2019 was certainly a challenging year for luxury brands in China. Issues such as the trade war and the country’s changing policies on luxury tax as well as the devaluation of the currency all forced decision-makers and CEOs to devote more resources to the mainland. In this climate, many brand-leaders pioneered new approaches or recalibrated strategies swiftly to navigate China’s nuanced domestic market successfully.
Valentino’s fusion of Haute Couture and streetwear was a daring experimental move while Moncler’s continued its innovation with a spearheading 24-hour Hackathon. Other companies continued to amplify what they do best: retail platform Farfetch amplified its digit path and Erno Laszlo’s efforts resulted in the roll out of a well-timed expansion over the next five years.
Below, Jing Daily’s selection of the top 5 CEO interviews in 2019. For more of our 2019 year in review analysis, read on here.
- Remo Ruffini, Moncler, and the Cult of Innovation
Remo Ruffini purchased the failing luxury brand Moncler in 2003. Now, as Chairman and CEO, he has seen it transform into a company worth billions. This year, Moncler continued to innovate, introducing a hackathon that brought together 450 employees from around the world. It set them 24-hours to create new and distinctive solutions to a range of problems. Here, Remo Ruffini discusses his creative retail strategy and the brand’s approach to China. Read more.
- Exclusive Interview: Bvlgari CEO Jean-Christophe Babin
Jing Daily spoke to Bvlgari’s CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin, to learn more about Bvlgari’s long-term plans for this crucial market. At a time of increasing uncertainty, including an economic slowdown and fluctuations in the yuan, this plan focused on the changing Chinese customer and the brand’s China-facing marketing strategy. Bvlgari’s strategy, therefore, aimed to reinforce the brand’s desirability and relevance, and drive Chinese customers’ interest in the brand’s USPs: authentic Italian craftsmanship and timeless creativity. Read more.
- Valentino’s Haute Couture-Meets-Streetwear Experiment in China
Over the last decade, streetwear has been disrupting high-end fashion; this year Valentino tapped it through the graceful lens of couture. For Valentino’s Chinese debut haute couture show called Daydream, the brand revealed its desire to blend the two fashion extremes into one, unified collection. During Jing Daily’s exclusive interview with Stefano Sassi, the CEO explained how Valentino implemented its distinctive haute couture spirit across all ranges.. Read more.
- Farfetch Wants to Be the KOL of Fashion Digits
In China, younger consumers look to KOLs as fashion trendsetters and Farfetch, leading online luxury fashion retail platform, is determined to become this generation’s favorite online destination to shop full-price luxury pieces. Jing Daily spoke to Giorgio Belloli, Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer at Farfetch, who shared the company’s investing and marketing strategies in China, as well as, the sustainability program offered by the platform. Read more.
- Audrey Hepburn’s Favorite Skincare Line Erno Laszlo Thinks Big in China
Skincare company Erno Laszlo entered China’s marketplace over five years ago by setting up several counters in department stores and shops on Alibaba’s B2C marketplace Tmall. Charles Denton, the company’s CEO, is now fully aware of the potential of his brand as Chinese consumers have started to embrace its products. He announced brand expansion over the next five years — the timing of which is related to the country’s attempt to regulate “daigou” business and drive domestic consumption. Read more.