The recent growth and mouth-watering potential for chocolate brands in China is similar to many forms of luxury. Chocolate is something that was rare (and ‘Western’) even in the early 2000s, yet remains an alluring luxury today – while still subject to distinctly local palettes that generally dislike desserts or tastes that are allegedly ‘too sweet’.
If we start getting into pure overall numbers then, unsurprisingly for China, they are huge and rising. But in real terms, it’s clear that chocolate is seeding its natural brilliance (The Luxury Conversation openly stating a strong positive bias for chocolate) throughout first-tier cities. As with any market, China’s room for growth is where chocolatier brands need to explore.
One brand – one person – who is sowing the beans and reaping the rewards is the beloved Pierre Marcolini, already with three stores and a loyal following in China. Continue reading “5 Questions with: Pierre Marcolini – on Chocolate, China and Niche Luxury”
By Susan Owens
In Paris, Milan and London fashion designers are typically seen – but not heard. Their first priority is to sell clothes.
But in a new initiative during Shanghai Fashion Week (SHFW) three of China’s most successful designers shared their individual fashion journeys in a public forum, Fashion Trailblazers: Stories from the Frontline of Chinese Design.
The trio, Grace Chen (Grace Chen Couture); Hai Lin (Particle Fever) and Jianxia Yin (UOOYAA) all had one thing in common – commercial success. But that’s where their stories had ended. Continue reading “SHFW: Fashion Trailblazers – Stories from the Frontline of Chinese Design”
Yuanyuan is the Founder and Owner of YYO, an exclusive agency for top photographic talent – both Chinese and international – that provides brand analysis, visual positioning, creative concepts, art direction, media placement and public relations. YYO works with all of the top publications you can name (Elle, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar…), from the creative planning all the way through to post-production.
YYO was the creative partner for last weekend’s Photofairs Shanghai, so we caught up with Yuanyuan to chat about this year’s iteration – but also about her own career, life and story.
Continue reading “5 Questions With: Yuanyuan, China’s Leading Creative Photography Director”
The Luxury Conversation held an event in collaboration with M Talk, a regular series of insightful and inspiring talks held at M Glam, on the Bund in Shanghai.
100 guests attended in order to hear straight from the KOL’s mouth about the reality of life under the social media spotlight. When worked with properly, Key Opinion Leaders are now a must-have aspect of any brands communications strategy in China.
Speaking at the event was Michelle Ye and Tera Feng. Michelle was one of the very first KOLs, shooting to fame in 2010 by sharing her unique perspective on life to her fans, reaching 1 million views in just 10 months. Michelle later launched her own highly successful fashion brand in 2015.
Previously an editor, Tera has now become a fashion buyer and KOL, working with brands such as YSL, Dolce & Gabbana, MARNI, Swarovski, SECOO and more, on her incredibly successful Weibo account. Continue reading “Confessions of a KOL: The Luxury Conversation x M Talk in Shanghai”
Last month, Secoo held a brand upgrade press conference, to announce their new slogan – ‘Devoted to You’ and to introduce the brand’s expansion plans. Already the leading premium lifestyle platform with over 25% market share, these bold new plans centred on customisation – unique collaborations with Chinese designers and talents, personalisation – high-end travel and personalised education packages, rental – a seven-day luxury bags and watches service, as well as partnerships and co-branding aimed at diversifying Secoo into new products and offline, social experiences. Continue reading “5 Questions with: Richard Li, Founder & CEO of Secoo, China’s Leading Premium E-Commerce & Lifestyle Platform”
The China Luxury Committee event took place on the 18th of May in Shanghai. With expert speakers, the event was attended by an invitation-only guest list, including top-level executives from brands such as Chow Tai Fook, Focus Media, Tmall, Tencent, Gucci, Lane Crawford, Lululemon, Moet Hennessy Diageo, Kate Spade, Michael Kors and many more.
The event was highlighted by keynote speeches and a panel discussion, moderated by Chloé Reuter, Founder and CEO of Reuter Communications.
CEO of Secoo – the leading luxury online platform – Eric Chan gave many insights as to their success. The key aspect to Secoo’s success has been embracing the strength of offline experiences – even as an e-commerce platform, as well as not being afraid of diversification: Continue reading “Expert Insight on the Future of Luxury E-tail in China; the China Luxury Committee in Shanghai”
You will have seen the work of Blue Mount, without even realising it — the designs of top luxury brands’ retail stores, such as Shanghai Tang, Christian Louboutin, Coach, Ted Baker, Lane Crawford, Value Retail, K11 and much more is down to them. The simple term to sum up these projects is ‘Visual Merchandising’, while the reality is that their pioneering development of the field in China has led to the more apt label of Integrated Experience Curator.
Combining original artwork from established artists, cultural relevancy which inspires, cutting-edge technology that engages and meeting the varying requirements of brands, malls and department stores has led Blue Mount to become the leader in the field, with a presence all over China, as well as in the UK.
We met with Blue Mount CEO, Luca Lam, for a chat about his experience. Continue reading “5 Questions With: Luca Lam, CEO of Visual Merchandising Leaders, Blue Mount”
With a career not only spanning, but creating global fashion e-commerce, Claire Chung is a renowned expert on Chinese and international retail, digital, fashion and culture.
Speaking 5 languages and having lived across continents, Claire was a pioneer in leading Chinese cross-border commerce, launching China’s first luxury multi-brand online fashion retailer. As VP of ShangPin.com, Claire forged epic deals, bringing global brands and western government entities into China with strategic partnerships.
In 2015, Claire moved into a newly created executive role at Net-A-Porter Group level, to expand all businesses in the China market. After the historic merger between Net-A-Porter Group and YOOX Group which created the world’s number one retailer in luxury, Claire was promoted to lead all of the YOOX-Net-A-Porter Group‘s businesses in China.
We met with Claire to hear her insights on the China luxury market.
Continue reading “5 Questions with: Claire Chung, GM of YOOX-NET-A-PORTER Group, China”
By Lauren Hallanan
While there is no one-size-fits-all China market strategy, there appear to be five common approaches for U.S. brands to reach Chinese consumers. Several U.S. brands including Tiffany & Co, Estée Lauder and Michael Kors, have made a name for themselves in China’s growing luxury market. The Luxury Conversation Survey on U.S. brands revealed clear adoration for various brands and travel destinations. How have they each achieved this? Continue reading “5 Ways U.S. Luxury Brands Have Won in China”
It’s safe to say that Queennie Yang is an authority on luxury in China. Currently Editor (Asia) of VOGUE International, Queennie’s previous roles include Managing Editor (China) of The Business of Fashion, as well as contributing writer for VOGUE, NUMERO, GQ, ELLE, Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan, Madame Figaro, Grazia and STYLETV.
Queennie’s own blog has many thousands of visitors each day, and her Weibo has more than 140,000 followers.
We spoke with Queennie to get her views on current trends and the state of play in China at present. Continue reading “5 Questions With: Queennie Yang, Editor of VOGUE International”