The Chinese luxury market made a strong recovery in 2017, powering the recovery of the entire global industry. We observed many changes, including the entrance of more niche players, a stronger role for e-commerce platforms such as Alibaba and JD.com, growing overlap between luxury and art, and rapidly evolving behaviors of Chinese consumers.
All of these transformations have made the competition in the field fiercer than ever. Guiding us through it were CEOs of major luxury brands, Chinese KOLs and influencers, designers, marketing and branding experts, and more. Below, we’ve condensed all this expertise into one post, presenting Jing Daily’s top 10 most read interviews of 2017.
Under the leadership of Remo Ruffini, the Italian skiwear brand extended its online and offline presence in China this year. In the interview, Ruffini shared with us how he planned to grow the business even further. His top priorities include the use of WeChat, collaboration with Chinese artists and KOLs, and an intensified crackdown on counterfeiting.
KOL marketing is changing the landscape of the luxury industry in China. A great number of luxury brands this year have relied heavily on Chinese KOLs to create social media buzz, connect with consumers, and generate sales, but not all of these partnerships have fared well. According to Brian Buchwald, CEO of the New York-based marketing agency Bomoda, one of the misconceptions that brands have when working with KOLs is that they should use them more, and not better.
With over 25 years of experience in the luxury industry, Marie-Sabine Leclercq is now heading Bonpoint, the niche, high-end French kidswear label. China is a major priority, especially now the government has signalled support for larger families after launching its two-child policy at the end of 2015. In the interview, you will read Leclercq’s insights on the Chinese market and consumer habits in China, and the logistics challenges of operating in a country where stores can be up to 3,000 kilometers apart.
Internationally renowned fashion designer Paul Smith offered four tips to today’s young fashion professionals. Though the industry has become remarkably different from the one in which Smith built his profile, some rules remain constant. “My own success has to do with my tireless enthusiasm, the love of the job, thinking laterally not down the obvious route, and being interested in the world of creativity,” he said. “Not necessarily just fashion, but all forms of creativity.”
Vivienne Tam (the brand) was acquired by Chinese apparel company Ellassay in August this year, opening a clear path into the booming Chinese market. In a February interview, Tam told us how Hong Kong, New York and mainland China are all woven into her brand’s DNA.
Michael Kors’ most stunning marketing campaigns in China this year would not be possible without Chinese actress Yang Mi, the brand’s global ambassador. In an interview with Yang earlier this year, we learned how her relationship with Kors began and why it was a perfect match.
Among Chinese millennials and Gen-Z, the line between the worlds of art and luxury has blurred more quickly than in other parts of the world. Only 23 years old, Michael Xufu Huang is a renowned art collector who has his own unique style and taste. He told us about the connections between art, fashion, and tech, and how buying luxury items should be a relationship, like dating someone.
Leon Li told us how Rolls-Royce has remained retained its iconic status through a tumultuous time in China. “Rolls-Royce is not a volume brand—sales volume is not our priority,” he said. “The value of a Rolls-Royce lies in its rarity—neither us nor our car owners would like to encounter a Rolls-Royce car on every street corner. This is a signature of our brand.”
Despite the massive demand for foreign goods by Chinese affluent consumers, the market for cross-border retail service providers is already over-crowded. Though it was a relative latecomer to the field, the MyMM app has carved out its own space by putting a strong emphasis on building a community of sophisticated fashionistas. This network has helpful MyMM target the right customers and build strong sales.
Award-winning hospitality designer D.B. Kim has acquired extensive experience in designing China’s luxury hotels, including Wanda Reign Chengdu and Wanda Vista Xishuangbanna. In the interview, he shared his insights on what Chinese travelers are looking for from hotels, and what it’s like working with the country’s leading domestic luxury hotel groups.