• Olivier Moingeon

W14 - Anya Hindmarch, Farfetch's Browns, Watches & Wonders, Signet, Valentino, Kering, DVF, Toms

Here is the transcript of the luxury news podcast episode for the week of April 5, 2021.

1. Anya Hindmarch’s new experiential retail strategy: a 5-store “village” in London

2. Farfetch’s Browns opens their store of the future in London

3. Watches and Wonders show goes online, then off to Shanghai

4. Brand Value reports top brands. New report on Gen Z and Teens.

5. Signet Jeweler acquires jewelry rental service Rocksbox

6. Sustainability and D&I: Winky Lux, The Body Shop, Kering

7. Rapid News Beauty: Estee Lauder closes Rodin, Biossance, Kim Kardashian

8. Rapid news: Target D&I, Valentino, H&M

9. Collabs of the week: H&M x DVF, Vans x Liberty, Nordstrom x Dover Street Market

10. Toms updates its impact initiative and unveils a new brand image

1. Anya Hindmarch launched a new retail project in London, called The Village. It is a cluster of 5 permanent stores built around the original store she opened in 1996. Each one of the new stores will have a specific theme and identity. There is for example the Plastic store which will sell the “I am a Plastic bag” collection, made of recycled plastic bottles and windshield. The Village Hall store will host rotating pop-up concepts. The bespoke store will be located in the original store location, and offer the designer’s bespoke collection and personalization service. Finally Anya Cafe will serve biscuits and cakes. According to the designer, the objective of this new retail concept is to pour all the creative energy into these various spaces, instead of putting that same energy towards fashion weeks or pop-ups. As a reminder, Anya Hindmarch partnered with an investor to buy back her brand from Mayhoola back in 2019, which is the last official reported year, when the brand posted an 8 million pounds loss. The designer has closed all but 5 locations and is focusing her efforts on growing eCommerce revenue and reach, as well as maximizing her store performances through this new kind of experiential retail concept.

2. Browns, the luxury fashion and luxury goods brand owned by Farfetch, unveiled their new retail concept, which is their take on the store of the future. Powered and engineered by Farfetch, the new store concept places technology, high-touch services and customer engagement at the centre of Browns’ retail strategy. At the intersection of retailtainment and experiential retail, the objective is for customers to visit the store, stay longer and come back multiple times, with each visit bringing in a different experience. The London flagship will feature 4 floors of fashion, accessories, homeware, fragrance, jewelry and watches. On the experiential side, it will have a restaurant, an outdoor courtyard, a dedicated area for makeup and styling. There will also be rooms dedicated to various rotating experiences, from art exhibits, to workshops powered by various experts such as tattoo artists or hypnotherapists. In terms of technology, Browns developed an app for clients to book appointments, share their product basket with a personal shopper, who can also recommend products directly in the app. There is also an in-store mode, which will push content available only in the store. Augmented reality virtual try-ons allow customers to try products which are not physically in the store. Also, payments don’t have to happen at the cash register, but directly through the app via a specific link.

3. Luxury Swiss watch makers are resuming their annual presentations, after canceling last year’s main industry events. It has been 2 years since the 2 main watch shows physically took place : watched and Wonders (formerly known as SIHH) and Baselworld, which is now called Hour Universe

This year’s Watches and Wonders is taking place until tomorrow as a purely online event, where 38 watch brands will showcase their latest creations, including Rolex and Patek Phillip. The event will also include webinars, brand keynote presentations and panel talks for media and retailers. The show will immediately be followed by another Watches and Wonders event, taking place physically in Shanghai until April 18th, where 19 brands will showcase their latest products from April 14th to 18th.

4. Brand Finance, which is a consultancy firm specialized in global brand ranking, issued their latest report this week, focusing on the most valuable apparel brands in the world. Nike holds the top spot with a valuation of $30.4 billion, despite a decrease of 13%. The second spot goes to Gucci, with a valuation of 12.6 billion dollars, down 12%. The remaining brands in the top 10 are Louis Vuitton, adidas, Chanel, Zara, Uniqlo, H&M, Cartier, and Hermès. Surveying 5,000 global brands and establishing their brand value as a metric derived from

Another interesting report came out this week, from Piper Sandler, surveying the spending habits and priorities of 7000 teens/gen Z in the US. They update this survey twice a year and in their latest issue, they noted that discretionary spending increased despite the pandemic, with sports brands dominating their fashion preferences. Nike is the favorite brand, American Eagle second, ahead of Pacsun, Lululemon and Adidas. Regarding handbags, the number one brand is Louis Vuitton, ahead of Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Coach and Gucci. Finally, top beauty destinations are Ulta, then Sephora, Target, Walmart and Amazon. Top skincare brands are CeraVe, Cetaphil, Neutrogena, The Ordinary and Curology.

Teens’ priorities are social and political issues, more specifically racial equality, the environment and Black Lives Matter. In terms of Social Network, Snap Chat is their favorite app, followed by Tik Tok and then Instagram, which lost ground vs prior reports. The report also predicts that the post-pandemic recovery will be female-led, with increased spending in clothing, handbags and skincare. Also, while athletic is a key theme, there is a revival of the 90s fashion trends. In terms of online shopping, Amazon remains teens’ preferred destination, but a strong increase in secondhand shopping was reported.

