Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri returned to the storied house’s good old days for its Fall 2023 ready-to-wear show.
On February 28, Paris Fashion Week opened with the Dior show, which revisited femininity in 1950s Paris. Chiuri chose three French women as muses for this season: Christian Dior’s World War II resistance fighter sister Catherine Dior, singer and actress Juliette Gréco and popular singer Edith Piaf.
Chiuri sees all three as forerunners of feminism and celebrates their mission by encouraging and uplifting the women of today.
Selected runway looks from Dior Fall 2023 ready-to-wear collection (swipe left). Photo: Dior
Along with the creative director’s dedication to bridging feminism and fashion, the French house’s discerning marketing and communication strategy is instrumental to its outstanding business performance.
In 2022, “Christian Dior continued its remarkable growth trajectory across all its product lines,” said LVMH, the house’s parent company, in its annual report.
This year, the house will continue to strengthen its competitiveness across categories. In particular, Dior has raised its bet on handbags with the release of another iconic style named Lady 95.22, a reiteration of its classic Lady Dior handbag which debuted in 1995. The launch campaign starring Chinese actress and brand ambassador Dilraba has resonated with local consumers, driving over 560 million views for the campaign hashtag “DIORLADY9522” on Weibo.
To understand the success factors behind the haute couture house’s spectacular runway show, Jing Daily scrutinizes Dior’s communication tactics targeting Chinese audiences, its pioneering digital strategies, and localization initiatives over recent years.
Setting the runway show livestreaming benchmark
When COVID-19 hit the global fashion industry in 2020, Dior innovated the livestreaming format, broadcasting runway shows while engaging local fashion communities. By inviting Chinese celebrities, fashion critics and KOLs to live rooms in China, the house contextualized its shows and enabled local audiences to better understand each season’s concept.
Thanks to the livestreaming events across China’s social platforms, including on Weibo, WeChat, Tencent Video, Douyin, Bilibili, and Xiaohongshu, Dior’s shows sparked a social buzz and generated organic online discussion, which expanded the influence of the events to tap broader communities.
Although China has reopened its borders — allowing the Chinese fashion contingent to descend on Paris Fashion Week this season for the first time in three years — Dior has maintained its virtual connection with millions of Chinese viewers. Prior to the show, the house released a teaser starring brand ambassador Liu Yuxin and sent out digital invitations to Weibo, WeChat, Xiaohongshu and Douyin users.
Distinct from previous seasons’ livestreaming events, this time Dior streamed live directly from the show’s location, the Jardin des Tuileries in the first arrondissement of Paris. The live show featured Liu, well-known actress Zhang Ziyi, brand friend You Tianyi, and KOLs such as Mr. Bags and Becky Li.
Digital veteran at luxury marketing vanguard
In addition to entering the livestreaming arena, Dior has been expanding its digital footprint in China. In August 2018, it became the first luxury brand to launch an official account on short-video platform Douyin. And in June 2020, it made its debut on Bilibili, a popular youth-oriented video-streaming giant in China, becoming the first luxury name to embrace China’s largest online anime, comics and gaming community.
Dior, founded in 1946, is also at the vanguard of luxury houses venturing into the metaverse. In April 2022, the French house launched its first-ever metaverse exhibition in China, titled On the Road, in partnership with local media business group Meta Media Holdings. Hosted on Baidu’s XiRang metaverse social app, the exhibition showcased Dior’s Fall 2022 menswear collection via an interactive experience.
Meanwhile, Dior pioneered collaborations with virtual idols, blurring the boundaries between fashion and the metaverse. The house, controlled by Bernard Arnault, who also helms LVMH, invited six groups of virtual idols, including famed fashion influencer Ayayi and boy group WLS, to visit the second edition of its Art ‘N Dior exhibition at Shanghai’s West Bund Art Center and share snapshots from the event on social media. These digital programs not only showcased Dior’s dedication to exploring the future of fashion, but also its agility in tapping a broader consumer base.
Reimagining localization initiatives in China
Over the past three years, Dior has attached greater importance to engaging the Chinese market and domestic customers. In April 2021, the house presented its Fall 2021 show at Shanghai’s Long Museum. Featuring a see-now-buy-now model, the event was livestreamed to 126 million viewers via Dior’s official site and nine major Chinese social media channels. Thanks to its omni-channel marketing strategy, the maison is deftly navigating China’s rapidly changing market and maintaining its physical and digital connections with local consumers.
Cultural relevance is another highlight of Dior’s localization strategy. For instance, at the end of 2022, a pop-up store spotlighting its limited-edition collection with ERL was unveiled in Zhangyuan, a historical retail district located in downtown Shanghai.
By applying California vibes to the century-old building, the brand reinterpreted Shanghainese culture through the lens of modernity. This January, Dior sculpted a pop-up shop out of ice at Jinlin Province’s Lake Songhua Resort. Modeled after the luxury house’s flagship store at 30 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, the ice sculpture proved to be a popular photo backdrop on social platforms like Xiaohongshu and Weibo.
With its solid understanding of local macro and micro trends, as well as its fully fledged marketing strategy, the French maison looks set to maintain its leading position in the luxury sector.