I would like to put into perspective two issues that have been of concern to the world of luxury for some time – with some information that went unnoticed and found on a Chinese website:
- For several years now (the 2005 meeting of The Walpole was devoted to it, among other subjects) the industry has been asking itself questions about the emergence of luxury brands in China (and India) - seeing in them a potential risk. For years, we have reassured ourselves by saying that consumers identify luxury to include only a few countries (France, Italy, England ...). The Walpole therefore concluded its study by saying that a Chinese luxury brand would not see the day for long time.
- For several months the press has echoed the launch of a new Hermès brand in China and asks questions about this strategy. The first boutique of the brand has just opened in Shanghai and the answer is clear: Hermès created from scratch - with the help of a Chinese designer with whom the company is associated - a Chinese luxury brand, conveyer of Chinese traditional skills (in cabinetmaking, porcelain, cashmere...). "An authentic brand, with its style, materials and know-how rooted in Chinese culture" (Patrick Thomas). The photos published by Jing Daily prove it:
- The information stems from a study conducted by the firm, Labbrand, in December 2008, among wealthy Chinese. "If it is true that in industries like top fashion garments and accessories that foreign top brands dominate, in other industries, and specifically those having deep roots in China’s heritage and tradition, Chinese brands have good chances to gain the upper hand". Drawing up a list of 10 of the most "luxurious" Chinese brands, they found that the criteria most often put forward are "Chinese Heritage" and "Quality Expert".
Thus the arrival of Chinese luxury brands - relying both on traditional knowledge (as I said last year on BrandWatch regarding beauty) and Chinese nationalism - is now a reality. It will gradually take root in jewelry, in the tableware, in home fixtures and fittings... a new and welcome competition for European brands!