The wonderful Forerunner Ventures newsletter (new website, check it out) brought to my attention Yanxuan, an incredibly rapidly scaling marketplace by NetEase. Check out the front page (Google translated):
The concept is simple: source unbranded product from manufacturers that also produce for large brands. Use same or similar designs and much lower price points. Will they eventually get in trouble with the brands or lose some ODM manufacturers because of their claims? Possibly. But until then it feels like a scaled Chinese Everlane... and it also does $1.8 billion in revenue :)
Good life, less expensive indeed. Did you know that Prada already sources 20% of its range from China (WSJ paywall)? Chinese manufacturing isn't just cheap, it's also gotten incredibly high-quality. While Europe was mucking about with its Euro bs.
If you are thinking about launching a Yanxuan type of business in Europe or the US, get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org will find me.