Can An Online French Couture Show Win Over Chinese Luxury Fans?

    Paris couture shows are being staged online from July 6 to July 9, and Dior garnered exceptional praise from Chinese audiences for its online presentations.
    Dior's online haute couture show premier won the attention and recognition from Chinese viewers through a China-specific livestream session. Photo: Courtesy of Dior.
      Published   in Fashion

    What happened

    Paris couture shows are being staged online from July 6 (today) to July 9, where household luxury names like Chanel, Dior, and Valentino will present their Fall/Winter couture collections.

    In this first-ever digital haute couture presentation for Chinese audiences, Dior premiered its pre-recorded, 14-minute film (directed by Matteo Garrone) on Weibo alongside the brand’s livestream featuring its ambassador, Angelababy, and the Chinese model Cici Xiang delivering their first impressions of the show. The digital presentation was heavily praised by Chinese netizens, hitting over 8 million views and receiving 32,600 comments on the social platform. Fans particularly liked the film’s fairy-tale aesthetic, vivid storyline, and references to Greek mythology.

    Jing Take:#

    The Paris show wasn’t the first time Dior drove incredible traffic online in China. The house somehow found a way to leverage its celebrity friends despite not having them show up to an in-person event since Paris Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2020 this past March. For this haute couture presentation, Dior engaged with Angelababy’s 102 million followers but also benefited by inviting Cici Xiang to the event (the model holds an academic degree in art history, which enlivened discussions about the brand’s collection.)

    While the digitalization of fashion shows risks weakening the emotional experience, some digital alternatives, such as directed films, are encouraging luxury houses to lean on narratives as much as their products. Since Chinese viewers are extremely intrigued by the stories behind each collection — from the backstage intrigue to the meaning behind a collection’s cultural references — luxury houses can satisfy them while also serving them their brand values and social initiatives during this post-COVID-19 climate. But make no mistake: Celebrity endorsements are still crucial for brands that want to grow their social media visibility and help local consumers understand their content.

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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