A lot has come out of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference that brought scores of world leaders to Beijing this past week -- economic deals, environmental deals and plenty of jokes about those Star Trek-esque suits. Now, Chinese retailers on popular e-commerce website Taobao Marketplace (operated by Alibaba Group Holding Limited) have rushed to get imitation versions of the suits worn by the world leaders to sell online.
According to local news source Beijing News, the novelty shirts began popping up online this week and sellers have been “flooded” with requests for copycat versions of the dark maroon suits that the leaders were photographed in on Tuesday night. Prices online for the shirts, which are a modern take on the traditional Chinese men's shirt called a "changpao," vary from 170 yuan ($28) to as much as 1,000 yuan ($163).
“The clothing worn by Xi will become popular for sure,” one online retailer told the Beijing News. “Ordering copies of the leaders’ clothing is mainly for the novel experience. The state leaders can wear them. Why can’t we wear them?”
This isn’t the first time Taobao has jumped on the fashion trends of China’s top figures. Last year, China’s first lady Peng Liyuan quickly became an icon among Chinese and even made an impression globally, being named on Vanity Fair’s International Best-Dressed List 2014. During a public appearance in Russia, Peng was seen wearing a trendy double-breasted pea coat and handbag made by Chinese designers. It wasn’t long before knockoff versions of her jacket, dubbed the “First Lady Coat”, went on sale on Taobao.