Chapter 5: Selling the Latest Fashion — An abundance of knowledge can give you confidence in yourself and strength. Pretty clothes are exactly the same.
Lin Zhen’s phone call came through at this moment like timely rain during a drought. Jian Yan walked to the side and accepted the call. She hadn’t said anything yet when Lin Zhen impatiently said, “I suddenly remembered. Yesterday, I was looking for you to tell you that your collaboration with Bunny, it’s being released today!”
“…Mn, I’m already seeing it happen here.”
“…” Lin Zhen awkwardly laughed. “Yesterday, we were chatting too happily, so I forgot to tell you this. Hehe.”
“From my perspective, it was more like you being too happy listening to the concert.” Jian Yan spat out this line before continuing, “Do I need to do anything for my collaboration’s publicity campaign…”
“Don’t worry! I will publicize on your Weibo and the studio’s Weibo!”
“Mn, then that’s good.” Because Jian Yan had always been preoccupied with drawing, she had never had the time to manage her Weibo. Lin Zhen had, for all intents and purposes, taken it over and managed it for her.
Lin Zhen asked, “The actual clothes that you saw, how were they?”
“It’s almost the same as the clothing samples we were shown previously. I still haven’t carefully inspected them.”
“Oh…but then again, you are a member of the sales staff of Starlight General Merchandise and get commission from your clothing sales. As the manhua artist Tang Zhi, Bunny also has to give you a percentage, so won’t you earn twice as much money for selling one clothing article??”
The corner of Jian Yan’s mouth rose. “Yes. Don’t you feel that I am magnificent?”
“…” The routines of the city were too solid. She deeply felt that this was the true reason why Jian Yan had chosen to be a salesperson at Starlight General Merchandise.
“I’m not going to chat with you anymore. They’re about to open the shop on my side.” With that, Jian Yan hung up, and just in time too as the site manager had come over and called for everyone to gather.
“As everyone can see, Bunny and Tang Zhi’s collaboration project is being released for sale today. Today just happens to be the weekend, so I am certain that there will be numerous clients coming in to ask and buy the clothes. All of you must be well-prepared beforehand. Early this morning, people have come over to deliver several clothing selections. In a moment, you all need to change the mannequins over there. Furthermore, this large poster needs to be pinned to that exhibition board in the most eye-catching position possible.” The site manager rapidly gave everyone instructions. “The store doesn’t open for business for another twenty or so minutes. You all need to hurry up and be prepared before those front doors open.”
When the site manager finished giving instructions, everyone began to move. Jian Yan dressed a mannequin with a matching set of clothes before going to take a look at the large poster being used for publicity. This was something she had drawn for the sole purpose of her collaboration with Bunny. The model was the female lead of her manhua, Shang Ke. 1
The poster had a neat, calligraphic, yet particularly conspicuous, line—— 『Tang Zhi x Bunny FY. Officially for sale today!』
To fill in the gap left by the middle-class market, Bunny had created a new secondary brand, called Bunny FY. Due to the rise of the Internet over the past several years, new clothing brands were popping up like spring bamboo after the rain.2 Every large brand had no other choice but to change their business strategies. There were some high-end brand names who introduced low-priced accessories, like silk scarves and mini handbags. There were some brands who released reasonably priced secondary brands.
A secondary brand, however, had a very difficult time breaking away from the main brand’s shadow. For the most part, they were the main brand’s clothing with a little improvement and then manufactured with lower fabric quality and mass-produced.
Bunny FY’s clothing also continually had this problem. They even had consumers denounce them and say that the official brand was plagiarizing itself.
This time, Bunny and Tang Zhi’s collaboration was an entirely new idea. Not only were they borrowing an exceedingly popular manhua to attract consumers, they were pouring fresh energy into the clothing.
And to Jian Yan, the collaboration this time fulfilled her role as a designer. Furthermore, Bunny was giving her a generous percentage of the profits.
The shopping mall opened. Innumerable amount of clients flooded the store, inquiring about the collaboration. Jian Yan was constantly receiving clients with practically no rest.
“This item! This item! When I saw it in the manhua, I was especially fond of it. I didn’t expect that it would still be this adorable in reality!”
“The price is also very cute at ¥3888.”
“…Compared with those tags that are frequently above tens of thousands, this price is truly, extraordinarily adorable too!”
There were two girls who looked to be seniors in high school chattering continuously around an overcoat. Jian Yan walked by them and said with a smile, “If you like it, you can try it on.”
The short-haired girl looked at her and seemed to be hesitant. “Maybe not. I can’t afford it anyway…”
Jian Yan smiled and grabbed a white, furry beret and handed it to the girl. “In fact, you don’t necessarily need to buy a clothing article. These accessories are also excellent, like this beret. It was also worn by Shang Ke in the manhua.”
“Yes, yes. I remember! The rabbit on the top is extremely adorable!” The girl seized the beret in Jian Yan’s hand and tried it on her head. “You have also read Tang Zhi’s manhua?”
Jian Yan said, “Yes! I especially like her!”
“Me too. The Great God Tang Zhi’s clothing sketches are all so beautiful!”
“Yes, I think that she must definitely be extraordinarily beautiful in real life.” Jian Yan’s words were particularly sincere.
The girl nodded in approval. “This beret, I’ll buy it.”
“Okay, please come over here to pay the bill. Thank you for your patronage.”
Jian Yan led the two girls to finish settling the balance when she heard her colleagues whisper, “Director He is here!”
