“Flaunting the new ‘it’ cultures.”
In 2013, global cultural capital will continue to be overturned just as dynamically as its financial equivalent. One result? Emerging markets will proudly export and even flaunt their national and cultural heritage in the next 12 months. Symbols, lifestyles and traditions that were previously downplayed if not denied, are being brought up to date, to become a source of pride for domestic consumers, and of interest to global consumers.
In case you're not from one of these CELEBRATION NATIONS, then it's probably time to partner with a hot local brand from an emerging market and bring their flavor to your customers. Or, if you’re already active in one of these markets yourself, reread our MADE FOR CHINA (IF NOT BRIC) trend, and start paying respect to local cultures.
China’s first luxury fashion brand NE-TIGER, is renowned for its East-meets-West, ethnically inspired designs. September 2012 saw the company’s founder Zhang Zhifeng give a speech entitled ‘From China, to the World’ before the brand presented its latest haute couture ‘Huafu’ collection in Milan, Italy.
Mumbai-based luxury fashion designer Masaba Gupta’s House of Masaba has reinvented the traditional Indian sarees with quirky, modern motifs and Pop Art prints that are targeted at young female consumers. Released in Spring 2012, her black-and-white camera print saree has been favored by several Indian celebrities, as have her cow- and animal-print versions. Prices range from INR 8,000 to 10,000.
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In April 2012 Studio Tsimáni was invited to join the Destination Mexico initiative at the MoMA Design Store in New York. The studio takes inspiration from traditional Mexican culture to develop contemporary furniture and homeware products that embody the people and identity of the country.
Launched in July 2012, Season Two of tvN’s K-Pop Star Hunt aims to find the next big K-Pop star in Asia. The hunt is being held across eight Asian countries, including South Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Korean music is of course now a global phenomenon, especially after the smash hit 'Gangnam Style' by PSY (even if he pokes fun at many K-Pop staples ;-).
Beauty insiders have long celebrated Korean beauty products, but expect this to grow further in the coming 12 months. Just one example: in October 2012, shoppers at Neiman Marcus stores in San Francisco could purchase the Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo. Noted for its distinctive package design reminiscent of classic Korean pottery, its products feature native Korean botanicals and medicinal herbs, including ginseng and white peony root.
Beauty brand Sol de Janeiro, which celebrates iconic Braziian beach culture, is now being stocked by Sephora in the US. The brand uses traditional local ingredients like green coffee beans (which prevent free radicals from damaging skin cells), and antioxidants from an extract of acai.
Luxury Brazilian fashion house Osklen unveiled its Spring/Summer 2013 collection at New York’s Fashion week for the first time in September 2012. The brand’s founder and creative director said that the style was “Brazilian soul meets Californian dreaming… modern”. Osklen has 62 stores in Brazil, and is available in stores in the US, Japan and Italy, amongst others.