.

    Gucci pays her a wage and lets her get on with the creative side of things, leaving the firm to look after what can be the nightmare of manufacture. Italy's Aeffe group, which owns Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier and Pollini shoes, has a similar set up.

    Get manufacturing wrong and a lot more can suffer besides profit margins.

    Pity poor Wang, who should be sitting somewhere with his feet up on a desk counting wads of dollar notes, not defending a US$450 million (Dh1.7bn) lawsuit triggered by a 56-year-old former employee who claims he worked 16-hour days in a windowless room in Manhattan's Chinatown producing Wang's clothes - an allegation the designer fiercely denies.

    In the glamorous world of fashion, there is nothing like the "s" word (whisper it, "sweatshop") to generate bad press.

    If only Wang had done the sensible thing and sorted his fashion from the Chinese takeaway, as in mainland China, as most leading international fashion brands, including French and Italian stalwarts, have done for well over a decade.

    Why China? Initially, price and a (vast) workforce, and more recently, because China has evolved into a centre of excellence when it comes to quality of workmanship.

    The Chinese are masters at copying. What's more, having been taught the creed of Confucius since kindergarten (to know their place in society, not to rebel, to work hard, etc), once taught, by nature of their culture, Chinese workers are perfectionists.

    Recently, designers have been forced to bring manufacturing "back home" because new laws on Chinese imports - costs of raw materials and fuel, which affect deliveries - are racking up prices in China.

    While it may not be factual to claim sweatshops haven't been entirely outlawed in China, many factories producing A-list designer clothes here can put those in the rest of the world to shame.

    Throughout the 1990s my sister, who develops hi-tech textiles for sports brands such as Nike, fell into a role of sourcing factories for clients who were not just hot on quality control, but wanted to ensure their factories were exemplary.

    I can remember her telling me about Ralph Lauren's factory in China, which ensured water used on dye plants (the textile industry is a notorious pollutant) ran crystal clear into the local supply, and the factory making Liz Hurley's swimwear range in India supplied an onsite school for the workers' children.

    Just a whiff of scandal regarding sweatshops can ruin a superbrand's reputation. In contrast, a sustainable manufacturing plant can become a handy PR tool for the label.

    During the recent Paris Fashion Week there appeared to be yet another shift in what "made in China" means.

    Huishan Zhang (who has worked for Dior) and Marsha Ma (who sells to Spiga 2 in Milan, Harvey Nichols in Hong Kong and Istanbul and who appeared on the official PFW schedule) who both studied at Central St Martins in London, generated column inches of press.

    "Ultimately, China is where I want to make it big," Zhang told the American industry news-paper, WWD.

    Of course he does. But he'll have to push Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton out of the way first. And this is an intriguing thought.

    There is an increasing number of Chinese high-fashion magazines and they are using Chinese stylists, designers and models over western counterparts.

    Meanwhile, the Chinese continue to make their presence felt on the international scene. The model Liu Wen clocked up 53 shows during the autumn/winter 2012 season. The Chinese actresses Zhu Zhu and Zhou Xun, who will both star in the Hollywood blockbuster Cloud Atlas out early next year, sat front row at Dior and Chanel.

    What if the Chinese middle classes, who have already shown an insatiable appetite for luxury fashion, shift their allegiance from western to home-grown talent?

    With the world's premier manufacturing plants in their own backyard, China could even become the next fashion hotspot.

    From: Julia Robson is a London-based fashion journalist
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    It's common knowledge, for those in the industry, that most of the international brands have their goods made in China.

    I am not suggesting that China is the only source of manufacturing, far from it. But for a large factory (2,000 - 10,000) workers, they are highly skilled, vastly experienced, cutting edge machinery, very well organized, punctual delivery dates and have all the components on their doorstep.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  5. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    197 27
    All likelihood they are producing IN China for the local market. Fully understand that but to try and pretend that businesses are not able to produce elsewhere competitively is complete rubbish and only someone with skin in the game will be fooling themself otherwise. (2018)

    China was never about quality it was cost that drove hoards of companies to shift production. Take the cost out of it, which it now is and the market is now wide open for other SEA countries to take business from China.

    All I ask is look at your labels. Made in China will not score high on footwear or clothing if the clothes were purchased in the western world.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    You miss the point entirely.

    The vast majority of designer goods made in China, are 'finished' in Italy, France etc by adding a fitting, or tags which legally allows them to say they are Made in Italy, France etc.

    If you really think that China only makes international brands for the Chinese, then you need to open your eyes.

    To be frank the factories that international brands deal with and the factories you may frequent and buy from are on opposite ends of the spectrum.

    What you see in the counterfeit markets in HK, GZ or Bangkok, is not what China factories are about.

    There is a huge shift to cutting edge technology, with robots and robotics being installed in many factories.

    When you are next in China, I'll be happy to show you around, You'll then see a different world to what you maybe used to.

    I'll even buy you a drink!
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  7. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    197 27
    I do not miss the point sir. You missed the point and the only reason you keep on missing the point is your vested interest.

