Welcome to Jing Daily’s China Luxury Brief: the day’s top news on the business of luxury and culture in China, all in one place. Look below for the top industry news from January 27, 2014.#
“'Western brands are becoming Eastern. Red envelopes are becoming prettier and prettier as they contend for supreme beauty. Which one do you like?' says Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung on her Sina Weibo account about a photo she posted showing many of this year’s envelopes. Brands such as Céline, Gucci, Fendi, Furla, Hugo Boss, Lancel, and more have created the special packages with various combinations of red, gold, and horse images."
"Statistics released by Digital Luxury Group for its annual World Watch Report covering watch brands’ online presence shows that mainland Chinese internet searches for the Haute Horlogerie category grew by 58 percent in 2013. This jump places China in the top global position for Haute Horlogerie, comprising 34 percent of all global online searches for these types of timepieces."
"According to the 2013 Julius Baer Wealth Report, affluent Chinese consumers see buying luxury products and services not as an occasional treat, but an integral part of their lives. From 2011 to 2012, the report says, the percentage of consumers with annual household incomes of more than US$78,000 doubled, as luxury purchases expanded into a wider number of categories, including watches and wine."
"By far the longest was cast by China. Beijing’s crackdown on corruption and ostentatious gift giving has hit pricy watches. Exports to China were down 15 percent in the first 11 months of 2013. While Swatch Group remained reasonably confident — thanks partly to its lower- and mid-priced brands — Richemont acknowledged sales had fallen, without saying by how much."
"Sun is one of eight Mandarin-speaking assistants on the shopping floor at Fifth Avenue's Bergdorf Goodman who help Chinese tourist-shoppers - in particular those who don't speak English - have an easier and smoother shopping experience."
"China’s demand for intimates exploded in the Nineties and Aughts, creating a mass market for specialized underwear, bras and related apparel where little existed before. But in the time since, consumers have become ever more discriminating about what they want and what they will buy. Real fit, not just downsizing of foreign lines, is most important now."
"Li was trending high Saturday on Twitter and similar platforms like Sina Weibo in China. Even before the Australian Open victory, the WTA said 53% of its social media fans are from China. Li’s success will push that figure higher, but she has great appeal overseas too."
"Her jewelry line is stocked at Lane Crawford, and Wan noted she was the first high-end, Mainland Chinese brand to break into both Lane Crawford and Harrods. “I’m always the first person to eat the crab!” she said, referring to a Chinese expression that describes someone who takes the initiative."
"The arrival of Chinese tourists on foreign shores is not a new phenomenon, but it does appear to be gathering pace. Estimates suggest about 100m mainlanders packed their suitcases for overseas jaunts in 2013, up from fewer than 60m in 2010. Millions will be doing so again later this week as the country marks the beginning of the year of the horse."