|Photographer Amelia Troubridge|
The Chinese are a potent economic force, made even more influential due to the fact that the 2nd generation wants to spend spend spend! The squirrelling prudency of their parents has been rejected as the fruits of the last 20 years of growth has been handed down to the children of consumer manufacturing giant China. It all started when the British handed back Hong Kong to the Chinese government in 1997.
As the new open market of China gained confidence after the Tianamen square riots, gradually more and more extreme profit hungry companies were seduced by the cheap labour in Chinese textile production. British companies such as Mark and Spencer that had prided itself on making 'at home', eventually weakened and moved production over there. Burberry a then British luxury brand was one of the first to go Chinese ! Today Stella McCartney and most of the top luxury brands are made over there. The irony is that the Chinese textile Baron's off spring want to buy demi couture and there is cache in buying non home 'produced' British fashion brands such as Mulberry, Ozwald Boetang, Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen.
Conspicuous consumption, and 'more is more' two catch phrases of the 80s for the rest of world are now in favour in Asia. The fashion and music of the 1980s is de rigueur again in London and New York as a retro nostagic memory trip for the baby boomers but it is in China that the nouveau riche are living it - It is their time!
The more known a brand the better for the Chinese. The Chinese are savvy investors, whilst their children wear their wealth, their parents are buying up key real estate in top tier property zones in all the key cities in the world, London, Paris, New York and even places like Vancouver ( a short hop over for the Chinese ) are being targeted. Don't under estimate the Chinese, they are shrewd, charming and very focused on world domination. Why else would Boris Johnson want to court them ? London's economy depends on wealthy international visitors.
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