    1. You have just learned some new information as a result of the article I posted.

    2. You are now using that new Information to to enforce your argument in a different way

    3. The whole discussion can be countered with 1 simple check of one's labels.

    China is not a go to market place to manufacture quality shoes or clothes. More often than not China will produce for brands but said goods are normally sold to less economically developed destinations.

    I appreciate some brands may make specific products from their range in order to engage different consumers and some processes can be made in China and adjusted elsewhere.

    My point stands. Check ones labels for the answer or just keep crying, in your beer I'm guessing.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2019
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    You make me laugh!

    You're like a dog with a bone. When you have spent time in China , like I have and see what's going on, it will open your eyes.

    I don't doubt that Vietnam, Cambodia & Thailand manufacture clothing and shoes, but this is not at the expense of China. The large sports brands always look for countries with preferential trade with the US, as well as screwing the new 'kids on the block' to cheaper prices.

    Trust me when I say that if you visit Putian, you will see many factories producing trainers for most of the large brands. I would estimate 70% of brands have their trainers made in Putian.

    How do I know? I visit them as well as having connections there. One of my managers comes from Putian and has family working in these factories.

    My offer of a drink still stands, but just one as I think you will talk me dry under the table!
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  9. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    197 27
    Vietnam produce 36% of Nikes footwear.
    China also produce 36% of Nikes footwear.

    This is a sports brand btw.

    The Vietnamese made product is primarily built for the western markets and a small percentage of China's production goes to the west. China's 36% is built based on a lower cost to ensure they can be competitive in more economically challenged markets.

    The quality is lower as are the costs.

    You don't need to visit factories to understand what's going on. You just need to visit a few shops between London and penang "as I have" and it becomes very clear that Cheaper Chinese product is built primarily for the East.

    I have 5 pairs of Adidas in front of me right now.

    4 pairs purchased from UK
    1 pair purchased in bkk

    Do I need to divulge the result, by now it should be painfully obvious.

    I'm currently 800km away from Vietnam, maybe we should meet up there and I'll buy you a coffee and you will wake up and realise Vietnam is probably like China was 30 years ago, so you know that means it's going to go turbo.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    Given your close proximity to Vietnam and your frequent trips to that part of SE Asia, can I say you have a vested interest in promoting products from these countries, as you suggest I do, as I have China in my name?

    Answer? - No

    As I have stated many times during this thread, that the large sports brands looked to Vietnam & Cambodia (and now Myanmar) to fulfill new orders, reducing their costs, have better control over the factories (as they are joint owned), as well as for better preferential Duty rates to their countries.

    Your assertion that Vietnamese goods are sent to the West only and Chinese goods are for China and 'Less developed countries" is nonsense.

    Btw - thanks for letting me know that Nike is a sports brand. I would never have known.

    We have sidetracked from the point of this thread.

    Can I ask (apart from your 5 pairs of Adidas trainers), what volume you buy of branded goods (Sports or other brands) from either China or Cambodia/Thailand/Vietnam ?

    I send over to UK, Europe & USA, approximately 20 - 40 containers per month.

    Perhaps your views are coming from a retailer's perspective, where mine is coming from a manufacturing perspective.

    Thanks for the coffee offer, When I'm next in Vietnam, I'll take you up on your offer.

    Lets agree, that from each other's perspective, there are legitimate arguments to both sides.

    To dismiss China as the main manufacturing hub of the world for consumer products, is like saying Black is White.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  11. Ray272

    Ray272 UKBF Regular Free Member

    197 27

    I am very interested in Vietnam but only due to the opportunity that is very clear.

    The fact is all other SEA countries have the chance to take market share from China and China has a downturn of 15% in garment manufacturing in the last year and will experience another 15% decrease next year.

    So if you are such an expert in this sector how cone you have not volunteered these facts already.

    I trust you will read a great source below and maybe consider getting a myofficeinhanoi moniker to account for the loss of enquiries.

    Toodle loo old chap.
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: Ray272 Member since: Jul 5, 2017

    MY OFFICE IN CHINA UKBF Big Shot Full Member

    4,431 897
    For the past 5 years my main category has been technology.

    I have very good relationships with factories in many categories as I frequent all the shows, including clothing, furniture and technology, which is the fastest growing sector in China.

    If I 'volunteered' facts, I could write a book, but what's the point, you only see things through your own purchases and your requirements. I do not retail, nor buy in small quantities for my customers. The minimum order quantity is generally 2000 - 3000 pcs of a product, which is what China factories are geared up for. Smaller quantities are catered for by tiny factories/sweatshops, and neighboring SE Asian countries to fill the gap that China has left as they move more upmarket in their quality and products they manufacture.

    We can discuss when we meet.

    Have a good night!
    Posted: Jun 21, 2019 By: MY OFFICE IN CHINA Member since: Nov 16, 2011
  13. Brilliant_Trading

    Brilliant_Trading UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 2
    Hello Andy ,

    Have you found any manufacturer for the beach footwear ?

    Posted: Aug 21, 2019 By: Brilliant_Trading Member since: Aug 19, 2019