Beijing Fashion Week reminds us that today’s Chinese designers are very much in demand, both at home as well as all over the world, notably the West, where they are being increasingly recognised by both American and European fashion houses as being totally ‘on-trend’ and pointing the way forward for the rest of the fashion industry.
The exhibitors at this month’s Beijing Fashion Week are going to be showing everything from the high-end of the market, right down to everyday streetwear, including the most highly accelerating sector, which is children's clothing.
With China's new prosperity there comes a great demand for designer children's clothing, not only aimed at the domestic market, but of a quality high enough to attack the entire global market. One of the great market leaders within the industry is the Pine Crane Tai Company, better known as PacLantic Co Ltd which specialises in children's and infant's clothing, shoes and accessories.
Their products are specifically designed for children from ages 0 to 14…..and their designs are very much in demand. Consequently, they enjoy a world-wide market and distribute to Eastern Europe, North America as well as Central and South America.
The company is well-established, having been formed in 1994 and consistently present in the top three companies in its sector, ranked by market share. In fact, usually it is firmly embedded at number one.
The reason I’m highlighting Paclantic is because of its ethos, mission statement and simply the way it goes about its business. As you might expect, it is extremely information technology-intensive, but its very modern approach is linked to an exceptionally high level of creativity. Couple this to its unparalleled management and you will be not surprised to hear that it has obtained its ISO9001 quality certification as it moves from strength-to-strength.
The entire company’s ethos not only exemplifies the modern Chinese attitude to business, but there is also what we call a ‘soft edge’ which has become of paramount importance in recent years.
‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ is one of those management buzz phrases that you hear in high-level executive meetings with maybe a paragraph or two on the annual report and accounts. Paclantic is different in that it practices what it preaches.
Because the company designs and produces children's clothing, it has decided to make a mark among a disenfranchised and often forgotten group of children through the medium of creative art. The children are encouraged to practice within company sponsored specialist rehabilitation centres, which Paclantic is using as a source of both inspiration and actual design for some of its products.
Let me give you an example :
Bon Cloud Bon Cloud is a Bejing based international video content producer and distributor. It has worked with Beijing Fashion Week and exhibitor fashion brand Paclantic, to produce a CSR story featuring design inspiration from austistic children. This is a perfect combination of art and autism, art with CSR.
Their client Paclantic asked them to visit the Golden Wings Art Rehabilitation Centre for Disabled Children which they sponsor.
There they spoke to Jia Jing, who is the mother of one of the pupils. His name is Kang Rui and he is quite severely autistic, but like many autistic children, enjoys an art form of one sort or another. He enjoys painting and has been painting since the age of five.
He is now 17 and a regular attendee at the Golden Wings Centre and his progress has been nothing short of remarkable and he can now not only create beautiful art, but through his painting he's also learning to express himself to others.
His mother takes up the story by saying that at one time he had hardly any friends because he did not know how to communicate. Today, his communication medium is the humble paintbrush and the change in his character and demenour has been nothing short of miraculous.
His designs will be incorporated in the Paclantic exhibition at the Beijing Fashion Week.
THAT is real CSR in action!
Golden Wings founder Zhang Junru was interviewed at the Paclantic-sponsored, beautifully designed, open-planned and very well equipped rehabilitation centre. She confirmed that she is fully aware that children can learn through the creative arts about both language and socialising. She knows that for autistic children those can be major obstacles.
She continued by suggesting that what makes art such a useful and powerful vehicle is that it does not require language because a child's energy and love are distilled and captured forever in the art that they create - and so the bridge between autistic children and the rest of the world through art is completed.
Zhang Junru then produced an environmentally-friendly bag which was printed with Kang Rui's work. It was called 'Warmth' and the heart-warming emotion from Kang painted into the work was amazing.
Kang's mother Jia Jing took up the story by saying that she would like to see many more platforms which create a link between an autistic child, his or her art and the outside world - something which Paclantic's founder and CEO Michael Luo confirms that the company is only too pleased to showcase, adding that he feels very happy about the fact that he knows that this straight-from-the-heart work will touch many people.
Finally, it is evident in both Jia Jing's face and words that she is so proud not only of her son, but of Paclantic and the platform they have created, which is helping so many children not only to fulfil themselves, but confirms that they are appreciated and recognised by society.
You will find the video of the Bon Cloud visit to the Golden Wings Centre HERE.
So there you have it, a top up-to-date fashion house designing top of the range children's clothing, perhaps showing not only other companies but us too the importance of genuine integration into society by adding value not only to themselves, but to the children which it supports.
It is reassuring to know that Beijing Fashion Week has depths which we had no idea existed until we spoke to Paclantic and its revolutionary initiative.