Conquering the world with cashmere [Global Times]
(Global Times Via Acquire Media NewsEdge)
1436 founder Wang Zhen has set her sights on the international market. Photo: Courtesy of 1436
The fertile grasslands of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region are a huge natural pasture. Generations of goat herding by nomads has given birth to an extraordinary tradition of weaving cashmere. The high-end clothing brand 1436 draws on these precious treasures of natural bounty and culture. Founded by Wang Zhen under the Erdos Group, 1436 adheres to a commitment to premium cashmere fibers and superior technology, and its own interpretation of innovation design. 1436 now designs for globe-trotting aristocratic elites, offering the world's best cashmere products. Wang Zhen, the founder and general manager of 1436, discussed building this brand in this exclusive interview with Metropolitan (MB).
MB: What kind of brand do you think 1436 is? Wang: As we all know, the world's best cashmere comes from China. Erdos Group, with more than 30 years of cashmere experience, has become the domestic industry leader. Founded in 2006, 1436 leverages the value of the world's best cashmere to be able to stand on the world stage, representing China. Since it was created, 1436 is bearing the weight of the expectations of our parents and our dreams. 1436 disseminates the rich traditions surrounding Chinese cashmere. After eight years of growth, 1436 is now a powerful brand, full of vigor and vitality. By its advanced raw material, new technology and international management experience, 1436 becomes a competitive brand advancing with the times.
MB: What do you think is the key factor that allowed 1436 to become a classic luxury brand? Wang: I consider the key to be the brand spirit - the unique impression engraved in the customer's mind. Our Arbas baby cashmere is very fine - 14 micrometers in thinness and 36 millimeters in length. For 1436, the spirit of never compromising on each link of production, from raising the cashmere goats to gathering, de-hairing, dyeing, designing and knitting, is what we are focusing on and committed to.
MB: You invited the famous designer Graeme Black to be the 1436 design director. There is no doubt that different nationalities and experiences will lead to some different views. How do you reach a consensus? Wang: Although 1436 is a Chinese brand, I am not confined to Chinese talent only. I was seeking a creative director who specialized in cashmere, professional design with international experience. Working in Italy for many years, Graeme has a great multicultural understanding. And my experience of studying in the UK for more than ten years has taught me to look at diversity in a different way. We focus on our own professional strengths. From a design point of view, I respect Graeme's professionalism; when it comes to brand management and operations, I focus more on rational and scientific analysis.
MB: What is the development strategy and marketing method for 1436 as it moves toward internationalization?Wang: The dream of 1436 is to establish a genuine Chinese brand that is internationally compatible. 1436 has successfully cracked the domestic market. Going into our eighth year, 1436 has steadily opened nearly 40 stores in China. Simultaneously, we are putting together a team with international talent, moving step by step toward our next goal - conquering the international market.
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