China’s ‘Annie Leibovitz’ Chen Man Gives Secoo a Luxury Makeover

    Chen Man, an influential Chinese photographer, cooperated with e-tailer Secoo to launch a lush new brand campaign emphasizing its luxury DNA and Chinese identity.
    Secoo's New Brand Image. Courtesy photo.
    Ruonan ZhengAuthor
      Published   in Retail

    On October 15, in cooperation with Chen Man, a highly influential Chinese photographer who's considered China’s Annie Leibovitz, Secoo launched a lush new brand campaign emphasizing its luxury DNA and Chinese identity.

    Even though many Chinese e-commerce platforms sell luxury products, they are often seen more as technology companies than higher-end retailers. How to leverage their resources to be seen as a luxury brand becomes a task many have to tackle. This collaboration is how Asia’s largest premium lifestyle platform, Secoo, has answered it.

    The creative brain behind the campaign that will debut in fashion magazines later this month--Chen Man is a famous photographer and visual artist in China. Huge in fashion, her "East Meets West" visual language has revolutionized fashion photography in China from its infancy. She commonly shoots for Elle, Vogue, and Harper's Bazaar, and has been commissioned by international luxury brands for their creative campaigns, namely Dior, Prada, and La Mer.

    The photographer Chen Man
    The photographer Chen Man

    For Secoo, forming ties with Chen Man is an endorsement that it is a luxury platform. The entire photo series has yet to be made public, but the collection includes different images representing various aspects and categories of Secoo and speaks to different-aged customers. One of the campaigns, "Shoot in Beijing," has strong connections with Chinese heritage fused with the current lifestyle and future trends, which speaks to consumers of every age who seek out premium lifestyles, according to a company statement.

    Federica Marchionni (right) with Secoo CEO Richard Li (left). Courtesy photo
    Federica Marchionni (right) with Secoo CEO Richard Li (left). Courtesy photo

    This strategy comes from the newly appointed (as of July) Secoo International CEO and luxury industry veteran Federica Marchionni in an attempt to explore Secoo’s unique and global character. “Although the Western world is performing better in the luxury industry, Secoo is dedicated to making the Chinese fashion industry more competitive by incorporating the essence of Western luxury brands into Chinese ones, a talent which Chen Man is well known for,” says Secoo.

    Chen Man's work for Vogue
    Chen Man's work for Vogue

    The striking images will soon be on display all over in China, according to Secoo, they will be published beginning from the end of October and in the November issues of fashion magazines, as well as outside of shopping malls, such as Beijing Grand Pacific, Beijing Capital Mall, Shanghai Super Brand Mall and Shanghai Westgate Mall.

    Although Secoo is a lesser-known name compared to e-commerce giants Alibaba and, since its establishment in 2008, it has quickly grabbed a dominant slice of the market thanks to its claim to offer authentic luxury goods. It now boasts 18 million members and more than 3,000 brands. In July of this year, L. Catterton (a private equity fund formed through the partnership of LVMH, Groupe Arnault, and Catterton) and announced they will invest 175 million into this rising e-commerce platform.

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