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:
- Michael Kors’ new mini-program store on WeChat,
- Four Italian premium beauty brands launched flagship stores on Alibaba’s Tmall Global, and
- Condé Nast China has denied rumors that China Angelica Cheung is on her way out.
1. Michael Kors launched a full-line boutique store via WeChat’s mini-program – No Fashion
American affordable luxury brand Michael Kors debuted a mini-program store on WeChat last Tuesday, selling an entire range of products from bags, clothes, and accessories to mirror the brand’s offline offerings. The development further consolidates Michael Kors’ digital footprint on the country’s biggest social media messaging app. Previously, the brand launched a mini-program to manage customer memberships.
Michael Kors has been highly active in exploring China’s digital ecosystem, with a special focus on WeChat. This year, the brand was ranked 10th by U.S.-based digital intelligence agency Gartner L2 in its annual rankings report “2018 Digital IQ Index: China Luxury”.
2. Four Italian beauty brands start to sell on Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce channel – Jiemian
Last week, four Italian beauty labels, namely Deborah Group, Kiko, Diego dalla Palma and RVB Lab, launched flagship stores on Tmall Global, Alibaba’s cross-border e-commerce portal. The platform currently has more than 550 million users, with about half of them being under the age of 30, according to Alibaba’s public relations and media site Alizila.
China’s cross-border e-commerce market has continued to grow at a rapid speed. A report by business consulting firm Frost & Sullivan estimated that the Chinese cross-border shopper spent an average of 5,300 RMB (US$848) in 2017, with the total expenditure reaching US$105 billion.
3. Condé Nast China denied Angelica Cheung is on her way out – LadyMax
On July 25, Sophia Liao, President of Condé Nast China, issued an internal note to the company’s employees to refute the rumor that Angelica Cheung – founding editor as well as editor-in-chief of Vogue China – was about to leave the company. The letter said Jonathan Newhouse, President of Condé Nast International, also openly expressed his support for Cheung’s leadership with Vogue.
Digitization is eroding the relevance of traditional fashion publications in China, while, at the same time, empowering the rise of fashion editors as online influencers.