Copyright, Social Network Markets and the Business of Culture in a Digital Age
Chapter 5: Fashion and Consumer Entrepreneurs
5. Fashion and consumer entrepreneurs ‘I think China’s government has realized that the creative industries are very important for China. China was famous for its cheap labour. But right now several other countries are cheaper than China – like Vietnam and India. What should China do to compete in the future? The answer is that it needs to be more creative.’ Zhu Baixi, creative entrepreneur ‘You have a much better life if you wear impressive clothes.’ Vivienne Westwood The past 30 years have seen China transformed from a land of ‘blue ants’ to a shopper’s paradise. Gleaming malls, fashion boutiques, crowded markets and the internet provide urban consumers with access to a dazzling range of fashionable clothing and accessories. For those hungry for guidance on how to navigate this increasingly complex consumer landscape well, and eager to make the ‘right’ choices about what to wear and how to look good, China’s fashion media is also developing quickly. News-stands brim with international titles such as Vogue and Bazaar, jostling to convince both readers and advertisers of their ability to inform, educate and advise the fashion-conscious about the latest trends, and to explain how astute shoppers might incorporate these trends into their own identity and lifestyle. China’s emergence as the new ‘workshop of the world’ has had a profound impact on the economies of developed nations. The expansion of China’s export manufacturing sector has played a key role in providing the world’s consumers with access to inexpensive consumer products, including clothing, at low...
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