Saturday, May 4, 2019

LBC: The Impact Of Chinese Brands On The Community

Over the last five to eight years within the lolita fashion community there has been a drastic shift from within. More individuals who wear lolita make larger purchases from Chinese brands, both listed on taobao shop sites and singular shops. The market has shifted due to several factors and has caused the community to react and spend in different ways from before. And that is what we will be discussing this week for the Lolita Blog Carnival.

While discussing new releases that have caught the eyes of friends often times it is of a piece that is being released by brands I would have been unfamiliar with years ago. Brands like Sweet Papiya or Penny House, which would not have been chanced earlier on, have released pieces that people have gone crazy over, myself included. 

Due to the newer and quicker ways to shop Chinese brands have become more accessible to the western communities there has been a drastic change in the way Chinese brands have been viewed. Years ago you needed all sorts of shopping service help and it was dicey, to say the least, when it came to how the garment would actually turn out. Brands like Fan+Friend, Souffle Song, Chess Story, and Classical Puppets have produced consistent products that please many, and quality improving even still. The growth of newer brands definitely expands the lolita fashion universe and adds to what it is at this time.

There are still some that believe there is a marginal difference between Chinese brands and Japanese but they are difficult to find. Some have said that the only real factor when purchasing from a Chinese brand is that solid pieces tend to be preferable and prints have been under high scrutiny. It does vary from person to person but I have heard this from many.

The newer generations of lolita wearers have grown into a place of easy access and wonderful options at much better prices. There are brands that do charge a higher quantity due to the uptick in tariffs and the like, depending on where it is being purchased from, but it is usually worth it depending on the brand. There are definitely some solid pieces to be found now.

However there is a small caveat in regards to an influx of so many wonderful things for prices like these. It has saturated the markets and made it harder for those looking to reclaim the price point of their beloved dresses that they look to sell. This means that things become harder to move and the value drops (with few exceptions) and means, for some, that lolita fashion is no longer an investment. It’s excellent if you are new and starting out as the struggle for great deals on beautiful pieces is only remotely present.

So for the impact Chinese brands have made on the lolita Community there is the great, good, and the not so good. In many ways it has helped with accessibility and made more viable (not bodyline) options for the community but on the other end of the spectrum it makes it harder for change to one’s wardrobe or regaining money spent. I think it helps along with the idea that people now take one second look (for some people!) before hitting that buy it now button and asks ‘do I really want this?’ helping the buyer. That’s just in my opinion though it’s different for everyone and you can check out what others have thought about it in the links to their posts below!


  1. The Chinese brands have had such a massive impact on the lolita community, one could easily write essays and academic research on that. Interestingly, today I read a friend's FB post when she talked about what she learnt from some Chinese lolitas and one fascinating thing in her post was that there is supposedly a big divide amongst Chinese lolitas between those buying domestic brands and those being 'purist' and sticking with Japanese. The original post was in Spanish and the Facebook translation was only just about making sense, but the gist of it was that those all decked in Japanese burando tend to look down on those wearing Chinese brands (unless they're Krad Lanrete or Classical Puppets), as they're thought to be more otaku and not 'pure' lolita fashion. I would love nothing more than to delve deeper into that and upack it all. Suffice to say, the rise of Chinese lolita brands has had a big impact at home as well as internationally.

    1. I would love that link to the article!

      I have heard, through some friends, that there is a bit of a divide in a way it's similar to the divide I used to see in the states. I know it's changed drastically in the western lolita community though, it used to be very close to that 'purest' mentality.
      There would be a lot of unpacking to do as there is a great deal of dynamics about it, easily making an essay.