Victoria’s Secret 2017 Shanghai Fashion show may have been surrounded by a number of controversies (such as Gigi Hadid and Katy Perry reportedly being denied Chinese visas and missing the show) but that did little to harm the show’s overall appeal. Millions of people tuned in to watch the annual fashion show on Wednesday, which featured some of the world’s most celebrated models and artists.
Although the show format remained the same, a new addition to the line-up came in the form Victoria’s Secret designer collaboration with Parisian fashion house Balmain. The 22 piece collection, VS X Balmain, was designed by creative director Olivier Rousteing and featured bras, tops, slip dresses, bodysuits as well as handbags in tartan print, graffiti, and black mesh. Models including Adriana Lima, Candice Swanepoel, Jasmine Tookes and Sara Sampaio presented the VS x Balmain collection to cheering crowds.
Following the airing of the annual fashion show, the VS x Balmain collection, together with the other items shown, was immediately launched online and Victoria’s Secret stores around the globe. A number of items from the VS x Balmain collection sold out online less than half day after the launch, despite the slightly higher price tag. However, although the collection sell-out rate has done well in Victoria’s Secret Western markets, they were not the main focus for the lingerie retailer’s show this year.
Victoria’s Secret is said to have hosted its first fashion show in Communist-ruled China because it is plotting it future growth within the Chinese market. The US and European markets for lingerie are already saturated and have matured, but China’s intimate apparel sector is still growing. The lingerie sector has been pegged as one of the fastest growing areas of the women’s clothing market in China and is forecasted to reach 25 billion US dollars, double the amount the sector is worth in the US, according to Euromonitor. So it should come as little surprise that VS is keen to become one of the leading players in the country.
The US lingerie giant tapped six Chinese models to walk in its 2017 Fashion show, a record number of Asian models, according to reports, in a bid to win the local market over. In line with the ‘See Now, Buy Now’ model currently favored by Chinese consumers, Victoria’s Secret leveraged similar technology used by Alibaba to offer viewers the chance to buy products featured in the Fashion show in real time via Tmall, the lingerie brand’s only e-commerce channel in China. The 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show airdate also coincided with the brand’s ‘Super Brand Day’ marketing campaign on Tmall, a 24-hour initiative which was created in order to drive more local consumers to VS online flagship store.
Both the marketing campaign and the VS show are part of Victoria’s Secret ongoing push into China, which sees the company taking back its Chinese franchise model and opening a series of own-operated flagship stores in major cities, such as Shanghai, Chengdu, and Chongqing. However, the US brand will have to face local competition from established lingerie brands, such as Aimer and Cosmo Lady, who have already a loyal customer base and more accessible prices in comparison to VS
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