How Moschino’s Digital Plunge in China Is Paying Off

Key Takeaways:

  • Tmall is a crucial part of Moschino’s China strategy because it allows the brand to blend its offline presence with a strong online one.

  • Moschino implemented its digital strategy in China within its brand identity. So the changes from 2020 were already in Moschino’s DNA, with the pandemic accelerating and further highlighting those values.

  • The brand recently set up its Moschino APAC branch locally to gain further traction in the region and appointed a dedicated GM. That structure will grow in the coming months to provide better services.

Moschino is an eccentric fashion brand widely known for its fixation with embedding avant-garde yet wearable elements into its enchanting collections that resonate with consumers worldwide. The brand’s designs always look flawless while offering a burst of color that creates a sense of joy. Plus, the Italian fashion house’s irreverent attitude never fails to turn heads.

In a huge market like China’s, where innovations are always welcome, Moschino certainly knows how to appeal to its customers — by partnering with the country’s most popular e-commerce platform, Tmall Luxury Pavilion. In an exclusive interview with Jing Daily, we caught up with Stefano Secchi, the managing director of Moschino, to find out how the brand is doing after its big digital move, what being online in China means for the company’s 2021 growth plans, and more.

Jing Daily: What has been the biggest lesson learned by Moschino after seeing 80-percent sales growth in China after its partnership with Tmall Luxury Pavilion?

Stefano Secchi: Well, the first lesson is about the incredible potential our brand still has in the market and the opportunities we have with Tmall to keep growing. The second being that you can’t make it big if you don’t go digital! It is barely possible, as of today, to have a relevant presence in the market if you don’t have an omnichannel approach in place. Moschino is embracing this indispensable tool 100 percent, and Tmall has been and still is a crucial part of this strategy because it is what gives us the possibility of blending our offline presence with a strong online one. And there’s no better partner than Tmall Luxury Pavilion for its unparalleled technology, exclusive platform, and insights into China’s high-end shoppers. Our ultimate goal is to simply make sure that we offer our consumers in China an exclusive, luxury experience, and that’s been possible thanks to this partnership.

To what extent has the global luxury business been blessed by Chinese consumers’ buying sprees on their country’s e-commerce platforms?

Well, I think we can all agree that it gives the brands, on one hand, more direct access to Chinese customers. But on the other hand, it gives the brands a priceless opportunity to increase awareness and establish direct bonds with them. Especially in 2020, all luxury brands must be thankful for our Chinese customers who have remained loyal and increased their luxury spending, allowing our industry to survive this unpredictably challenging period.

What are some things you have come to learn about Chinese consumers? 

Chinese consumers are super demanding in a way. They are very well-informed, always up-to-date about what is going on in the fashion industry, and very discerning about buying new stuff. They have an international taste but a local approach to the buying experience. They are digitally savvy. In the past, the Chinese market would absorb trends from other markets and digest them even faster. But it has become a spearhead of new directions and trends and is setting the pace for the rest of the world to follow. We’re lucky, in a way, since the high-spending Chinese consumers match Moschino’s target audience: young [younger than it is in other countries such as the UK and the US], cool, and close to Jeremy Scott’s disruptive, unique, fearless, fun, and creative vision.

Chinese performers Yamy (left) and Jolin Tsai (right) wearing pieces by Jeremy Scott. Photo: Courtesy of Moschino

How tough was it for Moschino to adopt a model of digitization to communicate better with consumers?  

Moschino has been progressive since its foundation in 1983. Franco Moschino himself was well-known as a disruptive and forward-thinking fashion creator in the way that Jeremy Scott is today. Innovation has been part of the brand’s DNA ever since and not just from a creative standpoint. From a business perspective, that very much translates into finding creative and unique solutions to market needs. Of course, nowadays, you can’t be innovative and relevant in the fashion world without going digital. So that has been a natural transition and is something we strongly believe in and invest in. Though it wasn’t easy from a logistics point of view, we 100-percent implemented it within the brand identity. Now we can say that all the changes from 2020 (innovation, digitalization, new languages, etc.) were already in Moschino’s DNA, but the pandemic has accelerated and further highlighted those values.

How cautious were you about embracing this new model in the first place? 

When we operate in the market, launching new projects, activities, or even business models, the keyword for us is always RESPECT! We truly believe that cultural knowledge is the most important asset a company has when approaching a market like China. So there is no room for error.

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What are your growth plans for China over the rest of 2021? 

First of all, China is one of our main commercial hubs for 2021. We have many exciting new projects in the pipeline for this year, and, honestly speaking, we’re confident, positive, and enthusiastic about them. We recently set up our Moschino APAC branch locally to gain further traction in the region and appointed a dedicated GM. That structure will further grow in the coming months to provide better precedents and services. Moreover, for the first time in 2021, the brand is making a strong assessment in the Travel Retail channel through partnerships with key operators, extending its footprint in the market with visibility to consumers.

What new things are you planning to launch on this platform? 

The second semester will see the release of a capsule collection exclusively dedicated to the Tmall flagship store, which will be super cool and iconic. We will also be launching our jewelry collection on it. All in all, a lot is going on concerning our business in China.