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It's official: Chinese shoppers have overtaken Americans as they world's leading consumers of expensive goods, Bloomberg News reports. The Chinese now account for 25 percent of the luxury market, compared to the US's 20 percent.
Not that we're surprised. Tons of fancy flagship stores have been opening in China lately, and just last week, The Independent noted that Vogue China sells more copies than British, French, Italian, and German Vogue combined. Another indication of the country's growing interest in fashion: China's It-girls have become front row fixtures at all the major fashion shows (that's Zhang Yuqi at Dior, and Zhou Xun at Chanel, above).
So what has sparked China's spending spree? Well, the country's middle class is growing, and so is its population of affluent city dwellers, according to The Harvard Business Review. Plus, there has been a huge surge in the number of Chinese credit card users.
The only snag—those shoppers aren't spending money in China. Because of the comparitively weak euro, the Chinese often go on special trips to Europe to make their luxury purchases.
So, these major fashion brands who have been eyeing expansion in China have a lot of work to do: They have to figure out how to market to Chinese shoppers in China and abroad. Burberry and Diane von Furstenberg are already on Weibo, which is like the Chinese equivalent of Twitter, so that's a start!