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COVID-19 leads to the rise of discreet luxury fashion in China


COVID 19 leads to the rise of discreet luxury fashion in ChinaThe pandemic has created immense opportunities for Chinese luxury fashion with European brands opening new stores, expanding digital operations and boosting e-commerce activities in the country. According to Maura Maggioni, CEO-Asia Pacific, Golden Goose, China houses the entire world’s purchasing capacity. A Jing Daily report says, for years, American companies looked at China as a land of opportunity. However now, Chinese consumers are moving away from American brands. This is evident from an AlixPartners survey which notes, 57 per cent consumers’ plan to reduce their expenditure on American products in future.

Quarantine fashion gains popularity

COVID-19 has also made quarantine fashion mainstream with retail segments like loungewear, athleisure and work from homeCOVID 19 leads to the rise of discreet luxury fashion in clothes gaining more popularity. The pandemic has led to rise of new trends like Do-it-Yourself (DIY) beauty, skincare, and at-home wellness McKinsey & Company draws attention to the growing popularity of ‘above-the-mask treatments’ and eye-cosmetics. The Taobao Live sessions, that presented live makeup tutorials while wearing masks, have increased the monthly sales of eye shadow palettes.

Chinese consumers’ desire for sustainability, equality, peace, and justice too has increased. Around 60 per cent Gen Z consumers and millennials are trying to reduce the impact of their eating habits on the environment, says a survey by McKinsey & Company. Around 50 per cent are also opting for locally sourced products.

Discreet luxury on the rise

There is also a growing demand for understated and stylish luxury products in the country, says Martin Roll, Business and Brand Strategist. The pandemic has altered consumption patterns with consumers moving towards a more mature and discrete form of luxury. Luxury products are being looked at as future investments, making it necessary for brands to emphasize on their quality rather than volume.

Luxury heritage brands also need to create a strong resale strategy like Richemont which recently acquired Watchfinder or Burberry which partnered with The RealReal. Another golden opportunity for Chinese luxury brands is to expand their stores in Hainan and other duty-free channels.