Modern Hanfu, also known as New style Hanfu, originates from the traditional classical dress style of the Han ethnic group and retains its typical formal characteristics, but innovates by combining it with the diverse wearing situations and fashion aesthetics of the current public. The core features of modern hanfu are: innovation, openness, and contextual diversity.
While retaining the basic forms and aesthetics of ancient hanfu, modern hanfu has gained more and more popular among consumers in recent years by innovating its design to fit modern people's dressing habits and aesthetics, making it an everyday look. With the return of traditional Chinese culture to the mainstream, there are more and more hanfu with new styles. From both the cultural and productive point of view, the future of the new style hanfu industry is very promising.
The basic situation of the modern Hanfu industry
Modernization and daily use will drive the industry further
The market size of the modern hanfu industry in 2021 is 1.4 billion dollars, up 6.4% year-on-year, slowing down relative to the past five years. This is partly because of the decline in the ability and willingness of consumers to purchase due to factors such as the epidemic; on the other hand, the design of modern hanfu needs to further broaden its boundaries to accommodate consumers’ different usages.
Currently, modern hanfu only accounts for 0.8% of the clothing market share. But with design styles and wearing habits more and more getting in line with modern demand aesthetics, the Hanfu industry is expected to become the mainstream type of clothing. When the market size reaches to 100 billion and the penetration rate also reaches about 5.0%, it thus truly becomes part of the lives of people.
The Key to the popularization
In 2021, the size of the modern hanfu industry consumers is 10.21 million, up 14.4% year-on-year. However, due to the epidemic, there have been some restrictions on offline Hanfu-related festivals and consumers’ demand for entertainment has also shifted more to online platforms in recent years, resulting in less rapid growth in consumer size in recent years than in the past.
However, as the influence of the epidemic gradually disappear in the future, as well as the revival of hanfu culture, modern hanfu will become more present in all aspects of society, enter everyone's closet, and gradually become an important category of daily wear for the general public, and consumer growth will re-accelerate.
Major consumer groups
According to the research of iiMedia Group, among the target consumers of modern hanfu, male users account for 25.2% and female users account for 74.8%, with female users accounting for an obvious advantage and being the absolute core group.
In terms of age distribution, the consumer group under 35 years old accounts for 71.4%, of which 18 to 25 years old accounts for nearly 30%, which indicates that the main consumer group of modern hanfu is young people under 35 years old, with huge potential for future consumption increment.
There are many problems that still exist in the modern Hanfu industry chain.
- The embroidery and printing and dyeing processes are very complex. The embroidery process is crucial, and it is especially critical to achieving precision and large quantities of complex embroidery over large areas.
- The production chain is more dependent on highly skilled masters, resulting in long production cycles and high costs for modern hanfu.
- Design capabilities are still lacking, with limited new products and other problems.
In response to these problems, the head brands are actively making efforts to explore and innovate in several key areas such as embroidery, materials, mass production, and standard setting, making positive contributions to the further development of the industry chain of the modern hanfu industry.
External Opportunities for Modern Hanfu Industry Upgrade
Policy support from governments
In order to accelerate the development of its hanfu industry, create the "Hanfu capital of China", and promote the county's high-quality economic development, Xiuwu County, Henan Province, the government from the plant, subsidies, investment, and all kinds of incentives and other aspects to give a full range of preferential policies.
The government of Cao County, Shandong Province, has successfully established the status of hanfu in Cao County through a series of measures such as including Hanfu in the government's work plan and holding the "Hanfu Industry and Digital Countryside Economic Development Symposium".
On September 16, 2021, the Shanghai Hanfu Copyright Center was inaugurated at Donghua University, aiming at strengthening the maintenance of Hanfu copyright, promoting the integration of hanfu resources, and promoting Hanfu innovation.
Hanfu-themed activities in various places
- The 10th Xitang Hanfu Culture Week will be held from October 29 to November 2, 2022, in Xitang, Zhejiang (rescheduled).
- The 4th Yuntai Mountain Hanfu Flower Festival, opened on March 5, 2022, at Yuntai Mountain Scenic Area.
- This spring, Suzhou Panmen Scenic Area and Goose Lake Rose Culture Park in Jiangsu, Qingyan Ancient Town Scenic Area in Guiyang, and Yunbing Mountain Scenic Area in Jiangxi, held events of free entry to the park by wearing hanfu.
- Some elementary school and kindergartens in China, have held hanfu-themed festival activities and experience programs to make hanfu activities a daily occurrence.
Related products are gaining in popularity
In terms of the public's attitude towards traditional Chinese culture, over 90% of people expressed their love and preference for it, indicating that the majority of people have a fairly high sense of identification with traditional culture, with very few having a negative attitude.
Focusing on the public's attitude toward the integration of ethnic cultural goods, 43.7% of consumers expressed their love for related products, and 49.7% would give priority to related products. Among these consumers, 93.4% said they could accept the premium price of ethnic culture-related designs.
Drivers of Modern Hanfu Promotion
Precise positioning of popular demand
According to the research of iiMedia Group, 80.4% of hanfu consumers expressed interest in modern hanfu, of which 36.0% were very interested, while less than 20% did not care or were not interested. This shows that the appeal of the new style of hanfu, which has been redesigned to fit the times, has increased significantly.
Among those interested in modern hanfu, more than 60% said that the main reason for their preference was that it was more in line with current dressing habits and could be worn on more occasions, while more modern aesthetics and styles were also favored by 50% of consumers. This shows that while modern hanfu covers the classic Hanfu wearing scenarios, the main reason why more consumers choose to wear modern hanfu in all scenarios is that it is more in line with modern aesthetics and wearing habits.
