The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts

The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts

Haining has another label outside the Fur City.

When did horse-faced skirts become popular? Different people will give different answers.

In the memory of Zhang Jun, a Hanfu enthusiast, she got into horse-faced skirts in 2019. That year, she bought many horse-faced skirts of various colors.

"The shipping places are Zhengzhou, Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wuhan...all over the country." She read out the place names while looking for orders, but among the many orders for horse-faced skirts, none of them came from In Cao County, Shandong Province.

On today's social media, horse-faced skirts and Caoxian County are closely bound together. The latter is like the "capital of horse-faced skirts", but in fact, Caoxian County has only begun mass production of horse-faced skirts in recent years.

Qi Yue, a Hanfu enthusiast, believes that in the Hanfu circle, horse-faced skirts have long been popular, and they were most popular about four years ago.

Four years ago, entrepreneur Xu Haoming opened a Hanfu store in Caoxian County. At that time, Hanfu was still a relatively niche business, and no one cared about horse-faced skirts, and he did not make any money from it.

Xu Haoming told Hedgehog Commune: "The turning point for the horse-faced skirt business occurred in 2023, and it truly became the top national trend at the beginning of this year. With the help of celebrities and cultural tourism, the horse-faced skirt has ushered in all aspects of development. Break the circle."

At this time, the surging traffic has enveloped everyone living in Caoxian County. No matter what business they are doing, they are all thinking about how to transform into horse-faced skirts. They rush into the torrent impatiently and grasp at the straw thrown by the times.

The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts - Image 1

Caoxian Hanfu Experience Center Picture Source Xiaohongshu@Caoxian Huamengze Hanfu Factory Store

According to Poster News, Zhang Longfei, director of the Cao County E-commerce Service Center, once mentioned that starting from the first day of the Lunar New Year, 181 horse-faced skirt experience stores in the county have opened their doors to welcome customers, and the number of orders within a few hours of the live broadcast room can exceed the factory's The production capacity is full, and the anchors have to stop broadcasting in advance.

However, the back side of the popularity is insufficient production capacity. Many merchants bluntly said: "Once you get on the horse-faced skirt express train, you will fall into a battle for raw materials."

FabricSupply shortage has become the biggest pain point of this popular business. At the same time, Haining City, Zhejiang Province, 800 kilometers away from Caoxian County, a small town that was once famous throughout the country for its leather furs, is gearing up and eagerly waiting to take over this wave of "tremendous wealth."

The horse-faced skirt ends with curtains

There is a saying in the world of horse-faced skirts - the end of fashion is tradition, and the end of horse-faced skirts is curtains.

On social media, bloggers are constantly using sewing machines to change curtains into horse-face skirts. The horse-face skirts made from curtains look slim, elegant, thick and stiff, and are no different from the horse-face skirts they buy.

In fact, this kind of fancy work is not unfounded. The fabric of the horse skirt and the curtain fabric come from the same source. The same textile machine-jacquard machine was used in their production.

In Haining City, Jiaxing, Zhejiang, there is a small town that is relying on jacquard machines to accidentally follow the trajectory of the times and reap the dividends of horse-faced skirts being out of the industry.

Xucun Town is located at the westernmost end of Haining City, adjacent to Hangzhou in the west. Jacquard machines here are very densely distributed. Before the popularity of horse-faced skirts, this traditional home textile town maintained the livelihood of several generations by producing wall coverings, curtain fabrics, and sofa fabrics.

In the 1980s, Xucun Town became famous throughout the country for its textiles. It has the reputation of "one third of China's curtains are in Xucun".

Today, more than 100 textile companies in Haining have transformed into the horse-face skirt fabric business. The jacquard machines in every household are running rumble, working day and night, and the horse-face skirts produced are being shipped to all parts of the country.

When searching for horse-faced skirts on Taobao, more than 20,000 products were shipped from Shandong Province, where Cao County is located, and the number of products shipped from Zhejiang Province was twice as high, with more than 40,000 products.

Wei Lin, a local horse-face skirt manufacturer, believes: "When it comes to handling the traffic of horse-face skirts, Haining is uniquely endowed." He mentioned that compared with Caoxian County, which produces "point-to-point" workshop-style production, Haining's productivity is stronger and the workers' The workmanship is also more sophisticated.

Haining is full of factories, with looms everywhere and textile workers in every house. The brocade produced is gorgeous and crisp, which is the best choice for making horse-faced skirts.

A horse-face skirt uses 3.6 meters of material, and the total loss during the production process is about 4 meters. At present, the daily production of fabrics in Xucun Town can reach more than 30,000 meters, which means that one Xucun Town alone can produce it every day. 7,500 horse-faced skirts.

"After the horse-faced skirt became popular, clothing brands and dealers from all over the country came to Haining in an endless stream. They only had two needs - to buy fabrics and find factories. Even orders from Southeast Asia came to us." Wei Lin said. I am very happy, and my pride for my hometown cannot be concealed in my words.

