Mao Suit is Back!



Old School Chinese Hipsters. Photo: Li Heung Shing

After a six month hiatus Mao Suit is back and celebrating its 100th post. I used the break to broaden my perspective on China well beyond the fashion arena and what stands out is that China’s sphere of influence on the world’s economic, political and social affairs continues to spread unabated.

It’s a privilege to live in Beijing at a time when China’s rise to being a global superpower is playing out before my very eyes. Alongside Washington, Beijing is now the now the most important geopolitical city in the world.  Hardly a week goes by when there isn’t a Head of State, world leader or special envoy in Beijing to pay their respects. The same goes for CEOs of the world’s biggest MNCs and fashion brands and a few hours of sitting in the lobby of Beijing’s Park Hyatt is a sure-fire way of encountering the likes of Tim Cook, Jack Ma or Giorgio Armani as I have.

Its also a curse to live in China when everyday one has the anxiety of choosing which amazing opportunities to pursue and the frustration of knowing that one’s best laid plans will be outdated immediately as the pace of change is simply too fast. These are things all fashion brands and managers have to face as well.

These days all manner of global media outlets, blogs and China consultants are covering the current affairs (including fashion, luxury and consumer business) of China. CNN’s Age of China and the WSJ’s Real Time Report, are just two examples.

With professional journalists and research companies dedicated their full-time expertise to coverage of these issues, I’ve given careful consideration to what additional value Mao Suit can give to its readers in the future. My ultimate goal with Mao Suit is to “help international brands, designers and fashion industry professionals find success in China”, and to do this I plan to:

  • Write ‘How To’s’ on finding success in the Chinese fashion industry
  • Educate readers about the realities of China fashion business and industry
  • Connect the dots and gives insights to how politics, economy and society are inextricably linked and shape the fashion ecosystem in China
  • Aggregate other useful content on the China fashion and related affairs

What differentiates my perspective from others is that I work with global fashion brands on a daily basis and have a proven track record of helping the world’s most iconic brands to expand in China. My Linkedin profile explains how I do this.

What fascinates me is how fashion acts as the perfect window to observe the dramatic transformation of China’s economy, politics and society. Whether it be: Chinese consumers and shopping malls, the biggest spending tourists, boom of e-commerce, crack down on corruption or social media in China, fashion plays a fundamental role in them all.

Living, operating and doing fashion business in China can be a quagmire of confusion and frustration for those not familiar and accustomed to the ways of China. There are real challenges of operating here, yet with the right knowledge and persistence its possible to enjoy great success in China as hundreds of fashion companies are already doing.

The Mao Suit blog aims to help international brands, designers and fashion industry professionals find success in China and welcomes all feedback, comments and questions.

Its exciting to be back and thanks for reading.

Timothy Coghlan


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