Posted by: itm2011 | May 16, 2011

Luxury Brand faces the made-in-China stereotype: PORTS

Larissa Zemke

Abstract

This paper discusses the made-in-China stereotype and issues faced by PORTS, a China-based luxury brand founded in 1961 in Toronto, Canada.[1] The paper begins with a brief background of PORTS and proceeds with an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of PORTS 1961. An in-depth examination of the made-in-China stereotype faced by PORTS reveals an issue that the company is continuously confronted with. Moreover, an interview conducted with an intern at the company’s wholesale office in New York provides critical insight on the company’s current struggle with operational and brand management issues. Ultimately, an evaluation of decisions made by PORTS 1961 reflects the need for a revised international marketing and merchandising strategy and a thorough value chain analysis to determine whether manufacturing should be moved abroad.

Background

The PORTS INTERNATIONAL luxury brand was founded by Luke Tanabe in 1961 in Toronto, Canada. What began as a family business, the Tanabe daughters quickly turned into a brand associated with style, luxury, and well-tailored career sportswear.[2] During the company’s prime time in the 1970s and 80s, it owned over sixty retail stores in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.[3] In 1989, Alfred Chan, founder of contract manufacturing business Etac Sales Limited (ESL), acquired PORTS INTERNATIONAL from Luke Tanabe: “by 1992 ESL owned numerous upscale brands and over 100 stores in North America, which amounted to revenues over US$165million. ESL further expanded its retail operations in other regions, including nascent Chinese market.”[4] However, the global recession in the early 90s and the ratification of the North American Free Trade Agreement, caused US luxury brands to flood the Canadian market, thus leading to the acquisition of PORTS international by creditors. The Chan brothers withdrew their stakes in ESL and soon filed for bankruptcy.[5] Upon recovery, the Chans noticed the underdeveloped luxury market in China, and PORTS International’s competitive advantage of having a prestigious western, Canadian heritage while being price competitive due to its production base in China. The Chinese and Asian markets demonstrated great potential as the salaries of Chinese white-collar women rose, leading to an increase in demand for luxury products and lifestyle. Thus, the Chan brothers decided to sell all PORTS retail operations in the US and UK and relocate to China.[6] Their predictions concerning the competitiveness of the Asian luxury market proved to be correct. Indeed, status conscious Chinese consumers continued to buy luxury products; for instance, statistics of 1999 suggest that “the world’s most populous region, with more than three billion people, still provided 38% of Gucci’s $1.2billion in sales of shoes , belts, and blouses [… despite the economic crisis].”[7] PORTS’s unique background as a China-based company with a Canadian history has distinguished the brand from other European and American luxury brands in that the brand has been subject to product image and positioning challenges associated with the made-in-China stereotype.[8]

Strengths

The advantages experienced by PORTS international as a result of its relocation to China include a reduction in the costs of production and an enhanced competitive advantage in its price relative to other foreign luxury brands in the Chinese market. Its headquarters and manufacturing facilities were relocated to the Xiamen Special Economic Zone[9], which allowed PORTS to benefit from a preferential income tax rate (a maximum rate of 15%) as well as a tax exemption for two years following its first profit-making year. Moreover, PORTS received tax refunds by being subject to the law applicable to the reinvestment of profit earned by a foreign-owned company.[10] The table on the following page demonstrates Xiamen’s investment Incentives.

Figure 1[11]

As the first vertically-integrated, international China-based fashion luxury company, PORTS was able to reduce manufacturing lead time while maintaining top quality. Additionally, “self-owned plants in China and in-house advertising designs also saved the company from paying 17% tax on imports and helped the company earn US$20million in 2005,”[12] while imported foreign luxury brands such as Prada and Louis Vuitton were subject to high tariffs.[13] Since PORTS’s prices remained relatively elevated for Chinese consumers, ranging between US $250 and $350, the company decided to introduce products at lower prices in the Chinese market, US $100 and $150. Attractive pricing along with PORTS’s Canadian brand image was introduced in an attempt to attract the Chinese youth and establish a ‘coolness-factor,’ which relied on its western lifestyle branding. This quickly led PORTS to be rated as “ the third most desirable brand after Louis Vuitton and Chanel, based on the China National Research Association and Vogue magazine…”[14]