A year ago, Wei Lin had never come into contact with horse-faced skirts. He did not expect that he would ride the wave of the times because of horse-faced skirts and meet overseas customers.

Except for the horse-faced skirtAs a manufacturer, Wei Lin also has another identity - "The Little Fur Prince of Haining".

Relying on the fur business, Haining once became famous in the economic map of Zhejiang merchants like Yiwu. Wei Lin's father also made a fortune. At its peak, he opened more than 20 branches across the country to sell furs. Later, as fur was labeled as "unenvironmentally friendly" and "killing animals", Haining's fur sales dropped sharply.

The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts - Image 2

Haining Leather City丨Photo source interviewee

Wei Lin told Hedgehog Commune that his biggest wish is to keep the factory in Haining from shutting down so that workers can work and make money all year round. However, fur is always a seasonal business and is only sold in autumn and winter.

In the spring of 2023, just after the New Year, it is the off-season for fur sales. Everyone feels that "there is nothing to do, just play every day." With nothing to do, Wei Lin began to think about how to maximize the use of the factory and live broadcast room.

When looking for a new project, he happened to meet an old classmate who was designing Hanfu, and another friend who was worried about how to digest the fabric, so they unanimously chose the horse-faced skirt, which has both new Chinese elements and is more casual. Cloth clothing business.

Just like that, the three of them hit it off and started a company together to try to make horse-faced skirts, but they accidentally hit a stroke.

Therefore, this is not a story about a curtain factory coming back to life because of horse-faced skirts. It is more like what is told in the TV series "Flowers", a story about a second-generation factory manager Wei on the Yellow River Road stepping into the pulse of the times and starting from scratch.

As for the horse-faced skirt, it is more like a reward of the times for those who follow the trend.

Behind the test of horse-face skirt, the second generation of fur All in e-commerce

Wei Lin is born in the 1990s and likes to use his own photos as his WeChat avatar. In the photos, he is wearing sunglasses and a Mohawk hairstyle that has a slightly period feel.

Perhaps because he disagreed with his father's business philosophy, or perhaps because he wanted to prove his talents, Wei Lin, who had just graduated from college, was unwilling to return to the factory to work for his father. In 2012, he took the first start-up capital of 20,000 yuan from his father and opened a Taobao store, specializing in fur. He earned more than 300,000 yuan in the first year.

For Wei Lin, it takes a year of hard work to earn 300,000 yuan, but it takes less than a month to squander 300,000 yuan. He smiled and said: "A young man who has just graduated can make so much money in a year, so he is very happy to spend it."

After spending all the money, he began to think about selling mink (fur material). In 2015, he took 500,000 yuan borrowed from his father and opened a mink leather goods factory in partnership with a friend, producing and selling them on Taobao. At the beginning, Wei Lin also opened a physical store, insisting on selling only two to three hundred pieces a year, which further strengthened his determination to go all-in e-commerce in the future.

In 2021, Wei Lin started to enter Douyin e-commerce. He clearly remembers that the first time an expert brought goods, they chose Zhao Benshan's daughter's live broadcast room, and the sales were quite impressive.

However, he is not used to this kind of sales method of shipping goods first and settling payment later. He always feels that keeping the money in his own hands is the most practical way.

Not long after, Douyin increased its support for store broadcasting, so Wei Lin naturally ditched the masters and trained anchors to sell their own products. Until the Spring Festival this year, they had squeezed into the top 2 of the fur live streaming room list.

He said: "As long as the money is in your hands, it doesn't matter how much you earn. Haining people have always done business this way."

In Haining, everyone who does business will have a complete production line, with purchasing, design, processing, and garment sales interlocking, providing full industry chain services. When making horse-faced skirts, Wei Lin consistently applied this model to horse-faced skirts. He found two partners, one in charge of production, one in charge of design, and Wei Lin specialized in sales.

Due to the experience and accumulation of the fur live broadcast room on Douyin, he opened the horse-face skirt live broadcast room on Douyin without even thinking about it. The reason is very simple. Wei Lin believes that Douyin has the largest traffic, and Douyin can let you have Double 11 every day.

After more than half a month of preparation, in mid-April 2023, their horse-faced skirt live broadcast room was launched. Within a month, sales increased explosively, with a turnover of 200,000-300,000 yuan a day. At a price of around 200 yuan per skirt, it is equivalent to selling at least 1,000 skirts a day.

"In September last year, the largest order volume was before the National Day, and the live broadcast room could sell 2,000 dresses in one day. At that time, we only broadcast for two or three hours a day, otherwise the order volume would be too large for us to bear," he added.

The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts - Image 3

Horse-faced skirt in Wei Lin's live broadcast room

Wei Lin's factory has a total of 60 machines. Each machine can produce 20-30 skirts every day. 2,000 pieces has already reached the factory's full production capacity. If this continues, there will be no way to guarantee stock.

