The Year’s Top CEOs In China

    The year 2020 has been unusual in every imaginable way, it certainly been a challenging one for luxury brand CEOs, but this list managed to rise to the top.
    The year 2020 has been unusual in every imaginable way, it certainly been a challenging one for luxury brand CEOs, but this list managed to rise to the top. Photo: Women's Wear Daily, Moncler, Business of Fashion,, Luxury Society. Composite: Haitong Zheng.
    Emily JensenAuthor
      Published   in Profile

    2020 has been unusual in every imaginable way. The global pandemic is changing how people live, work, and shop, and it was certainly a challenging year for luxury CEOs in China. How would they ensure the safety of employees while keeping their businesses running? How would they quickly adjust to digital approaches to make up for losses at brick-and-mortar stores? And how would they achieve growth during the current global climate and afterward?

    The one commonality across different brands’ marketing approaches during 2020 was social content. COVID-19 has been like adding fuel to the digital fire, accelerating online strategies, programs, and collections that were already in the works before the pandemic. And despite the difficult conditions, many brand-leaders pioneered new approaches or swiftly recalibrated strategies to better navigate China’s nuanced domestic market this year.

    Below are Jing Daily’s top-six CEO interviews for 2020. For more of our 2020 year in review analysis, read on here.

    Bvlgari CEO, Jean-Christophe Babin

    At the start of 2020, Babin told Jing Daily that the company’s goal in 2020 would be to open three more stores in three new cities. Additionally, the luxury brand is putting a strong emphasis on e-commerce this year to help attract today’s younger clientele. Babin thinks the biggest challenge for luxury brands trying to woo the Chinese audience is finding the perfect blend of target marketing and products that will appeal to younger, wealthy customers. Read more.

    Lanvin Interim CEO, Joann Cheng

    “We want people to feel warmth and care from our brand during this difficult time because we aim to have more transactional relationships,” said Cheng in an interview with Jing Daily. Cheng believes in the power of technology. During Paris Fashion Week, Lanvin partnered with iQiyi for a VR cloud show and worked with luxury e-commerce platform Secoo on livestreaming. She thinks brands could place their most timely and comprehensive products across e-commerce platforms and use videos and livestreams to show details of the products. Read more.

    Yu Holdings Founder, Wendy Yu

    As the founder of a private fund that aims to support creative and technology-led businesses, Wendy Yu thinks of fashion as a field that is always moving forward and relevant to our culture and everyday lives. She has been inspired by the creativity of brand campaigns in times like these and said even though the world has effectively stopped, it has been amazing to see brands use technology and fun ideas to keep their customers engaged. Read more.

    Secoo CEO, Li Rixue

    Secoo is famous for catering to technological trends by adapting and incorporating evolving technologies into its business model. For example, Secoo has focused on developing live broadcasting because of the pandemic and has turned its app into a real-time live broadcasting channel. This change has translated into excellent results. Read more.

    Moncler CEO, Remo Ruffini

    Given the climate in 2020, Moncler has made a host of fascinating changes, from accelerating its digital approach to defining a new corporate structure and announcing that it will begin fully managing its e-commerce. Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini told Jing Daily, “My vision for the future is a world with more of a blend of human warmth and technology that is always emotionally-driven. Without an emotional element there, you cannot be relevant, and without relevance, there’s no future.” Read more.

    Boucheron CEO, Hélène Poulit-Duquesne

    For Boucheron, retail is all about entertaining clients and spending time with them in an immersive atmosphere. But in 2020, the brand’s need for digital e-commerce became unavoidable. In some circles, Boucheron has fared well in China’s digital realm, particularly because of its charming cat mascot, Wladimir. “Mascots and avatars like Wladimir have long been used by domestic Chinese competitors in a way that many European counterparts simply would not for fear of infantilizing the brand,” said Poulit-Duquesne. Read more.

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