Interview With ZAFUL: Today Fashion Speaks Chinese


Chinese fashion brand ZAFUL appeared in London Fashion Week, showing the world the rise of Chinese fashion: Leo Wang, Brand Owner of ZAFUL will tell us why


In recent years, Chinese apparel brands have stepped out of the country and appeared in the International Fashion Week. As one of the most representative Chinese apparel brands, ZAFUL has landed in London Fashion Week. As a new face on the international T-stage, what kind of fashion attitude will ZAFUL show? What kind of ambitions and dreams does it carry? What kind of visual impact and trend experience will it bring? Leo Wang will guide us inside ZAFUL.


Mr. Wang, today ZAFUL is getting increasing exposure at the international level. Can you describe the philosophy behind ZAFUL?                                                                                                                                                                                                  

We believe in keeping our feet on the ground and taking every single customer seriously. We believe in developing superior products and base our growth on accumulated strength. 


The cross-border e-commerce market is developing at a fast pace, but there are still big challenges: when did ZAFUL entered Western markets, and how did you choose where to start from?                                                          

We began to enter western market in 2014. Back then, we tested some of the major markets around the globe and picked up the prime countries and regions as our priorities based on market stats and research we did. Since ZAFUL has already been established for 4 years, we know very clearly about our direction and strategy in each country that we focus. Now it is the moment when we can localize our business and refine our products and services.

Has the initial global strategy changed since the first year, to adapt to challenges and different cultures-consumer behavior? Our long-term strategy hasn’t changed much but the minor practices are continuously adjusted to adapt the challenges from global market. The fashion trend, or culture on a wider range, between China and western countries are very different to begin with. To better serve our customers, we need to be able to think and practice in a more cross-cultural context, not only outside but inside the company.   


©ZAFUL, Not only China, the company is already a reality in other countries such as United States.


We noticed ZAFUL Instagram page has an impressive 1.5+ million followers, and you work with many international influencers. What is the right digital marketing Chinese companies should adopt in order to reach these figures?

The key here is to find the right group of audience and get to know them better and better everyday. Live with the audience, and evolve with them. And then we can talk about what they like and what we can provide. Also, there are constant optimization on service and supply chain as well, but the point is to focus on the strength that we have and extend them into the whole development picture.


ZAFUL made a big hit during the London Fashion Week. What was the reaction of the public to a relatively new Chinese brand entering the global stage?                                                                                                                                                            

At the beginning for most brands, the public may hesitate or get confused for a while. “What are those Chinese brands doing here?” They will start to talk about it and get to know more about China and Chinese brands. And one day when they have a try and really place some orders occasionally, they will be very surprised that it won’t cost much to get quality products. And the next stage will be even impressing for them to realize that China is producing more brands with strong personality and originality, which will gradually break the stereotyped understanding of “made in China”.


©ZAFUL, 2018 Halloween sale online at ZAFUL, the company combines a smart marketing strategy in order to attract younger consumers.


Have you been participating to big online shopping festivals? Are performances during a Singles Day comparable to Black Friday or other global shopping festivals in your opinion?                                                                              

Yes. Personally I am very into all kinds of e-commerce festivals. Singles Day is now becoming very influential in China and the scale is close to exceed Black Friday. The big different here is that, Black Friday is a festival that is from the public originally whereas for Singles’ Day, it is a pure marketing campaign at the beginning. You can see the huge potential of consumer market in China and it still exists. 


What is you take on Chinese fashion and design industry today? Do you see Western customers becoming more aware about Chinese brands and designers?                                                                                                                                  

As the younger generation rises and technology progresses, fashion industry in China has never been so prosperous that multiple local brands are expanding to the global market. You can recognize many Chinese brands in fashion weeks in Milan, Paris, London and New York. The design is very modern but the inspiration behind can still come from their Chinese origin. That is a big step for Chinese fashion industry and maybe one of reasons that western customers is becoming more aware of us.

Chinese culture is becoming our advantage in design and the creativity gap between China and western countries is weakening day by day. We do believe that global fashion industry still has huge growth potential and Chinese brands will the VIP players.


©ZAFUL,  poster for 2018 London Fashion Week, ZAFUL was one of the main protagonist of the event.


Based on the evolution of e-commerce and changing consumer behaviour in the market, where do you see the trends moving for innovation in the industry? Do you see “social e-commerce” as one of the main new trends?

I think one of the major innovation trends is the delicacy management of the supply chain. We have put a lot of efforts in selecting superior suppliers and even seeking suppliers to acquire. To upgrade the whole supplier chain, we built up a internal system to manage more effectively and efficiently.

Another trend is to keep upgrading the customer service to adapt to the ever-changing consumer behaviour. We are trying to replace part of our customer service with AI and robots to respond instantly. Now they become really powerful and are able to solve complex problems.  

Social e-commerce is happening already in China and it becomes a lifestyle. It can be seen as one of the trends but not necessary for western countries because of the different social media and the consuming environment. Although we may, more or less, get affected by the trend, the mostly important for us is still to improve the core competitiveness, such as the quality, the design etc. In this way we can gain steady progress and great reputation on the long run.  


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