Although her voice was especially low, it was hard to conceal the excitement lacing her words. Jian Yan’s gaze followed the direction her co-worker was pointing at. Sure enough, she saw He Xiu walking over here.
He was wearing a stiff, pressed black coat paired with a white button-up and a black neck tie. He saw that everyone’s gazes were focused on him, so he smiled at them and said, “Today, Bunny and Tang Zhi’s collaboration line has released for sale. I came here specifically to take a look. Continue working. There is no need to look after me.”
Once again hearing this sexy voice, Jian Yan’s heart skipped twice. Pu-tong. Pu-tong. She couldn’t help furrowing her brows. What had been going on with her recently?
The store had a deluge of clients. He Xiu had originally wanted to ask Jian Yan how she was adjusting to the job, but there were several clients who wanted him to help them look at clothes, so he was unable to draw himself away for awhile.
Jian Yan shot a glance in his direction and casually swept her gaze over a girl standing outside the store. She was tall and thin, with her hair pulled back into a ponytail. The clothes on her body… Jian Yan pursed her lips. To describe it nicely——simple.
It appeared that the girl felt that she was inharmonious with the fashion store, as she continued to stand outside instead of entering.
Jian Yan thought for a moment before she walked over to her. “Hello, excuse me. May I help you with anything?”
The girl raised her head to look at her and somewhat timidly pushed her glasses up the bridge of her nose. “No…”
Jian Yan’s eyes twitched. She said, “Today, Teacher Tang Zhi and Bunny’s collaboration clothing line has been released to sell. How about you come in and take a look?” After she said this, she pointed at the large poster pinned outside the store. “What do you think? Very pretty, no?”
The girl nodded and replied, “Mn, very pretty.”
Jian Yan looked at her and didn’t continue speaking. After a while, the girl finally said, “I, I want to buy a set of clothes, but I rarely go shopping…”
Jian Yan said, “That’s okay. I can give you some recommendations.”
The girl commented, “But my budget is only ¥8000.”
Jian Yan smiled. “¥8000 can buy you beautiful clothing. What I’m wearing right now also doesn’t exceed ¥8000!”
The girl looked at her. A small, khaki-colored leather jacket, floral printed high-waist bootcut pants, a white, knitted wool sweater, and a pair of black leather shoes. “You’re very pretty.”
“You can be, too.” After Jian Yan spoke, she guided the girl into the store and began giving her clothing recommendations. “Pink is a very popular color this year. This overcoat is a classic; matched with a completely fashionable pink, it adds a trace of loveliness to this classic.”
The girl stroked the fluffy overcoat and said, “Sheng Ke wore these clothes.”
“Yes. You can wear this skirt to wrap up this outfit. Its lace design is cute yet sexy, and the length is just right.” Jian Yan also grabbed a pair or brown high-heeled shoes and gave them to her after she finished speaking. “Do you wear high heels normally?”
The girl shook her head.
Jian Yan commented, “That’s okay. These heels aren’t very high. Try them out.”
The girl carried the items Jian Yan had chosen and followed her to the changing room. Jian Yan waited outside for five to six minutes. When the girl came out of the changing room, Jian Yan glanced her over and nodded, pleased with her work. “Pretty good. Take a look at yourself.”
She brought the girl over to a mirror. The girl stared blankly at her reflection before she buried her head down. “The clothes are very beautiful, but I’m really not suited for such fashionable clothes.”
Jian Yan refuted her. “The reason you think you’re ill-suited is because your hairstyle and makeup does not go well with the outfit. If you switch your hairstyle and wear light makeup, then it will be completely different. Here, let me help you fix your hair slightly.”
As she said this, she lightly took down the girl’s ponytail. The girl looked at her mirror reflection for a moment before she opened her mouth to say, “Actually, I don’t really dare to talk with sales staff, especially Fantasy Wardrobe’s sales staff…”
Jian Yan chuckled. “Why is that? Our clients are deities.”
The girl pursed her lips and said, “My parents say that a girl who loves beauty doesn’t have any inclinations to study, so since I was a child, all the clothes I was given have been extremely dull. In middle school, everyone wore the school uniform, so it wasn’t that bad, but later on in university, all the other students wore very beautiful clothing. But I… I know everyone frequently says behind my back that I am very old-fashioned.”
Jian Yan’s hand paused for a moment before she continued to style her hair. “I was also just like you. I came from a poor household where even being able to eat was a problem. There’s no need to even mention buying clothes. At that time, the schools didn’t make it compulsory to wear school uniforms, so when I began middle school, my classmates would mock me for being plain.”
The girl stared at her in amazement, seemingly thinking that she was joking. Jian Yan smiled at her. “You can’t tell, right? Because I earn money now, I can buy good-looking clothes.”
“Ah, my money is also from my school scholarship and also from saving my living expenses. I heard that Bunny and Teacher Tang Zhi’s newest clothing style were being sold today, so I came over for the sole purpose of taking a look.”
Jian Yan more or less had finished fixing her hair and had the girl raise her head to look in the mirror. “What do you think now? If you aren’t allergic to contact lenses, you should replace your glasses for some quickly. Or perhaps you can pick a pair of designer frames——wearing those will also look pretty good.”
“Mhmm. So much better now!” When the girl saw the reflection of her new appearance, she felt as if she was once again getting to know herself today.
Jian Yan said to her, “Studying and wearing beautiful clothing aren’t a clash of opposing forces. An abundance of knowledge can give you confidence in yourself and strength. Pretty clothes are exactly the same.”
He Xiu looked in their direction, and the corners of his mouth quirked up into a smile.