Furthermore, in order to ensure effective marketing of the PORTS brand in China, the company chose their shareholders as distributors. This allowed PORTS to maintain control over the distribution channels by monitoring store performance and attaining customer feedback.[15] For instance, PORTS entered an agreement with PCD stores, “under which [it] was granted the right to sell PORTS clothing, accessories, and apparel at designated counters in department stores operated by the PCD group, “a wholly owned subsidiary of PORTS International Enterprise Limited(PIEL) [and a] company owned entirely by Alfred Chan and Edward Tan in equal shares.”[16] Along with its relatively competitive product prices and effective distribution strategy, PORTS was ultimately able to successfully market its brand as a Canadian luxury brand in the growing Chinese market that expected a growth rate of 9.1% annually from 1995-2000.[17]

Weaknesses

On the other hand, some obstacles PORTS faced in attempting to penetrate the Chinese market include conditions of political instability and censorship in China. The lack of transparency and knowledge outreach, due to the Chinese government’s tight control over the flow of information, meant that PORTS had to find a way to educate the Chinese consumers, once described as “ blank pieces of paper”[18] by Alfred Chan. Indeed, the view within PORTS was to stimulate wardrobe investment among the Chinese and foster a perception of “you are what you wear”[19] among customers.

PORTS was also confronted with employee recruitment challenges due to the difficulties faced in hiring an international design team willing to be based in Xiamen, China. Operational weaknesses also existed due to the language barrier and the lack of English proficient locals. PORTS was initially confronted with the reluctance of European fabric suppliers to do business with PORTS because of China’s political and economic instability. European suppliers feared the risk of non-payment.

PORTS 1961,[20] launched in 2003, was part of PORTS’s international expansion initiative to re-enter the North American market. PORTS 1961’s disadvantages on the international market included establishing a luxury brand image in the North American market amongst the demanding western consumers, the lack of a brand history, and an inefficient organizational structure. PORTS 1961 faces the challenge of justifying the high prices of being an elevated brand line, such as $2,000-3,000 priced leather jackets, US $750 and $1,350 priced cocktail dresses, and a minimum price of US $250 per tank top.[21] PORTS 1961 apparel and accessories have a classic, timeless style comparable to Hermès or Longchamp, yet it lacks the brand history and prestige of these Parisian brands.[22] Additionally, the majority of western consumers doubt the quality of made-in-China products, and would most definitely question the PORTS 1961’s high prices for products produced in China. It has been reported that the made-in-china labels on sample garments in the New York showroom are removed to mitigate the negative effect of being made-in-China. Yet, all the buyers are aware that products are produced in China.[23] In China, PORTS was able to market its brand name by focusing on the fact that it is a Canadian-founded brand. However, the made-in-China stereotype has posed an immense challenge to penetrate the western market.

Another current political issue that is affecting the Chinese luxury market is the recent implementation, as of April 15, of a policy that “[bans] the use of certain words on outdoor advertising like billboards. These include ‘supreme,’ ‘royal,’ ‘luxury,’ or ‘high class’—words frequently seen on Beijing’s multitudinous billboards,” [24] by the Beijing Administration for Industry and Commerce. The aim of the new policy is to “target advertising that promotes hedonism or the worship of foreign-made goods.”[25] It would be interesting to observe how PORTS will tackle this issue, as it has marketed itself as a western, foreign brand in the Chinese market. The question arises whether PORTS should continue marketing itself as a foreign brand in China, and deprive itself of billboard advertising to follow the new policy. Further investigation on the most effective marketing strategies in China would need to be conducted to form a conclusion.

Brand management

In order to mitigate the negative effects of the made-in-China stereotype and successfully establish a strong luxury product image and positioning in China, PORTS emphasized its Canadian origins in an attempt to turn attention away from its China-based production location. “For example, in the introduction on its official website, the brand’s origin in Canada was particularly noted and its primary base in China never mentioned.”[26] PORTS used this image game[27] as a marketing strategy to promote an innovative style that portrays a “global soul and urban spirit,”[28] and successfully introduce it as a western brand into the Chinese market. To further stress the foreign brand image, PORTS implemented advertising campaigns featuring western supermodels such as Claudia Schiffer and Kate Moss in international publications (i.e. Elle, Glamour, Bazaar) to promote a western brand image.[29] PORTS utilized celebrity marketing depicting celebrities and as well as famous Asian artists wearing PORTS garments on its website. Additionally, PORTS sponsored outfits for Chinese TV hosts. PORTS also introduced a customer loyalty program, offering a discount to VIP customers. PORTS was ultimately successful in establishing a prestigious, western-imported brand image amongst Chinese consumers, as Chinese women yearning for a western lifestyle were easily lured in by PORTS products and relatively affordable prices.

