DESIGN MAG VOL 3: Trends China

Sustainability, personal care for body and mind, the wish to be able to enjoy one’s own time, the aspiration for more social interaction and personalised objects as a way to express status are some of the current trends among Chinese consumers in the post- pandemic era.

LIVE- STREAMING




Booming in 2020 with the pandemic, this phenomenon seems destined to remain, at least for the time being, as a relevant feature in the digital landscape. Driven by the online shopping event “Singles Day” by Alibaba in a dedicated section, Taobao Live, and held every November 11, the trend has grown during the pandemic thanks to the rise of so-called KOL (key opinion leaders, or influencers). The estimate is that in 2023 the livestreams will be able to move approximately 730 billion dollars of gross value in goods.

THE RITUAL... OF COFFEE



The desire to relax and enjoy one’s free time in a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere fostered the growing popularity of coffee. It is enjoyed and served in different forms depending on the age group: slow and refined in sophisticated and elegant boutiques by the X generation, while the American version, revised and redesigned in a glocal way, is appreciated by the younger generations.

THERE IS A WORLD ELSEWHERE

The reopening of borders marked the resumption of international travel, tough its purpose has now changed: people travel not only to visit different cities and places of interest, but mostly to live new experiences, in particular communing with nature. Travel modes have evolved, too, and less time is dedicated to long term planning in favour of last minute organisation, without a precise itinerary in mind and in the company of friends.


NO GREENWASHING THANKS, ONLY REAL DEAL GREEN



The growing focus on sustainability and personal care, physical and mental, led to the strong rejection of any deceptive practice or strategy that might ultimately harm the environment or simply does not ensure maximum transparency. The utmost attention is paid to safe products made with natural ingredients. In particular, organic and sustainable ingredients are crucial in personal care products.

FOCUS ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING


The pandemic made people more aware of the value of health. This increased awareness translated into a greater propensity to purchase healthcare products and services. There is a notable increase in the demand for health insurance policies, medical services and wellbeing products, from sports equipmen to nutraceuticals reinforcing one’s immune system.

BESPOKE FURNITURE



Functional needs and optimisation of spaces, but above all the evolution of the concept of home, increasingly intended as a means to express one’s personality, ensure that there is a growing demand for custom, made-to-measure furniture items.

A FASCINATION FOR ADVENTURE AND OUTDOOR LIVING


The increasing attention for health and wellbeing and the desire for social interaction after the period of isolation due to the prolonged lockdown made for a sudden collective passion for sports and outdoor activities. The Winter Olympics in Beijing and the popularity of Team China skier and Free Ski Big Air gold medalist Eileen Gu contributed to glamourise the sport, which joined other outdoor activities such a trekking and camping, including its luxury version “glamping”, practised all year round, as part of China’s new recreation favourites.

I LOVE NATIONAL BRANDS



Consumers’ preference for local brands is still strong and continue to be perceived as better and more technologically innovative than foreign brands.

INSPIRED BY NATURE

Furniture materials, colours and shapes are inspired by the natural world, in the name of sustainability and environment protection, but above all for their ability to convey a relaxed atmosphere. A trend that merges with the 蘑菇状装饰 (Mógū zhuàngazhuāngshì) fad, literally ‘Furniture shaped/ inspired by mushrooms’ because it is believed that the colours and shapes of mushrooms, declined in the upholstering, lighting and ornaments, have a great soothing effect.


MAKE WAY FOR THE NEW, VIRTUAL WEB-CELEBS!


It is estimated that in 2025 they will generate a turnover of 6.7 billion dollars compared to 870 million in 2021. They are the virtual influencers, the new celebrities entirely generated by artificial intelligence. They can autonomously live- stream, parade on the catwalk and pose next to products, especially in the fashion world. Their fan base is not as large as that of human influencers yet, but the popularity of these avatars is growing day by day.

LET’S CONSUME, SUSTAINABLY

The issue of environmental sustainability is gaining growing attention and has a direct impact on consumption, in particular for younger generations, who are sensitive to the theme due to increased access to national education and sustainability- related content proposed by online KOL (Key Opinion Leaders).

ECLECTICISM VS MINIMALIST LUXURY



An apparent paradox stands at the heart of Chinese homes: their peculiar eclectic style, in which Eastern and Western elements, the ancient and the modern, blend together in the name of extreme customisation against the refined, minimalist backdrop of neutral and natural colours.

THE METAVERSE, CHINESE EDITION



This year’s major investments in artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 6G technologies could set China as the metaverse’s main hub. This is facilitated by consumers’ particular interest in gaming

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