Chinese Whispers: Valentino’s Tmall Pop-up, and More

In “Chinese Whispers”, we share the biggest news stories about the luxury industry in China that haven’t yet made it into the English language.

In this week’s edition, we discuss:

  • A Valentino digital pop-up store inspired by Alibaba’s New Retail strategy,
  • A collaboration between Loewe and Chinese celebrity Z.Tao, and
  • Chinese millennial luxury hotel staycations.

1. Valentino’s Pop-up Store Exemplifies Alibaba’s “New Retail” Strategy — Alizila

On April 23, Italian luxury brand Valentino launched a 3D virtual pop-up store on Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion to sell the Valentino Garavani Candystud collection. The online pop-up store (pictured above) has the same layout as the physical pop-up store that Valentino will open in Beijing’s Sanlitun from April 27 to May 17. With the virtual pop-up, users can navigate to the Sanlitun pop-up, book visiting times, and place orders.


International luxury brands realize the increasing importance of addressing both the digital and brick and mortar aspects of retail.

2.  Loewe Launches WeChat Mini-program Pop-up Store — Loewe’s WeChat Account

On April 26, the Spanish luxury brand Loewe launched a WeChat mini-program pop-up store to sell the “Z. TAO Goya” bag. The bag was designed by the brand’s Creative Director J.W Anderson with Chinese actor-singer Z.Tao, aka Huang Zitao. A limited number of items was made available at 10 am that day, and they quickly sold out.


Setting up online pop-up stores on a variety of digital platforms is now trendy among luxury brands in China. Apart from Alibaba and Valentino, and WeChat and Loewe, the Swiss luxury watch brand Audemars Piguet entered a limited time partnership with to sell on the e-commerce platform. Digital pop-up stores can be a testing ground for brands to evaluate market demand and consumer preferences, while retaining an air of prestige and exclusivity.

Photo: Christian Heinz / Shutterstock

Photo: Christian Heinz / Shutterstock

3. Chinese Millennials are Checking into Hotels in Their Hometowns — CBNweekly

Findings from the research agency of CBNweekly show that an increasing number of Chinese millennials are willing to spend on high-end luxury hotels in their hometowns.

An interviewee named Li Bin explains the motive of his high-end staycation, saying that the service is what attracts him. “[For example], when I stay at Ritz-Carlton, every staff member will know at least your surname, even if they have never seen you before. And when you go back to stay again, they will warmly welcome you, which gives me a sense of belonging.”