Chinese Manufacturers Join Royal Wedding Feeding Frenzy

MSNBC’s Adrienne Mong reports on enterprising Chinese manufacturers’ efforts to tap into royal wedding fever with commemorative coins and replica engagement rings and dresses.

Wang Xiaofeng has spent 11 years working as a seamstress. She’s employed by the Shanghai Unite Gold Textile Garment Company in Suzhou, which occupies a small site a few stories high in a building overlooking one of the city’s many famous canals.

The tiny factory specializes in wedding dresses, which a handful of seamstresses can turn around in as quickly as ten days, depending on the amount of fabric.

But Wang’s spent the past seven months working not on a wedding gown but an engagement dress.

One that’s already been worn.

Five thousand miles away.

By a future princess.

“I like this dress very much,” said Wang, smiling shyly as she held up a nearly completed silky blue dress and showed me the boning. “It’s a bit more complicated to make, because the design is involved.”

She’s produced ten of them, and most of the customers she says are overseas.

But the Jiangsu Province native stares blankly when I ask her about the owner of the original dress and its significance.

“I don’t know who Kate Middleton is,” she replied.

See also a CNN report from China featuring interviews with the same producer of replica engagement rings, which he claims improve on the flimsy original, and a fortune teller with bad news for the royal couple. Alternatively, read some fine dissent on William Windsor’s wedding from Johann Hari and Christopher Hitchens.

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