As this Sunday marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, major Western fashion houses also benefit from an unexpected boost during the festive period, like rabbits plastered on handbags, shoes and apparel to mark the occasion. hope to receive Season.
“While 2021 was a triumph for all luxury brands, 2022 was a much more difficult year. With all the lockdowns, it has been a real rollercoaster for brands, with consumer sentiment at an all-time low. ”said Imke Wouters from Hong Kong. The Oliver Wyman-based partner added on the video call:
Mulberry’s Lunar New Year collection features Miffy the Dutch cartoon bunny. credit: Mercis bv
A mannequin wearing a rabbit headband in the Loewe store window on New Bond Street in London, UK. credit: Jose Salmento Matos/Bloomberg/Getty Images
However, according to Oliver Wyman’s latest report, only 19% of Chinese still intend to travel during the festive period, despite the upward trend. About 88% of them plan to travel domestically, and about half plan to travel to see family rather than for leisure purposes.
The gradual return of travel could also mean less disposable income available for fashion. Wouters said that of his 1.5 million people who spent money on luxury goods in China in 2021, half were first-time buyers. One of his reasons is that ” did not do it That means you may “have to make the same trade-offs” between travel and shopping.
stay or go?
However, long-term problems are not always so. somehow Chinese consumers will start shopping again. Where they do it.
Before the pandemic, about 70% of the country’s luxury spending was done abroad. Beyond the prestige that comes with getting goods in cities like Paris and Milan, travel was a way to avoid the eye-popping domestic prices resulting from China’s heavy import duties.
Prada’s sister brand, Miu Miu, this year eschewed the traditional red that has so far dominated the luxury brand’s Lunar New Year campaigns. credit: Mew Mew
There has been a fundamental shift in how both Chinese shoppers and brands operate. Western brands have invested in mainland boutiques over the past three years, as much of China’s luxury spending shifted to mainland stores during the pandemic.
“Our mainland China offering has improved significantly, not only in terms of store experience, but also in terms of service levels,” said Wouters, adding that the proportion of luxury spending that occurs abroad rather than domestically is “back to where it was before.” I will never go back.”
Brands are also finding new ways to engage with their customers and host fashion shows in the country. In August 2020, Louis Vuitton normally planned to present its Spring/Summer collection at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, but the French brand instead took to the star-studded banks of the Huangpu River in Shanghai. held a show. The likes of Dior and Prada have also hosted major shows in the country since the pandemic began.
According to Bohan Qiu, whose Shanghai-based creative agency Boh Project works with fashion brands to engage with mainland consumers, brands are becoming more nuanced in addressing Chinese audiences. This is reflected in this year’s collection.
“For years, every brand came out with these big animal zodiac prints, and they were all red.” I don’t know anyone who saw buying an animal zodiac (luxury item) that year, including
A promotional shot for Prada’s understated Lunar New Year campaign, “Memories of Beauty.” credit: prada
“Aside from a slightly more humorous or funny design, just putting really obvious animal prints on things feels like lazy marketing these days.
The Bottega Veneta campaign is homecoming-themed. A green-painted train, the signature of the Italian label, will cross China carrying the message “Happy New Year on the way home”. credit: Bottega Veneta
Not only are relatively timeless designs more likely to survive the annual fashion cycle, but they also demonstrate a better understanding of what today’s luxury shoppers want. Qiu said.
“Tradition is still important, but how do you look at it in a modern way?”
Top image: Campaign image for Gucci’s Year of the Rabbit capsule collection.