As mentioned above, to expand internationally, PORTS launched a more expensive label, PORTS 1961, in 2003 in North America. The brand was marketed using contemporary, cutting-edge design that reflects the spirit of the global village. Head designer Tia Cibani referred to the target consumer as the “jetrosexual, the global soul,”[30] and a “brand for a very easy lifestyle, for a woman who is international.”[31] Initially, three flagship stores were introduced in Canada’s major cities: Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. These retail operations proved to outperform expectations leading Alfred Chan to invest another US $100 million in the international expansion plan, including the establishment of a wholesale and retail network overseas. In 2005, PORTS 1961 was introduced to the US market at SAKS Fifth Avenue.[32] In order to adapt its marketing mix[33] to the North American luxury market, PORTS 1961 recruited former employees from luxury fashion houses with expert knowledge of the American market, such as a pattern-maker from Jil Sander, a manager of a contractor from Coach accessories, and a buyer from Henry Bendel.[34] The product was adapted to the western luxury market and consumers’ higher quality expectations than Chinese consumers. As a result, prices were also elevated accordingly. The collections were inspired by various cultures, such as African tribal and Icelandic cultures, to emphasize PORTS 1961’s inspiration derived from the “spirit of the global village”[35] and its multicultural approach to design.[36] To further support this global spirit, Tia Cibani designed outfits for NBC commentators at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.[37] This was successful in catching the attention of luxury fashion retailers as well as the media.

Figure 2[38]: PORTS 1961 SP/S 2008 Advertising Campaign.

Figure 3[39]: Tia Cibani’s capsule collection for the NBC commentators at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Moreover, the company was cautious in its store selection process and product display to ensure a gradual and targeted positioning of PORTS 1961’s luxury brand in the western market. “On one occasion, it pulled out all PORTS 1961 clothes from three of the six [Saks Fifth Avenue] stores… because these stores had [placed PORTS 1961 apparel products] with ’bridge’ and ‘modern’ brands instead of [classic,] higher-priced designer brands…”[40] PORTS 1961’s target consumer was defined as “very interested and knowledgeable about what’s happening with fashion, but not quite ready to jump into designer price points.”[41] PORTS 1961’s prices were adapted to western luxury brand prices. With its competitive advantage of relatively low cost of production in Xiamen, China, it was able to set a more accessible wholesale price range from US $75-800. Following PORTS 1961’s launch at SAKS Fifth Avenue, the company utilized other luxury department stores as distribution channels such as Neiman Marcus in New York and Curve in Los Angeles, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue’s website, and Vivre.com. Additionally, PORTS 1961 launched its own online website. The PORTS 1961 management team ensured that the brand was positioned in the high-end brand section of department stores. The founding of the New York design studio for PORTS 1961 occurred in 2004 and was followed by the opening of a flagship store in 2009. A 150-year-old restored building in the meatpacking district was the designated place to combine design and sales environment, bringing the design team and customer in closer contact. The store occupied the ground floor, a gallery and event space on the second, while the top floor contained the design studio.[42] The central location allowed the design team to be amidst the art and fashion scene. This provided PORTS 1961 with the opportunity to feature celebrities and magazines to market the new brand. Another means the company used to penetrate the North American market and mitigate the made-in-China stereotype, was by launching its first menswear line in January 2011. As opposed to the womanswear production being based in China, this line is produced entirely in Italy. This step was taken as a market expansion strategy as well as to promote a made-in-Italy brand image. Furthermore, the company plans on moving the majority of it production to Italy.[43] Since PORTS 1961 sources all of its fabrics in Italy, this would reduce transports costs; however, an increase in the cost of manufacturing would accompany this. Production in Italy will also facilitate its penetration into the European market. In order to ensure a successful European expansion and transfer of production facilities, financing for production as well as marketing and advertising must be carefully taken into consideration. According to the interviewee, the company has abundant finances that ought to be invested in marketing the brand in the US market.[44] Additionally, the issue of how to remain a price competitive brand must be addressed through a detailed value chain analysis.[45]

