This year’s Kingpins China City Tour was another success. The road show, that saw its fourth edition after being launched in 2016, again toured the cities of Guangzhou (September 4) and Hangzhou (September 6).
“We are very happy with the results. Both events were really well attended,” says Vivian Wang, Kingpins China managing director.
Each city hosted the same 40 exhibitors including Chinese as well as international companies such as Candiani, Foison, Advance, Orta, Calik, Jean Deli, Soorty, Prosperity, Cone, Deyao, Advance and M&J. Their feedback on the show was positive: “While last year’s edition was somewhat slow, this season brought a good number of visitors,” says James Shen of Foison. “We just had the right mix of visitors including representatives of Chinese denim brands as well as the China-based sourcing teams of international companies such as H&M or Bestseller,” adds Kevin Reardon of Cone Denim. “The appreciation for premium denim is certainly there, it just needs more explanation why some qualities are more expensive,” Fahid Jaaouan of Candiani sums up.
Especially some of the Chinese mills and manufacturers see a wider prospect in participating in Kingpins: “We want to become more well-known, especially in Europe. It is about showing that denim from China has really good quality and is far better than some buyers think,” comments Martin Lindsay Sullivan of Authentic Island, based in Guangzhou, the city where China’s jeans industry thrives. Mars of Jean Deli agrees: “The production level is very high, also in terms of sustainability, but so far we have never talked about and promoted that.”
On both days several panels and lectures, among them (trend) speeches by Denim Dudes Panels and Tonello, were presented.
Additionally, the Hangzhou event gave place to a new denim consumer event (“KP2C”), a cozy denim festival, which featured several denim brands and designers, installations, workshops, and indigo-themed entertainment such as bull riding and a square dance performance.
Although the event was never very crowded, some Gen-Zers found their way to the location at HangZhou Creative Design Center C-Box to browse the small booths placed next to the B2B area and buy selvedge jeans by Red Cloud, leather pieces by Obbi Good Label or handmade denim flowers and stuffed animals by Zhangzhen Culture. Not only at Kingpins but also in the streets it is quite obvious that Chinese kids have a rising interest in cool, modern denim looks that has slowly developed in the last decade.
The exact dates and locations for next year’s Kingpins China City Tour have not been unveiled yet.