Fashionable seniors drive market trend in Shaoxing
Two models pose for a photo in Keqiao district, Shaoxing. [Photo/Tide News]
In China, middle-aged and elderly individuals are increasingly prioritizing their personal needs, with clothing emerging as their primary shopping focus following a shift in consumption attitudes.
This surge in fashion-forward seniors has sparked a revolution in the apparel market of Keqiao district, Shaoxing. Strategically positioned at this national textile hub, sellers have been quick to recognize the potential of the burgeoning "silver-haired economy."
At the Caiqin Customization Store in the International Fabric Procurement Center of China Textile City, a constant flow of clients seeks personalized garments. Wang Caiqin, the store's manager, notes a peak in demand for custom attire as the year-end approaches.
"Our orders are overflowing, necessitating daily overtime to meet our customers' expectations for their Chinese New Year's wardrobes," Wang shares.
The entire process, from measurements to finished pieces, spans 7-20 days. However, for silver-haired clients, this attention to detail embodies their pursuit of perfection.
Designers in Keqiao are also capitalizing on this market, crafting fashionable attire tailored specifically for this burgeoning consumer base.
Among them is Leng Qing, a graduate of the esteemed London College of Fashion. Last year, Leng established her own brand, "Wuye". She has released a captivating series of fashion-forward, personalized garments tailored for the middle-aged and elderly.
Drawing inspiration from windmills and the theme of "returning," Leng's designs eschew complexity in favor of harmonious color palettes, selecting bright hues for individual flair while relying on warm tones to define each garment's unique style. Her designs bring out strengths and conceal perceived weaknesses, catering to diverse body types.
"The aging population is an undeniable trend, yet much of the clothing available for seniors is unfairly labeled as 'old age attire,'" said Leng. "Keqiao, as a beacon of fashion in China, recognizes the significant demand for stylish and personalized clothing among middle-aged and elderly demographics."
Official statistics reveal that with nearly 300 million elderly individuals in China, the elderly goods market surged to 5 trillion yuan ($703 billion) in 2023.