Will Chinese Buyers Accept Valextra’s Bold Answer to Logomania?

How does a no-logo brand get a slice of attention during a booming logomania trend? Maybe by focusing on the brand’s lack of logos.

Valextra, dubbed the “Italian Hermès” by Chinese bloggers, intends to make a splash during Milan Fashion Week (Sept. 19-25) by debuting their #NoLogoMyLogo campaign alongside its Spring-Summer 2019 presentation.

The current logomania trend, which has brands like Gucci and Balenciaga slapping oversized or multiple logos on items, is taking off with Chinese luxury buyers. So, considering that one-third of its customers are Chinese, Valextra is making a risky move with their #NoLogoMyLogo campaign—one that signals to consumers that they are the driving force behind the brand’s identity rather than a company-designed icon.

“This is a demographic decision,” said Sara Ferrero, CEO of Valextra, in a phone interview with Jing Daily. “The customer is at the heart of the project.” Ferrero initiated the campaign for the 81-year-old Milan brand, and she oversees all aspects of it, from creative strategy to business operations.

In order to counter the logo fad, the company is highlighting one of its more unusual features: their exceptional bespoke services which offer Velextra customers generous customization and personal care. For instance, buyers can design a one-of-a-kind bag by collaborating directly with one of the company’s graphic designers.

And to make sure their message gets across, Valextra has asked 25 Chinese “talents” to design their own unique bags based on their favorite style, color, and their initials.

Prices for customized bags are at least 18 percent higher than average Valextra bags and range from $2,890 to $5,695 (19,800 to 39,000 RMB). But elements such as bag style, print, initials’ color, and size are all customizable, though orders will take three months to reach a customer’s doorstep.

The campaign, which debuts this week, draws inspiration from Italy’s seminal graphic design and architectural traditions of the 1960s and 70s, says Ferrero, something that has always been reference points for Valextra’s designs.

Among the celebrities who will sport the bespoke handbags is actress Liu Tao who was the first Chinese celebrity to carry the bag in public, a move that brought a lot of attention to the brand in China. She has made a video that focuses on individuality—a viewpoint that opposes the concept of logos. The ever-present fashion influencer Mr. Bags will also be part of the campaign and will explain the process of how to create your very own bag.

All of the bags, which start out a creamy white color, will be available worldwide at Valextra’s stores and online on September 22. They will drop on digital channels first, including WeChat in China. Valextra plans to produce only 50 bags before Christmas, but for a brand that handles design and manufacture in-house, the amount of customization is no small task.

The company is standing firm on their commitment to embracing their new logo-less project, saying it won’t only be seasonal but part of their permanent collection. The hope is that a commitment to quality and design ultimately speaks louder than logos.

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