In order to improve the brand’s image and establish a firm stance in the luxury brand market in North America, PORTS 1961 could produce a distinct portion of its womenswear, i.e. evening wear and perhaps accessories, in Italy, and utilize that to promote the high quality of its products. PORTS 1961 would use an image game marketing strategy similar to what was used to penetrate the Chinese market. Considering that the brand seems to be relatively unknown in the United States, it is suggested that PORTS 1961 hire a marketing and advertising agency to develop an effective, goal-oriented marketing strategy. PR and marketing would include sponsoring major New York fashion events such as fashion week, galas, supporting up-and-coming New York-based and international artists, as well as sample gifting to celebrities and magazines.

Another option and a more radical marketing approach would be to make use of the fact that PORTS 1961 is produced in China rather than hiding it. For example, the country-of-origin label in the garment could state something along the lines of: fabric and details: “Made in Italy” and production: “Made in China.” In order to implement this labeling, a thorough research on country-of-origin laws and communication with legal authorities should be conducted to ensure compliance with laws. Another approach would be to certify the corporate social responsibility of PORTS 1961’s manufacturing facilities in China through an outside auditing company, and market PORTS 1961 as a socially-responsible, sustainable luxury fashion brand. This would re-emphasize the brand’s inspiration derived from the “spirit of the global village”[46] and its multicultural approach to design.[47] An example of a successful socially responsible brand is Timberland, who’s cause-related marketing strategy model,[48] involving a partnership with a non-profit organization, could be adapted to PORTS 1961’s needs. Since eco- and sustainable fashion seem to be the new trends in the fashion, textile, and lifestyle industries, this could attract a lot of media attention. Sponsoring environmental and eco-organizations as well as independent eco-designers would also be a key aspect of this marketing approach. Nevertheless, it must be remembered that, ideally, these sustainable initiatives should not merely be marketed, but also implemented, which must be planned for in a carefully tailored budget.

Furthermore, it is advised that PORTS 1961 adapt a restructured brand marketing strategy to improve the brand’s luxury lifestyle image. This would include redesigning the store and visual merchandising to recreate a luxury environment so that the customer experiences a luxury lifestyle in the store. PORTS 1961 would use the luxury linen brand Frette’s management and marketing strategy to create a “culture-defining brand”[49] to penetrate the American market. This approach would consist of clearly defining the 9 P’s of marketing: positioning, projection, product, promotion, place, people, patterning, and performance,[50] and structuring the merchandising and marketing plan around these. The projection of the PORTS 1961 brand would involve a vertical expansion strategy utilizing a better-best tiered approach to pricing and product. [51] For example, an exclusive, haute-couture womenswear line produced in Italy would be merchandised in the store’s display to attract consumers and establish a luxury brand image and lifestyle. The PORTS 1961 basic styles would be in the store’s stock and available upon customers’ requests. This merchandising strategy is extensively applied by high-end designers. Similar to Frette’s projection, PORTS 1961 “must resonate exclusivity of design, quality that is unquestionable, and visual display that provides an aesthetic taste level that is truly aspirational.”[52] Ultimately, PORTS 1961’s restructured marketing and merchandising strategy would construct a lifestyle.

Conclusion

This paper has revealed the strengths and weaknesses that PORTS international has faced since its founding, and the challenge of overcoming the made-in-China stereotype as a luxury fashion brand. In order to foster its reputation as a luxury brand in the western market, it is suggested that investment in a thorough marketing and merchandising strategy for the PORTS 1961 brand be implemented. Moreover, in-depth market research should be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness and success of marketing PORTS 1961 as an eco-friendly, sustainable China-based luxury brand. A restructuring of a PORTS 1961 management strategy to establish an image of a quality, comfort, luxury lifestyle is advised to create customer trust and loyalty. However, it may be that the made-in-China stereotype is so deeply integrated in the fabric of society that it would only harm PORTS 1961’s brand image, and thus the best way to market the brand may indeed remain in covering up its China-based manufacturing or moving its entire production to Italy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources:

PORTS 1961 intern, personal interview, April 26, 2011.