In terms of purchasing options, "more wearing scenarios" has the highest percentage of 62.3%, reflecting that consumers expect modern hanfu to provide more comprehensive wearing options so that they can find the right Hanfu style in every scenario; followed by "cost/price range" at 60.5%, indicating that consumers are relatively sensitive to price; in addition, factors such as product design, materials, price/performance ratio, brand, and sales reputation also have a certain influence on consumers.
Overall, the selection logic of modern hanfu is more similar to daily wear nowadays, where practicality comes first.
Mostly purchased online
In recent years, people have become more accustomed to an online based purchasing channel, supplemented by an offline one. Therefore, the percentage of consumers who choose to buy on e-commerce platforms is 78.2%. However, in China, the percentage of consumers who choose to buy from offline stores also reached 52.3%, proving that offline is still important and that physical stores still exist in terms of display, trying on, and brand promotion.
More wearing scenarios
In terms of the main wearing scenarios of modern hanfu, the selection rate is around 50% for typical hanfu wearing scenarios such as festive events and ceremonial occasions; and it is even more prominent in traveling and tourism, shopping and commuting, and performance and photo-taking. Among consumers, 67.0% choose to wear modern hanfu for traveling, 57.5% for daily shopping and commuting, and 51.0% for performance and photo scenarios.
This shows that in the eyes of consumers, modern hanfu is able to adapt to more wearing scenarios, while being able to fit in a variety of scenarios, further widening the boundaries of hanfu scenarios.
Han element for daily
Among the consumer groups of hanfu, female consumers under the age of 35 occupy the main position and are also the core consumers of the han element for daily style, these consumers usually pay attention to dressing and makeup, pursue exquisite beauty, and have a strong interest in traditional culture, handicrafts, and food. A significant portion of the parents group will actively pursue ancient style dressing, and for the sake of parent-child dressing consistency, they will often buy hanfu for their children.
Leading the way with points, breaking through gradually
We should tap into the local items of Hanfu that have modern aesthetics and promote them as key styles with design and publicity resources, so that some of the styles can be transformed into daily wear in the public's closet first, and then further drive the modern hanfu to break through the circle and become an important category of public clothing.
At present, the Mamian Qun has a strong potential to break out of the circle, with a high degree of freedom to combine Chinese and Western elements on the basis of the traditional shape, and long and short styles that allow it to cover a four-season wearing cycle and mix and match with various fashion items such as shirts and casual suits. In addition, the related accessories series also have a strong potential to enter the circle due to their large design space and low entry threshold, which makes it easier to integrate into the mainstream consumer circle.
The popularity of modern hanfu also needs a multi-dimensional promotion program to make the product more visible and enjoyable to the public. In this context, cross-border cooperation will be a shortcut to quickly raise the voice of modern hanfu.
In terms of cross-border cooperation, with museums can maximize the development of the cultural attributes behind hanfu and pay tribute to traditional culture with the beauty of costumes. Apart from that, popular elements, celebrity artists can bring the attention of the fan circle, and artists can enhance the overall tone of the product, all these well designed cross-border cooperation can bring more heat to modern hanfu brands.
Modern Hanfu Industry Trends
More solid industry foundation
Traditional hanfu continues to change with the dynasties. Similarly, modern hanfu has been improved and adjusted based on the characteristics of the times, resulting in a shape that is more in line with contemporary dressing habits, more acceptable aesthetic features, and richer. More practical wearing scenarios, make it the mainstream form of contemporary Hanfu and, in turn, an important branch of contemporary dress.
At this stage, the production of modern hanfu relies more on the supply chain of fashion garments, whose processing technology level is difficult to meet the requirements of hanfu production, resulting in long production cycles. Therefore, the key to further maturing the supply chain and improving production efficiency is to separate the modern hanfu supply chain for specialized and refined production, and to ensure that the highly demanding aspects of embroidery, printing and dyeing are fully controllable.
Continuous advancement of the standardization process
At this stage, a professional and authoritative industry standard will be a key step in the further development of the industry. Therefore, the development of standards in the modern hanfu industry has also entered an accelerated phase.
Currently, there is still a lack of academic research and professional training in the field of hanfu, and even major clothing schools have not set up Hanfu-related majors, which means that Hanfu practitioners often well not experience systematic professional education, which is very unfavorable to the sustainable development of the industry. With the development of standards, systematic professional education must follow, especially related to higher education and vocational education, and only a sufficient amount of high-quality talent input can ensure the continued development of the modern hanfu industry.
In the future, on the basis of the modern hanfu industry standard, combined with the design and production experience of the industry's head enterprises, a set of practical and feasible standardized operation processes can be worked out to build a standardized supply chain that focuses on modern hanfu production, with high efficiency, high quality, and can be quickly replicated. As a result, Hanfu enterprises can improve the speed and quality of hanfu design and manufacturing, thus providing consumers with a constant stream of new high-quality hanfu products and promoting the further development of the modern hanfu industry.
Innovation-driven, broadening the boundaries
Modern hanfu urgently needs to be improved at the design level for modern aesthetics and contemporary dressing habits in order to meet the relevant needs of consumers. This can be done by encouraging innovation and diversification and introducing richer styles that fit modern aesthetics and adapt to more scenarios. Ultimately, modern Chinese clothing can be used in casual, home, business, wedding, commuting, and other scenarios.
As the scale of the industry continues to expand, modern hanfu and its derivative categories are bound to become more versatile. In addition to traditional clothing products, shoes, headwear, accessories, and bags will also be gradually enriched. With the development of segmentation, the future business model of modern hanfu on the shelves will also emerge a number of brands with highly vertical business.
Data source: iiMedia Group