We have the pleasure to announce that we have been extended a personal invitation to attend the Ningbo International Fashion Festival (IFFAIR) in Ningbo, China October 24-27.  We will be the personal guest of Mr. Biao Wang Founder & CEO of Camella Universal Limited, Chinese business & investment advisors and Henry Bailey Savile Row Bespoke Tailors. Our visit will be covered by the Ningbo Focus and Ningbo TV.  Follow our journey as we open the gateway to the Far East on Twitter and Facebook with #GrantedGatewayfor live coverage.  See our in-depth interview with Ningbo Focus below for more details.

INTRODUCTION TO NINGBO INTERNATIONAL FASHION FAIR (IFFAIR)

IFFAIR is listed as a certified A-level exhibition by Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China, one of the most influential expos in China and part of Ningbo International Fashion Festival.

"Public Fashion; International Flavor" is the fair's subject.  "To develop Ningbo into a national city famous for its garment industry"  its objective, and "To be more internationalized, better developed, more professional and market-related"  its mandate.  IFFAIR exists to make Ningbo an important base for garment production,  technology exchange, and an opening window to the latest trends in the garment and fashion industry.

IFFAIR is a classical brand exhibition co-hosted by Ningbo Municipal People's Government, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and China National Garment Association. It is an international exhibition of great influence with industrial exhibition, assessment, conference, competition, and performance integrated into one.  IFFAIR covers products from garment machinery, textile, accessories, and garment within the garment industrial chain.

IFFAIR makes full use of resources, capital and information of the garment industry, attracting exhibitors, purchasers, investors, and service providers from all over the world. Thus, it has set a great platform for garment industry-related international trading and cultural exchange.

IFFAIR displays the latest development and trend of the garment industry, attracting professional visitors and dealers. It aims at helping build enterprise image, promotes cooperation and trade, knowledge of the latest  industry trends,  and builds a bridge between the demand and supply.

IFFAIR is persistent in improving its quality and has successfully combine IFFAIR, online IFFAIR, plane IFFAIR, IFFAIR in the air, and video IFFAIR into one.

IFFAIR Ningbo Round Table

IFFAIR Ningbo Round Table

HISTORY OF TAILORING IN NINGBO, CHINA

China

China

Ningbo is home to "Hong Band Tailors" --- a group of people famous for garment production, the origin of modern garment industry in China, and the place where the first piece of suit, and the first Sun Yat-sen's uniform/ Chinese Tunic Suit were made and where the first book on suit tailoring was published.

The world's first bespoke suit was created and invented in Savile Row and in China the first bespoke suit was made in Ningbo. In 1846, the British empire occupied the sea port cities of Zhejiang province in China. Many wealthy and affluent expats settled in Shanghai and Ningbo. Living and working there naturally meant establishing lines of supply for the necessities and creature comforts from home, and bringing in their master tailors was no exception. They began the task of recruiting young boys from Zhejiang. These boys were the sons of farmers and Chinese dressmakers. They were used to a bitter life of hard work and their hands were small and well-suited to the craft. Their economic situations were such that the prospect of moving to the big city to apprentice under a master tailor from England was a fine opportunity indeed.

In 1928, at the height of Shanghai's Grand Days, when it was known as ‘The Paris of the East, the New York of the West’, practically all of the tailors in Shanghai were Chinese. It was during this time that Shanghai tailors truly acquired the international reputation as world-class tailors. They became known as Hongbang Cai Feng meaning ‘Red Group Tailors’. This emanated from the Chinese perception that their British masters had red hair. Even today, these tailors still use the Imperial system scaled in inches for drafting patterns and embrace the British techniques in garment making.

The Hongbang Tailors are famous for initiating the ‘Five First’ movement in the development of modern Chinese garments. They created the Chinese tunic using elements from East and West, that was later adopted as the official ‘state suit’. They opened the first Chinese Tailor and Outfitter store offering handcrafted bespoke garments and later founded the Hongbang School of Tailoring. Today, the Bespoke Tailoring Museum is located in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province because Hongbang Tailoring remains an important part of the culture and heritage of China.

After the revolution in 1949 attitudes towards the West, as well as ideas about fashion, conformity and virtually everything else, underwent huge changes. Most of the tailors that could, left for Hong Kong or Taiwan to set up shop. Taiwan never achieved the kind of status for tailoring that Shanghai had once had. Although Hong Kong enjoyed a similar reputation for cheap prices and quality work, the Chinese tailors there have since been largely supplanted by Indian suit makers. Neither of these places ever truly replaced old Shanghai and Ningbo tailors for quality.

NINGBO FASHION INDUSTRY TODAY

Ningbo has developed into the biggest base for garment production and a favorable base for famous brand nurturing and exportation, and boasts more than 3,000 enterprises proficient in garment production. Each year Ningbo produces up to 1.5 billion clothes and suits, accounting for more than 13% of the total production volume nationwide. In 2006, the export value of textile and garment in Ningbo reached more than USD $6.32 billion, boasting a growth of 27.4% in degree as compared to the value in 2005.

With the development of the garment industry, a number of enterprises are winning their unshakable status in the very industry in China. Currently, 7 garment brands in Ningbo, including Youngor, Shanshan, Romon, Tonlion, Rouse, Peacebird, and Progen have been certified as Chinese Famous Trademark, 16 brands like Giant Eagle and AIYIMEI have been granted as China's Top Brands, and 7 export-oriented brands have won great support from Ministry of Commerce of the People's Republic of China.

INTRODUCTION HENRY BAILEY SAVILE ROW BESPOKE TAILORS

Henry Bailey tailors offer bespoke garments on Savile Row.  Mr. Andrew Chan is currently Bespoke Tailoring Director of Henry Bailey Bespoke Tailors.  He is the first overseas Chinese to win The Silver Shears Award for Excellence in Handicraft Tailoring Skills in Savile Row, London.

Andrew started work for a leading Savile Row bespoke tailoring company in the year 2000, bringing the added knowledge of field sports wear. Prior to working on Savile Row, he received a Diploma in Tailoring at the London College of Fashion where he was awarded The Silver Shears Award for Excellence in Handicraft Tailoring Skills from the Merchant Taylors' Company. Andrew Chan is the first overseas Chinese to win the highest award for Excellence in Handicraft Tailoring Skills in Savile Row. He also completed a BA Honours degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising from American College in London.

INTRODUCTION TO NINGBO FOCUS

Ningbo Focus is the first bilingual magazine in Ningbo with a total print of 10,000 magazines every month, Ningbo Focus is distributed complimentary in the Ningbo city area, and 6 Chinese cities including Cixi, Yuyao, Fenghua, Beilun, Ninghai, Zhenhai.  Distribution points include luxury-brand hotels, luxury showrooms, entertainment and dining establishments, business services, international schools, business industrial parks as well as government offices including the Ningbo Tourism Bureau.

INTERVIEW WITH NINGBO FOCUS