Raffin, Paul, FIT Guest lecture, May 11, 2011.

Secondary Sources:

Journals:

Austin, James. “Timberland and Community Involvement,” (August 6, 2001). Harvard Business Review.

Flagg, Michael. “Asian Market for Luxury Goods Quiets a Bit.” (August 14, 2000). The Wall Street Journal.

Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 1-22.

“Hong Kong/China. (Global Power of Retailing). Chain Store” Vol.72, No. 12 (1996): 40

Karimzadeh, Marc, “Ports 1961 Sails Back to U.S. shores,” (March, 10, 2005), WWD: Women’s Wear Daily, Vol. 189, No. 50.

Karimzadeh, Marc. “Ports 1961 Launching in N.Y.” (Feb 13, 2009), WWD, vol. 197, No. 32, 4.

Mclaughlin, Kathleen E. “Out of Luxe: Beijing Bans ‘High Class’Billboards,” (March 23, 2011). WWD: Women’s Wear Daily, 4.

Porter, M. E. “What is strategy?” (November–December 1996). Harvard Business Review, 61-78.

Pugh, Clifford. “Ethnic Dresses Style with “a global soul’ Ports 1961 creative director’s got the worldly goods.” Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspapers Partnership, LP (2009).

Internet Sources:

http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/marketing-mix.html

“Chinese Media: Luxury Goods In China Up To 50% More Expensive Than Overseas,” Jing Daily (31 March, 2011),http://www.jingdaily.com/en/luxury/chinese-media-luxury-goods-in-china-up-to-50-more-expensive-than-overseas/.

http://cornedbeefhash.wordpress.com/2008/08/

http://fashionbombdaily.com/tag/joan-smalls/page/4/

http://www.ports1961.com/fw2011/ports1961.php

“Xiamen Investment Promotion Authorities and Incentives,” http://understand-china.com/?manufacturing=xiamen-investment-incentives.

Zeyu, Zhang. “An Inside Look at the Xiamen SEZ,” (Accessed: May, 6, 2011), http://www.bjreview.com.cn/CIFIT/2009-08/10/content_211416.htm

Figures:

Figure 1: “Xiamen Investment Promotion Authorities and Incentives,” (http://understand-china.com/?manufacturing=xiamen-investment-incentives).

Figure 2: Vuitton. “Ethnic Models, you should know,” (May, 20 2009), http://fashionbombdaily.com/tag/joan-smalls/page/4/

Figure 3: http://cornedbeefhash.wordpress.com/2008/08/

——————————————————————————–

[1] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 3.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid, 1.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid.

[7] Flagg, Michael. “Asian Market for Luxury Goods Quiets a Bit.” The Wall Street Journal. August 14, 2000.

[8] Although China is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of apparel products , China-made products [are] often associated with cheap, low quality and counterfeit goods(Taken from: Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 1).

[9] “[…One] of China’s four special economic zones opened in 1980, Xiamen is the only coastal city that has begun to gradually implement certain free-port policies. The Xiamen Special Economic Zone was established from a former industrial city. Xiamen now has 767 industrial enterprises manned by 110,000 workers… Its 1985 industrial output value surpassed 2.6 billion Yuan, making it Fujian Province’s second largest producer. With an average annual rise of 15.7 percent, [from 1980 to 1985,] Xiamen’s total industrial and agricultural output value has more than doubled that of 1980… [During this period] city officials signed 296 contracts for operating Chinese-foreign joint ventures, cooperative enterprises and solely foreign-owned enterprises. These contracts are valued at $1.16 billion, $660 million of which comes from direct foreign investment. ” (taken from: http://www.bjreview.com.cn/CIFIT/2009-08/10/content_211416.htm).

[10] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 1.

[11] “Xiamen Investment Promotion Authorities and Incentives,” (http://understand-china.com/?manufacturing=xiamen-investment-incentives).

[12] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 5.