But Wei Lin has his own principles. Before the broadcast, he set a requirement for himself that more than 80% of orders must be spot goods.

“When we first started selling horse-faced skirts, we found that many Hanfu stores pre-sold them for 45 days. In view of our past experience in running Taobao stores, we didn’t know how many consumers would place orders during the 45 days, so we sold ready-made dresses as soon as we launched. It is precisely because of the spot that we opened up the situation on Douyin," he said.

After a stable start, their horse skirt business has been going smoothly. Although horse-faced skirts are so popular, in Wei Lin's eyes, the profits from horse-faced skirts are still dwarfed by fur. He explained: "The unit price of fur is very high. Even if the profit margin is only 20%, you can still make 1,000 yuan per order."

As he spoke, he began to calculate an account. For a horse-faced skirt priced at 200 yuan, the raw material cost would be 100 yuan. After deducting the express delivery cost, including the return rate and freight insurance per piece, the transportation cost of the horse-faced skirt would be 21.8 yuan. , minus the more than ten yuan deducted by the platform, and subtracting marketing fees, anchor salaries, factory expenses and other operating costs, you can earn up to 20 yuan from a single horse-faced skirt.

Therefore, there are thousands of textile companies in Haining, but currently less than 10% of the companies have actually transformed into the production of horse skirt fabrics. Some people believe that a machine is worth 400,000 to 500,000 yuan, and the investment cost is not low, but there is no way to immediately satisfy the boom. The market demand is acceptable in terms of absolute return, but the return on investment is not high.

What's more, no one can judge whether the market demand for horse-faced skirts will continue. Haining has a more stable fur and textile business. Young people like Wei Lin who follow the fashion in business are still in the minority after all.

03 The horse-faced skirt is popular, but it has nothing to do with Hanfu

Before the horse-faced skirt, Wei Lin had made other attempts to make up for the lack of Haining's fur business during the off-season, but most of them ended in failure.

The styles of four-season clothing are updated too fast, and it is difficult for factories and workers who are accustomed to fur to control the pace.

Take a piece of short-sleeves as an example. It can only be sold in 15-20 days from the time it is new to the time it is taken off the shelves, and it also takes 10 days to produce. If 1,000 pieces of short-sleeves are made and only 500 are sold, the remaining 500 pieces will become In stock. In Haining, inventories are sold by the pound and are disposed of at a loss.

Therefore, four-season clothing is more suitable for small orders and quick returns, and is not suitable for mass production in large factory assembly lines. “Because mass production profits cannot be made high, and if the profits are high, the unit price will also be high, soThere is no way to batch it. "Wei Lin explained.

But the horse skirt is different. It is a large item that can be mass-produced on the assembly line and will not be affected by the production cycle and season.

On the assembly line of Ma Mianqun garment factory, each worker only performs one process, and the income for each process is two yuan. From morning to night, the worker's daily income is about 300-400 yuan.

Horse-faced skirt manufacturers have never regarded horse-faced skirts as Hanfu, but have always regarded them as ordinary skirts or pleated skirts, which can meet daily matching needs and are relatively tolerant of consumers' body shapes.

Wei Lin said: "Most horse-faced skirt live broadcast rooms are not in the Hanfu category, but are positioned in the new Chinese women's clothing category. The market share of Hanfu is relatively small, and the total audience is only 5 million. When we do live broadcasts, we must follow the public Only by following the route can you make money."

Zhang Jun, a Hanfu enthusiast, believes that Hanfu pays great attention to details, pays attention to formats, and has high requirements for form (author's note: format refers to the conventional wearing paradigm, and form refers to the style of clothing).

However, most of the horse-faced skirt merchants on the market produce clothing that cannot be called Hanfu, but clothing with Han elements. They can be simply understood as improved versions of Hanfu, including the horse-faced skirt shop run by celebrity Xu Jiao, which also belongs to clothing with Han elements.

She gave a specific example. Many merchants would do the opposite of the cross-collar (fastening at the front) common in Hanfu. The correct shape should be the right lapel. The right lapel is a feature that has always been retained in Hanfu and is also a symbol of the Han nationality. Generally, Only ethnic minorities use left lapels.

The Places Ignited by the Popularity of Hanfu Horse-Face Skirts - Image 4

Picture source Xiaohongshu @小莹 Sakura is very busy

"I can accept people wearing new Chinese styles and clothing with Han elements, but I can't accept the "fake Hanfu" worn randomly. Since Hanfu is produced, I still hope that businesses can restore the history as much as possible or retain the most basic respect for our national culture. ." Zhang Jun said.

It can be seen that the horse-faced skirt is more like the single item that can best achieve "efficiency first" in the Hanfu industry. Its popularity does not mean the resurgence of the popularity of Hanfu, but another victory in the path of "big hot items" .

Just like Wei LinzuiJust like my original dream, the horse-faced skirt can keep the factory in Haining running all year round. Watching the machine rumble and accelerate until it is scrapped, it is considered that the mission of this life has been completed.