LET'S CHAT ABOUT CHINA
This particular Asian market has been identified and lauded as a consumption powerhouse for luxury goods in the past decade. The main driving force are High Net Worth Individuals (otherwise known as HNWIs), Chinese millionaires who have spent a collective amount of US$9 billion on luxury fashion alone in 2016. That's a lot of zeroes, and the favorite brands at the top right now are Chanel, Prada and Gucci.
Thus it comes at no surprise that luxury fashion houses are investing more into this market. WeChat, China's instant messaging app, has become a platform full of potential on how these brands interact with their Chinese customers. Localization strategies are underway here folks.
FASHION WEEK WITHDRAWALS
Wait, fashion season is over? No! We're still obsessively scrolling through the runway pictures on Vogue, and their assessment on the 9 best collections from Paris Fashion Week is spot on. It should be said that a fair portion of note-worthy moments on the runway this season revolved around women (Yeah we're still swooning over Missoni's pink pussy hats and Versace's doubly bold slogans). Yet women are still a minority in leadership positions within the industry. Business of Fashion talks more about what it takes for women to get ahead in fashion here.
One more thing. If you haven't seen it yet, we just did a piece on PFW, boosted with a healthy dose of fashion history. You'll love it!
THE PROBLEM WITH CUSTOMS
Uh oh. Seems like trouble just keeps on brewing in the United Kingdom, who could be potentially smacked with a €2 billion lawsuit from the EU for allowing an in-pour of falsely declared Chinese goods into the region. The main goods of choice? Ultra cheap Chinese textiles and footwear. Investigators claim that U.K's negligence has led to lost revenues from duties and taxes amounting to over €5 billion for the EU.
This is obviously going to be another point of contention as UK prepares to trigger Brexit - Prime Minister Theresa May has already been warned that UK's access to the single market would be revoked if she tightens immigration. Bloomberg has a more substantial (but still easy to read) summary here.
BURSTING RETAIL'S BUBBLE
As store shutters come down (and stay down), retailers and brands are saying the same things: Declining foot traffic is killing the traditional mall model. The latest in this series of dour performance announcements come from Urban Outfitters and Express Inc, who have reported profits falling short of expectations in the recent quarter.
But here's an interesting question - what about off-price retailers? With our StyleSage data, we wrote all about those full-price to off-price movements. Calling all deal seekers!
☀️ THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT ☀️
Inclusivity is always good news. Which was why we stood up behind our desks and applauded when the announcements came about Nike's new Pro Hijab collection for female Muslim athletes. Support from a major trendsetter like Nike helps in paving the way for these athletes, who face discrimination against their faith through official bans from international sports associations on religious headgear. On what grounds, you ask? "Safety concerns".
Well, we think Nike will help dispel these concerns soon enough.