[13] “The average prices of PORTS products were one-third of other imported luxury products” (taken from: Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 5). “Counter staff at Versace [confirms that since] Versace’s products are made overseas, they are subject to an import tariff of at least 10 percent, which raises their price. ‘Products are more expensive than in Hong Kong, just as a result of the customs tariffs,’ [stated] a worker at Prada… [Another example is Gucci. In Europe you can find lots of bags priced at around 300 euros, while in China these same bags cost around 5,000 yuan (€538, US$764). That’s about 50 percent more expensive.” (taken from: “Chinese Media: Luxury Goods In China Up To 50% More Expensive Than Overseas,” Jing Daily (31 March, 2011) http://www.jingdaily.com/en/luxury/chinese-media-luxury-goods-in-china-up-to-50-more-expensive-than-overseas/.

[14] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 5.

[15] Ibid., 5.

[16] Ibid., 7.

[17] “Hong Kong/China. (Global Power of Retailing). Chain Store” Vol.72, No. 12 (1996): 40

[18] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 4.

[19] Ibid.

[20] A more expensive label…targeting more sophisticated and high-end consumers while attempting to bring the brand back home to North America. (Taken from: Ibid., 8.)

[21] PORTS 1961 intern, personal interview, April 26, 2011.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Ibid.

[24] Mclaughlin, Kathleen E. “Out of Luxe: Beijing Bans ‘High Class’Billboards,” (March 23, 2011). WWD: Women’s Wear Daily, 4.

[25] Ibid.

[26] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 6.

[27] Ibid.

[28] Ibid, 8.

[29] Ibid, 6.

[30] Karimzadeh, Marc, “Ports 1961 Sails Back to U.S. shores,” (March, 10, 2005). WWD: Women’s Wear Daily, Vol. 189, No. 50.

[31] Ibid.

[32] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 9.

[33] A planned mix of the controllable elements of a product’s marketing plan commonly termed as 4Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. These four elements are adjusted until the right combination is found that serves the needs of the product’s customers, while generating optimum income. Sometimes the first P (Product) is substituted by presentation. (Take from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/marketing-mix.html).

[34] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 9.

[35] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 8.

[36] http://www.ports1961.com/fw2011/ports1961.php

[37] Pugh, Clifford. “Ethnic Dresses Style with “a global soul’ Ports 1961 creative director’s got the worldly goods.” Houston Chronicle Publishing Company Division, Hearst Newspapers Partnership, LP (2009).

[38] Vuitton. “Ethnic Models, you should know,” (May, 20 2009), http://fashionbombdaily.com/tag/joan-smalls/page/4/

[39] http://cornedbeefhash.wordpress.com/2008/08/

[40] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 9.

[41] Ibid, 10.

[42] Karimzadeh, Marc. “Ports 1961 Launching in N.Y.” (Feb 13, 2009), WWD, vol. 197, No. 32, 4.

[43] PORTS 1961 intern, personal interview, April 26, 2011.

[44]Ibid.

[45] “The value chain, is a concept from business management that was first described and popularized by Michael Porter in his 1985 best-seller, Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance… A value chain is a chain of activities for a firm operating in a specific industry. The business unit is the appropriate level for construction of a value chain, not the divisional level or corporate level. Products pass through all activities of the chain in order, and at each activity the product gains some value. ” (taken from: Porter, M. E. “What is strategy?” (November–December 1996), Harvard Business Review, 61-78).

[46] Gao, Gerald Yong, JianYong Lu, and Hung-Gay Fung. “Ports: China’s Walk on the Global Luxury Fashion Boulevard.” Asia Case Research Centre, University of Hong Kong (2008): 8.

[47] http://www.ports1961.com/fw2011/ports1961.php

[48] “Timberland’s partnership with City Year, [… a] co-operation between business and [a non-for-profit organization], included joint services projects, training exercises and a new product line. The company also established a community enterprise division to schedule community service events and gave each employee 32 hours of annual paid leave to participate in service work…[T]he idea of community service at Timberland had gone beyond traditional notions of ‘philanthropy’ or ’cause-related marketing’ to become a central feature of the company and brand’s identity.” (taken from: Austin, James. “Timberland and Community Involvement,” (August 6, 2001). Harvard Business Review).

[49] Raffin, Paul, FIT Guest lecture, May 11, 2011.

[50] Ibid.

[51] Ibid.

[52] Ibid.


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