Conversation with Steven Xu, Mytheresa President China and APAC.
Capturing the attention of Chinese luxury consumers is no simple task. Brands must go beyond localization strategies of the past and demonstrate a nuanced understanding of luxury consumers through culturally appropriate initiatives and activations.
Global luxury fashion e-commerce platform Mytheresa is an industry leader when it comes to building relevance and connection with Chinese consumers. The platform introduced its Mandarin website in 2016 and since then has successfully curated regular events and activations specifically designed for its Chinese customers. Most recently and most notable to date, Mytheresa introduced its China Designer Program to shine a spotlight on up-and-coming Chinese fashion designers.
The China Designer Program is the first of its kind to focus on Chinese talent, providing a unique platform and opportunity for Chinese designers to present their creativity and talent to Mytheresa’s global customers, while also servicing customers in China with locally curated capsules and a best-in-class luxury shopping experience.
The four designers chosen to debut the initiative are Didu, Jacques Wei, Susan Fang and XU ZHI. The designers were selected by a high-profile jury including Ye Ming Zi, CEO of Guoye Culture, Spiritual Artist, Founder of Phi Digital Art and Mytheresa Brand Ambassador, Chuxuan Feng, Editor in Chief of Tmagazine China, Stylist and fashion KOL Fil Xiao Bai and Tiffany Hsu, Mytheresa Vice President of Womenswear and Kidswear Fashion Buying.
The Luxury Conservation sat down with the President of Mytheresa China and APAC, Steven Xu for a discussion on his thoughts and expectations surrounding Chinese designers and the localization strategy behind the China Designer Program.
What was the original intention of launching the “China Designer Program?
The Chinese fashion design landscape has greatly evolved and grown in terms of creativity and craftmanship in the last years and Mytheresa has been watching this development very closely. We believe that now is the right time to add the best of these talents to our luxury brand portfolio and introduce them to our global customer base. It’s part of our long term plan in China.
What do you think the Mytheresa’s consumers want from Chinese designers?
Our clients are always keen to see brands that that bring something new to the table and possess their own point of view. We think that our four chosen designers – Susan Fang, Jacques Wei, Didu and Xu Zhi – perfectly embody these values.
What are Mytheresa’s core competitiveness and advantages in the supply chain? How to differentiate from other luxury e-commerce companies?
We offer womenswear, menswear and kids as well as luxury home décor on one website, which makes us unique. We believe that our curated edit sets us apart from other retailers – we present our customers with the best products by the best designers available on the market. In contrast to our competitors, we focus solely on the best luxury brands of the world instead of offering several hundreds of brands. Our customers expect us to pre-select a curated offering of only the best pieces for them so they can enjoy a quick and convenient shopping experience. Our tight brand portfolio also allows us to build strong relationships with the biggest designers around the globe and develop unique projects such as exclusive capsule collections and campaigns with them.
How would you describe the localization strategy implemented by Mytheresa in China?
Aside from the website being available in Mandarin since 2016 we offer localized payment options such as Alipay and WeChat Pay along with fast and secure shipment to China within 72 hours and free returns within 30 days. We have Mandarin speaking members in our customer care and personal shopping teams in our newly opened Shanghai office. We also focus on select number of promotions around local shopping festivals such as for example Double Eleven and Qixi. Of course, digital Marketing is an important source of customer acquisition for Mytheresa as well and we are very active on Baidu, Red, Weibo and WeChat.
With the rapid rise of China’s local fashion industry, a number of independent designer brands have emerged, what is your vision of the Chinese designer brand ecosystem?
Chinese fashion is heading into a new era and we want to be at the forefront of that. The China Designer Program demonstrates our appreciation to the Chinese designers and our commitment to support local talent development.