Founded in 1993, Chinese media group Trends started with one magazine. They’re now the publisher of 18 mainstream fashion magazines and are one of the biggest fashion media publishers in China, including titles such as Cosmopolitan, Esquire and BAZAAR under license from their copyright owners.
But according to President Liu Jiang, fashion these days is less about the media and more about the lifestyle itself, which is where tech comes in.
“I worked in the fashion industry for 22 years and my view has changed a lot. When people say fashion, people think about cosmetic and beauty products. But now I think fashion is a way to treat life, an attitude,” he said in a fireside chat at TechCrunch Shanghai 2015.
According to Jiang, tech has been a vital element fashion’s reformation from clothes and cosmetics to an all encompassing lifestyle.
“We started to work with technology long ago. Traditional industry can benefit greatly when combined with technology and I believe this will bring in further development for fashion industry,” Liu said.
From 2011, the media started its digital platform by launched iPad products. Through business extensions in film, theater, broadcast, it set up a TV production company to make fashion-based programs, and is also moving into the fashion education sector.
“Creating cross-discipline was challenging for traditional business”, he recalled. However, the company kept on embracing the innovative trends to diversify from print business.
“In a global context, in 2012 total media strategy started to eye mobile and started to provide mobile contents. Innovating with new technology trends helped create tremendous growth with ten millions of consumers, it was amazing to see how it creates an ecosystem on mobile.”
Jiang’s tech expansion didn’t stop within the walls of his own media house, he soon started investing in startups. He invested in Chengdu-based MCI, which does mobile digital publishing and ad solutions, yoka.com, a fashion website targeted at high-end users, and Monogram, which offers one-stop fashion consulting and buying services.
“By embracing technology, we want to combine fashion and service. UX is important in that regard. We are looking for promising startups with a diversified perspective,” Jiang noted.
Fashion is now one of the areas that came into tech society with wearables. It needs both a fashionable approach and a technological approach.
“I’m sure if hardware and smart device developers put much more importance on design, it will add to the value to the service,” said Jiang.
Image Source: Techcrunch Shanghai