Fei Liu on how to meet Chinese buyers’ high quality expectations.
From his time spent showcasing British designer jewellers’ work in China, Fei Liu has come to recognise a gap between the style of British designers’ work and the expectations of the Chinese market, with a view to the intrinsic value of jewellery design.
Everything from the weight of the metal used to the finish of the piece and its design details are scrupulously studied by Chinese buyers. Liu says that quality issues, especially when it comes to silver jewellery, have been highlighted in his dealings between British jewellers and Chinese buyers, and as a result he has been able to provide direct advice on quality to British jewellery companies seeking to expand in Asia.
“There is a difference in the understanding of value in different parts of the world,” Liu says. “For example the Chinese audience prefers small details and don’t like items that are too heavy or too light. Designs that are fashionable are favoured by the media and press, but will have a very limited retail market, so this is where the designer needs to understand how to achieve a balance.”
As a result, Liu believes that perseverance and attentiveness to buyers’ needs are key to success overseas. “I want to establish better and stronger communication with the existing British designers I am working with, so I will remain focused on those selected designers, as we are still in the very early stages.”