Hong Kong Retailer Joyce Celebrates 40 Years, Former Exec Goes Digital

Joyce Boutiques Aims to Provide Label-less Luxury; Former Joyce Boutique Executive Adrienne Ma’s New Flash Sale Site

Photo by Diane Pernet.

Photo by Diane Pernet.

Joyce Boutique has been enjoying a lot of attention lately from its 40th anniversary celebration, which will be marked by the release of limited-edition products, including the Anna Sui butterfly USB drive, a Ruinart Champagne bottle designed by artist Yue Minjun, and a major retrospective exhibition featuring rare documents, archival video footage and pieces from various fashion houses. This week, Dazed Digital posted a brief interview with Joyce Boutiques CEO Andrew Keith on the celebrations. The 50 looks were in the retrospective were selected by the designers from the year Joyce first introduced their collection to Hong Kong. Aside from the garments, the exhibition also shows interactive media tables, an interview series with designers, as well as a book supporting the exhibition.

The show, which Joyce CEO Keith describes as “a reflection of the fashion development of Asia,” will be shown at the Museum of Medical Science in Hong Kong until December 31, and can be viewed in Shanghai in January then in Europe in time for Paris Fashion Week. The exhibition is also online at Joyce.com.

Ruinart Champagne bottle designed by artist Yue Minjun

Ruinart Champagne bottle designed by artist Yue Minjun

The WSJ recently reported on Joyce’s 40th Anniversary, noting that the retailer has prided itself on bringing the avant-garde and lesser-known labels to China’s fashion savvy. Steve Garton, the executive director of media at research company Synocate, was quoted as saying, “There are two shopping ecosystems in Hong Kong: One is for locals; the other is for the Chinese, the Chinese ecosystem is about logo-love and badges of success.” Joyce traditionally has not carried most of the established big-label brands, instead bringing new brands to the China market.

Even so, Joyce is making headway with the mainland Chinese, who now represent 40% of the company’s clientele in Hong Kong, compared with only 15-20% three years ago. Additionally, Joyce expanded into mainland China four years ago, and while their Hong Kong location still accounts for 80% of its revenue, logo-frenzy is starting to wearing off in China, and Joyce stands to reach those looking for label-less luxury. Joyce Boutiques hopes that “the likes of Joyce,” as Radha Chadha, a Hong Kong-based brand consultant says, “are what you aspire to once you’re done with the logo types.”

In 2007, Joyce Ma and her daughter Adrienne left the company, and while Joyce Ma has been a pioneering retail legend, Adrienne Ma is continuing her mother’s legacy. The former head of Joyce Boutique Holdings, Ma recently launched Shouke.com, a members-only shopping site that offers flash sales on luxury apparel and goods. With luxury brands looking to tap the growing potential of online shopping in China, Ma’s Shouke.com stands apart, with American and European labels offering three-day sales events of off-season collections at deep discounts — similar to the model of Gilt.com in the U.S. While currently only offered in Hong Kong, Ma hopes to expand her 2,700 registered members into China and offer sales on a daily basis. As Ma told WWD, “We are providing an alternative channel for high end brands to retail their off-season merchandise in Hong Kong.” By leveraging her career experience at Joyce, Adrienne Ma aims to differentiate her e-commerce site from the brands she has built relationships with over the years through proper representation and styling.

As Ma continued, “You don’t have to look very far to see that online e-commerce has already begun to co-habit alongside bricks and mortar businesses. We may be a little early in terms of coming in with a truly luxury site, but we really believe in the enormous potential of the market.”

Article by Felice Jiang

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Fashion