Weekly News Brief
THE CHINESE SPOTLIGHT
The powers behind Shanghai Fashion Week have big ambitions, and that is to make Shanghai the new mecca for fashion buyers all around Asia. The Pearl of the Orient has undergone a transformation as a launchpad for young, emerging Chinese designers, particularly considering the fewer creative restrictions enforced there as compared to Beijing. Brands from neighbouring Asian countries flock in numbers, all hoping to capture a slice of the world's second largest consumer market. Business of Fashion gives the full scoop of the impact of Shanghai Fashion Week on the international fashion industry.
First, Asia. And after, perhaps the world?
FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD
The French luxury goods titan LVMH made two major announcements this past week. In a $13 billion transaction, their Christian Dior collection is completed with the addition of Dior's couture house to LVMH's portfolio (Dior perfumes and beauty are already under their umbrella), thus consolidating a previously messy ownership structure. Talk about having all your ducks in a row.
The conglomerate has also announced Clos19, a new e-commerce platform for its Moët Hennessy wine-and-spirits brands that will offer luxury experiences alongside its signature products. Ranging from affordable luxury experiences to no holds barred indulgence (e.g. a $15,000, 3-day luxury getaway to Paris!), is this an effort to court the adventurous millennial market?
As always, Amazon rocks the boat with its inventions. The company just released a new device to its voice-activated Echo line: the Echo Look. For a whopping $200, the Look is able to take pictures and record videos of users to be used with an app to create personal lookbooks and receive machine-enabled styling advice through a Style Check. #Machinelearning is the star here. Home privacy arises as a concern, though Amazon has promised to keep a lid on the data it collects (with the exception of ad optimization of course).
Since we're on the topic, we recently released a piece on why data science is sexy in fashion and retail. Don't worry, it's SFW (safe for work).
SO SUE ME
What's going on in the legal-fashion-retail realm in 2017? WWD sums up five of the most impactful cases-in-progress thus far, which shows big names like Forever 21, Macy's and Urban Outfitters on the defense. What's on the agenda? Non-compete agreements, copyright infringements and company-lender conflicts.
The outcomes would set precedence for future battles to come. More to come...
☀️ THIS WEEK'S BRIGHT SPOT ☀️
For a change, there's good news to be had this week about earnings. Two players raised hands in victory. The first is rising fast fashion contender Boohoo, whose sales in 2016 jumped by 51%. The luxury market is also seeing a rebound in sales, as signaled by LVMH's surge on first quarter sales earlier this month. This week, Kering follows suit by delivering a 28.6% increase on first quarter sales (due to the outstanding performance of Gucci and Saint Laurent).
Time to pop that champagne!