5. Signet Jewelers, the parent company of Kay Jewelers, Zales or Jared, acquired the jewelry rental company Rocksbox for an undisclosed amount. The strategic objective for Signet is to diversify its customer base, which is currently dominated by older men who buy jewelry for women, especially due to bridal jewelry representing more than 50% of the company’s revenue. On the other end, Rocksbox's customers tend to be Gen Z and millennial, professional women who rent jewelry for themselves, much as they would a dress or handbag. The subscription costs $21 per month and allows you to borrow 3 items at a time. The $21 fee can be used towards the purchase of an item. More than half of clients elect to buy a piece of jewelry they have previously rented. While Rocksbox’s price positioning is much more entry level vs Signet’s upscale pricing, the acquisition is part of a push into services which will fuel the Signets future growth.

6. On the sustainability front: beauty brand Winky Lux launched a program to pick up empty cosmetic bottles from customers door steps. To do so, the brand partnered with Replenysh, which is a circulatory platform specialized in collecting and recycling such items. Clients will receive Winky Lux loyalty points each time they register bottles for pick up.

Then, The Body Shop will implement refill stations in all its stores worldwide, after completing a successful test in 2 stores in 2019. Customers can purchase an aluminum bottle in the store and refill it with shower gel, shampoo, conditioner or hand soap.

Finally, Kering completed the first phase of their new logistics hub in Italy, which is meant to increase the storage capacity and speed up global deliveries. The facility is equipped with one of Europe’s largest rooftop solar systems, which will produce more energy than the hub will consume. The excess energy will be fed to Italy’s energy grid, to power Kering’s offices and stores around the country.

7. Some rapid news in beauty: Estée Lauder announced that it would close the brand Rodin Olio Lusso. Without much explanation, the website will shut down soon. The brand was founded in 2007 by model and stylist Linda Rodin. This is the second brand shut down by Estée Lauder this year after Becca Cosmetics also folded a few weeks ago.

Then, Reese Whitherspoon became the new global ambassador for Biossance. The actress signed a 5-year partnership with the brand and will create educational or entertaining content around clean beauty, as well as help develop limited edition items.

Finally, Kim Kardashian might be launching another beauty brand as she reportedly filed trademark applications to potentially launch a brand called SKKN, encompassing Skincare, haircare, nail products, perfumes, candles and more. This week, Kim also officially joined Forbes billionaire list thanks to the new valuation of her 2 businesses: KKW beauty, of which Coty owns 20%, and Skims, her shapewear brand, which reached a $1.6 billion valuation this week.

8. Rapid news: On the D&I front, Target announced that it would invest $2.0 billion dollars on black-owned businesses by the end of 2025. As part of this initiative, Target will start selling products from more than 500 black owned brands across multiple categories. It will also provide resources to black-owned vendors to scale their business, as well as an incubator for black-founders.

H&M will close 30 stores in Spain and lay off more than 1,000 staff members who are currently on furlough. This is part of H&M’s strategy to close 350 stores out of 5,000 and open 100 new stores in order to adapt to the digitalization of their retail business.

Saks 5th Avenue announced they were closing their fur salon and that by 2023 they will stop selling any product using fur. Saks is following in the footsteps of Macy’s, Bloomingdales and Nordstrom.

Finally, the Italian factory producing Valentino’s famous rock stud shoes was completely destroyed in an accidental fire last week. It employed 160 people and produced 1,300 pairs per day. The company quickly announced that other factories will pick up the production capacity.

9. Let’s review the collabs of the week.

H&M Home and Diane von Furstenberg are launching a collection this week. The 31-piece collection includes interior and decoration items, ranging from wool blankets, trays, candles, espresso cups, plates or pots. Each item is adorned with the designer’s most iconic prints.

Then, Vans developed a womenswear and shoe collection for Liberty London. The collection is available globally and is called Vans made with Liberty, because it uses the British department store’s famous hand drawn and printed floral prints that Liberty is known for.

Finally, Nordstrom is bringing Dover Street Market to its locations in New York, Los Angeles and Vancouver. Each concept shop will feature 7 brands from up and coming designers incubated by Dover Street Market, for a duration of 6 weeks.

10. Finally, to finish the week, a news which is not necessarily luxury but I thought was worth noting. Toms, the iconic shoe brand is changing its impact strategy. If you remember, the brand was made famous for its one-to-one donation system, where one pair purchased meant the brand would donate one pair to people and countries in need. Since the launch of the brand in 2006, it has donated more than 100 million pairs of shoes. This mechanism will be replaced by a new initiative around investing in grassroots efforts around equality and social justice. The issues it will support by investing a significant part of its profits are mental health, ending gun violence and increasing access to opportunities. By supporting these causes, the brand believes it will positively impact the lives of BIPOC and LGBTQ communities, as well as women and girls. As part of this new initiative, and in an effort to cater to Gen Z, Toms also refreshed their brand image, through a new website and campaigns, focusing on community agents instead of models.

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