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Mar 29, 2023

Why Shenzhen can emerge as China’s fashion capital

In China, the default first-tier cities are Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong, and Shenzhen. However, it is undoubtedly Beijing and Shanghai that are linked to fashion. Although Guangdong and Shenzhen have many fashion brands, factories and wholesale markets, they have seemed to lack the conditions to be called fashion capitals for a long time. But what about today? Things have been changing, especially for Shenzhen.


Shenzhen has transformed itself from a small fishing village into a global economic powerhouse in just over 40 years

Shenzhen is a relatively new city with only 43 years of history. Compared to Beijing and Shanghai, the cultural heritage is not so deep, while technology, the Internet, and finance are the city’s economic mainstays. The local fashion consumption power and economic volume cannot be fully proportional. Moreover, “mainstream fashion media outlets are more often based in Beijing and Shanghai, which skews industry interest in favour of those cities,” as Vogue Business reported. For example, Beijing has gathered a large number of mainstream media, and Shanghai has attracted many fashion groups and well-known brands to work here for its international reach and economic and financial consulting. The mainstream fashion media and prominent fashion groups have great power in the fashion industry.

However, this article is not to analyse the advantages and disadvantages of Shenzhen’s fashion industry but to objectively present the current development of the city’s fashion industry. 

A spring-summer 2023 look from ELLASSAY, a Chinese luxury fashion brand founded in 1996 in Shenzhen

A spring-summer 2023 look from Ellassay, a Chinese luxury fashion brand founded in 1996 in Shenzhen

The Shenzhen fashion style is mainly high-street, delicate, urban, and for adult women over 28. As for clothing brands, Shenzhen is not short of large-scale clothing companies. For example, the high-end womenswear companies Ellassay, Marisfrolg, Yinger, and Eeka are China’s top womenswear fashion groups. 

Looks by Yinier, a brand in the YINGER FASHION GROUP portfolio

Looks by Yinier, a brand in the Yinger Fashion Group portfolio

Many fashion brands and factories have been established in the Dalang Fashion Town of Longhua, Shenzhen. The Shenzhen Fashion Industry Development Plan (2021-2025), issued by Shenzhen, formally lists the modern fashion industry as one of the vital industrial clusters of Shenzhen’s “20+8”. There is a clear preferential rent policy for clothing brands to settle in the Dalang Fashion Town, attracting many companies, such as the above-mentioned Yinger and Marisfrolg, and several other fashion companies. Some original and independent designer brands also set up their studios in Dalang.

As the core brand of the Marisfrolg Fashion Group, Marisfrolg adopts a pure and elegant design in all its collections, as shown by this spring-summer 2022 campaign

As the core brand of the Marisfrolg Fashion Group, Marisfrolg adopts a pure and elegant design in all its collections, as shown by this spring-summer 2022 campaign

Regarding Shenzhen’s fashion development industry, we have to mention the brands from Shenzhen Nanyou Wholesale Market. Nanyou Wholesale Market, located in Nanshan District, is where many physical stores and buyers come to place orders. Nanyou Garment Wholesale Market is mainly positioned in a medium-to-high quality and high price range. In recent years, the Shenzhen government has also been encouraging and supporting the development of original-design fashion brands. Some original brands with clear styles have also emerged, such as new Chinese styles and streetwear trends.

Shenzhen Fashion Week

The latest Shenzhen Fashion Week

Fashion brands, original design brands, and wholesale markets have contributed to the development of Shenzhen’s fashion industry and provided many career opportunities, attracting creative talent to Shenzhen. In recent years, Shenzhen Fashion Week has also been held regularly every year. Compared to the first two years, there has been significant progress and improvement in the number and quality of participating brands. 

In terms of political support in the past five years, the Shenzhen government still hopes to develop the clothing industry. Maybe we just need to give some tolerance and time. There will be a quantum leap in the next ten years.



He Jialu
Tutor for the Undergraduate Fashion Design course, Shenzhen
undergraduate-Undergraduate Progression · Training