Luxury fashion buyers' club starts Wednesday

PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2012, 11:33am

How irritating it must be to walk into a luxury fashion shop in New York or London, preparing to drop thousands of dollars, only to be dismissed by aloof assistants as a mere browser. Hong Kong's big spenders may be highly regarded at the top brands' local branches, but that doesn't mean anyone else in the networks of international stores knows about them.

Enter Luxup, a members-only buyers' club giving privileged access to global fashion and lifestyle brands, for the emerging breed of global consumers who shop when they're at home and when they travel. But luxury fashion brands have been slow to recognise individual big spenders until they reach the till.

Luxup will launch its latest website - for members shopping in Hong Kong - on Wednesday. It made its debut in London in September and added New York last month, with all sites accessible in English and Chinese. A Hong Kong member can buy from HK$10,000 to HK$50,000 Shopping Passes that can be spent at designated stores participating in the programme. These include Valentino, Loewe and Dunhill in Hong Kong, with more being added each week. London has Balenciaga, Lanvin, Nicholas Kirkwood and others. There will be about 40 when the site is fully established.

Luxup is not an e-tail site like Net-a-Porter; it doesn't carry stock. The aim is to encourage shoppers to visit the stores. The advantage of the pass (a receipt downloadable onto an iPhone) is that it offers certain privileges, such as a chauffeur-driven car and perhaps a stylist as well as first-class treatment in the store. The idea is to make the shopping experience more fun.

Travellers can purchase a pass for New York, Miami and London, and be collected from the hotel and taken to the store, where their arrival will be expected.

Luxup co-founder James Corsellis, who was raised in Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur, recognises the competition for limited-edition and exclusive fashion in Hong Kong. Luxup will roll out exclusive luxury goods, which you can reserve and pick up in stores, whether in Hong Kong or overseas.

The Hong Kong launch also includes "jump the queue" opportunities to buy one of 10 new limited-edition purple Loewe Paseo bags, which will be available from Wednesday to December 31.

Luxup plans to add more cities, including Singapore, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Tokyo, although no launch date has been announced for mainland cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.