Friday, August 14, 2009

Hitting the Town with Panda

A group of six young entrepreneurs in Beijing are hoping their panda dolls will become an international brand in the future.
It all started three years ago in Paris when fashion design student Vivian Liu drew a picture of a bear for Lucas Gao while they were studying in Paris. Gao, a graphic design artist, took the design and made it into a stuffed bear and hid some love notes in the ursine's tummy for Liu.
It wasn't until later that she discovered them and the two were in love. When they came back to Beijing, they found two other friends who had also studied overseas, and two who had not and transformed the bear into a panda.
Each founder has his or her expertise, in areas like fashion, marketing, distribution and sales. When they were studying, they were determined not to work for others and used their studies and part-time work experience to apply it to their business.
The company, Panda Town, sells female and male pandas, the girls with large anime-like eyes and curly lashes, the boys with crosses in their black patches. The dolls are about a foot and a half tall for 256RMB ($37.45). But that's not all. There are a variety of clothes for them to wear, from trendy skirts and pants, to sneakers, flats and even qipao and wedding attire. For those nostalgic about the Cultural Revolution, there are Red Guard uniforms for them to wear complete with the green hats topped with red stars.
Set up in less than two years, Panda Town's sales are not bad, keeping their two stores afloat, but not yet covering other expenses. Nevertheless, they are an ambitious lot who want to do projects in the future with international fashion brands like Louis Vuitton in creating fashion accessories and clothes for the pandas.
If these pandas do take off, it's quite possible that top fashion brands will be knocking on their doors to dress these adorable bears.

It goes to show China isn't just a land of fakes, but starting to burgeon with home-grown talent.

1 comment:

ks said...

very good design. much like hello kitty. it is about time china to have such a mascot. wish them all the best.