A Hanfu Festival in Xiufu county. Xiuwu Government.
The event, to take place in Henan province’s Xiuwu county from May 7 to 9, will include fashion shows, economic forums and cultural events catering to both consumers and industry insiders interested in the traditional costume movement.
Hanfu, once a niche market, is booming as China’s younger generation becomes more enthusiastic about traditional culture — an uptick fueled by an interest in ACG (anime, comics and games) and short video social media platforms. The industry grew rapidly from 190 million yuan ($ 29.1 million) in 2015 to 4.52 billion yuan ($ 693.4 million ) in 2019, maintaining a growth rate of more than 70 percent for four consecutive years, according to iiMedia data, which estimates that the number of Hanfu consumers has exceeded 3.56 million.
Alibaba launched Gutao App, a social platform dedicated to Hanfu consumers, in July 2019. During its Single Day event in the same year, the GMV of Hanfu products reached 200 million yuan ($30.6 million) within 24 hours. In the fashion search ranking released by Alibaba’s Tmall platform, Hanfu ranked fourth in the womenswear’s category and tenth in the menwear’s category.
Despite Xiuwu county’s small population and status as a fourth tier city, it has become known as the capital of Hanfu. Since August 2020, Xiuwu has hosted three Hanfu festivals, attracting more than 300,000 Gen Z visitors. A video of the county party secretary wearing Hanfu attracted 20 million views on Douyin.