Moschino — like a laundry list of luxury fashion brands before it — is now selling its latest collection on Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion in order to meet China’s fashion set where they shop, further propelling Moschino parent company Aeffe Group’s fastest-growing region.
To sweeten the deal, Moschino released a limited-edition assortment of products exclusive to Tmall Luxury Pavilion members, including a hat, sweatshirt, T-shirt, sweater and dress, inspired by the Moschino Couture perfume. With the Moschino x Tmall partnership, the Italian brand is getting in front of a desirable audience: Luxury Pavilion members are a cohort of invitation-only Tmall customers who have been selected from Alibaba’s more than 500 million monthly shoppers based on past purchase and search behavior, and the amount they spend on Tmall per year. (The minimum threshold has not been disclosed by Alibaba.)
For Moschino, which is currently led by designer Jeremy Scott and known for its kitschy designs and frequent collaborations, the move will open e-commerce doors to a viable market of luxury-spending millennials. Moschino’s revenue for the first half half of fiscal 2018 was up 21 percent, to $75 million. That growth is outpaced by China: Aeffe Group said sales in China were up 68 percent over the same time last year. The Group’s biggest region is Europe, followed by the U.S. According to Alibaba France’s managing director Sebastien Badault, the Chinese luxury customer is in his or her late 20s, making them about 25 years and 15 years younger than the U.S. and European counterparts, respectively.
“To win in the China luxury market, you need to win over millennials,” said Moschino general manager Gabriele Maggio, in a statement. “We are building an exclusive, social and digital experience with Tmall, designed for millennial shoppers, to build our brand and expand Moschino’s presence in the Chinese market.”
Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion has attracted luxury brands like Burberry, Guerlain, Hugo Boss and Ralph Lauren to its platform since launching last August as a separate, safe haven home for premium brands that would otherwise shy away from selling on a sprawling, counterfeit-prone platform like Tmall. Brands are accepted to the platform on an invitation-only basis, and once admitted, they’re given access to premium, content-heavy
But for a brand with less recognition in the region – compared to a Louis Vuitton or a Gucci – just arriving isn’t always enough to attract the attention of China’s customers, who move quickly through trends and readily attach themselves to an attractive brand story, said Badault. The exclusive collection offers an entry point, get-to-know-us excitement for customers eager for one-of-a-kind items unavailable elsewhere.
“We work with these brands on a daily basis to help them figure out what works and what doesn’t. It’s a different customer, so you can’t just take what you’re doing in the U.S. or elsewhere, and apply it here,” said Badault. “But what does work is exclusives. The customer thinks, ‘If I buy it, it’s special edition,’ and that matters more. So brands that partake are leveraging all the right ways to engage with the consumer.”
The exclusive product approach comes into play particularly around Singles’ Day, when Tmall hosts brands on stage during a livestream event to showcase the special promotions and products they’re offering for China’s shopping holiday in November. Loewe, for instance, offered a limited-edition bag in 2017 that sold out within the same day, while Rimowa sold special-edition suitcases decorated by a local artist. Not many other luxury brands have tested exclusive releases outside of the shopping holiday. Earlier this year, Valentino released two exclusive bags through Tmall to celebrate a new virtual shop on the platform.
By timing it with the launch of its new Tmall store, Moschino will get access to more customer data, traffic and insight than it would have otherwise. Alibaba shares customer data with brand partners in order to help them figure out what to sell and what content is performing.
“On Tmall, we give brands a space where they can express themselves. They decide what product to put forward, the pricing, the content,” said Badault. “For an exclusive collection, we worked with them on what type of product would sell fast and create buzz. From there, they can build a strategy tailored to the customer.”