China News Brief
    April 25, 2024

    BYD unveils ultra-luxe model; Bottega Veneta voices romance via athletes; China luxury lull sparks Tuscan leather crisis.
    BYD's new U7 model. Photo: Yangwang

    BYD unveils ultra-luxe model#

    BYD today unveiled  the U7, its third ultra-luxury model under the Yangwang brand, as it makes a push upmarket to increase profitability amid an intensifying price war. Last year, BYD added the Yangwang brand to its stable with an SUV and sports car priced over 1 million RMB ($138,009).

    Bottega Veneta voices romance via athletes#

    Bottega Veneta has released  a new short film, starring Chinese athletes Guo Jingjing, Xu Xin, and Ning Zetao, for 520 Day on May 20. “520” originated from an internet slang term of endearment, as the pronunciation of the numbers sounds like “I love you” in Mandarin. Directed by Guo Dongxun and shot by Yuan Xiaopeng, the film was filmed in Shanghai and Chongqing, interpreting themes of love, anticipation, and reunion.

    China luxury lull sparks Tuscan leather crisis#

    Declining demand from China has hit  Tuscany’s traditional leather companies hard, with major fashion houses like Kering and LVMH adjusting their strategies, leading to layoffs and threatening the region’s renowned craftsmanship. Shortening subcontracting chains and internalizing production by luxury brands have left warehouses full and small producers struggling. Some have shifted focus to niche markets and sustainable fashion, while others face challenges in addressing social and environmental concerns. The risk of losing Italy’s luxury appeal looms large, prompting calls for protective measures to safeguard the industry's heritage and workforce.

    Tod’s dials up star power#

    Tod’s on Tuesday announced actress  Zhang Jingyi as its new brand ambassador. In promotional content she is seen sporting Tod’s T Box handbag and Tod’s T Ring loafers.

    520 Day gets Tiffany treatment#

    Tiffany & Co. yesterday released  a new 520 Day advertisement, debuting the Tiffany Knot series two-tone gold diamond necklace exclusively in the Chinese market, to mark this romantic festival. The ad focuses on the brand’s classic jewelry collections.

    Cosmic jewelry drop from Swarovski#

    Swarovski launched  the Swarovski cultivated diamond Galaxy series in China on Tuesday at a launch event at its flagship store in Shanghai. Designed by global creative director Giovanna Engelbert, the Swarovski cultivated diamond Galaxy series draws inspiration from the sparkling galaxies in the dome, with creations revealing the interplay of light and shadow in jewelry, echoing the birth of the universe, the wonders of distant galaxies, and the infinite energy of space. The Galaxy series comprises 19 pieces, including necklaces, rings, earrings, and bracelets.

    Miu Miu boom propels Prada#

    Prada Group’s first-quarter revenue surged  16.5% YoY to $1.315 billion (€1.187 billion euros) at fixed exchange rates. By brand, Prada’s sales rose 7% to $914.88 million (€826 million euros), Miu Miu surged 89% to $258.04 million (€233 million euros), and Church’s grew 22.4% to $7.79 million (€7.04 million euros). Regionally, sales in the Asia-Pacific market increased by 16%, and in Japan they skyrocketed 46%.

    China feathers Moncler’s revenue#

    Moncler reported  a 13% YoY increase in first-quarter sales to $905.96 million (€818 million), with core brand Moncler’s revenue rising 20% to $780.55 million (€705 million). Strong growth in the Asian market, driven by China, contributed to a 26% increase in revenue to $398.88 million (€360 million), while revenue in the EMEA and Americas markets grew by 15% and 14%, respectively. Moncler expanded its directly operated stores by 17 to 275, while reducing wholesale stores by 5 to 56.

    TikTok swipes into UK secondhand luxury#

    TikTok’s social commerce platform, TikTok Shop, is introducing  a secondhand luxury category in the UK, mirroring its successful US counterpart and competing with established players like The RealReal and Vestiaire Collective. The new category offers pre-owned high-end fashion items accessible within the TikTok app, featuring initial partnerships with five UK brands. Despite TikTok Shop’s substantial sales success, criticisms persist regarding counterfeit and low-quality products.

    Court battle looms over US TikTok ban#

    The US government’s recent legislation  to ban TikTok from app stores unless its Chinese owner sells it has sparked concerns over free speech protections, leading to a likely court battle. Although the bill itself doesn’t address speech directly, civil rights advocates, TikTok, and users are considering legal action to block it. TikTok has refuted claims of sharing US user data and plans to challenge the legislation in court. Critics argue that the law may infringe on free speech by limiting expression and business promotion on the platform.