Wang Liangxing, 50, vice-chairman and chief executive officer of business menswear brand Lilanz, noticed that whenever his sons, in their 20s, attend formal occasions and put on their black suits and ties, he would always end up suggesting they jazz it up a bit - with a statement-making belt or a checked-pattern inner shirt.
That's when he realized it was time to give Lilanz a touch of youth.
This is the inspiration for L2, Lilanz's second label on the market, targeted at the 20-35 age group.
Unsurprisingly, L2 show at China Fashion Week (CFW) 2010 autumn/winter had plenty of leather jackets, slim-cut pants and ankle-high boots.
CFW saw many local fashion brands breaking free of tradition and going for a more global look.
Both the menswear brands, Lilanz and Septwolves, started with a stereotypical business style in the early 1990s, and are launching their second labels this year.
Wang from Lilanz says they are borrowing from international brands.
"Our brand wants to be China's Armani. There was first Giorgio Armani and then Emporio Armani, and we want to do the same," Wang says.
While Girogio is aimed at the top end, the Emporio collection is more mid-range.
Local brands are also looking more at big name stars to be their spokesmen.
Besides Taiwanese actor Chen Chang, Septwolves's spokesmen include Sun Honglei, Hu Jun, Zhang Hanyu and director Lu Chuan, all A-list stars in the mainland's showbiz industry.
Likewise, jeans brand Jasonwood has invited local actor Lu Yi, model Chun Xiao, and hot VJ Liu Yan to its 10-year anniversary party.
Golden Horse Award winner Nick Cheung signed a contract with the Jiangsu-based brand Worthy during the fashion week to be its spokesman. Taiwanese talk show host Dee Hsu, also known as Xiao S, appeared in the Maoren advertising campaign, to present its underwear collection.
With an eye on the global market, Chinese brands are increasingly cooperating with foreign brands.
Maoren, for example, will open some stores in Southeast Asian countries, and include the Dolce & Gabbana underwear line, said company president You Lin at the China International Clothing & Accessories Fair.