What has been the single most effective strategy you've implemented at JOYCE?
JOYCE has always been about celebrating the art of fashion with its strong point of view and we have continued to stay true to this commitment.
In delivering that, we have curated the best brands globally and launched talented designers through our multibrand boutiques and - through our distribution business - we have built a platform for emerging brands to grow in Greater China.
Can you tell us your definition of luxury?
Luxury is beyond a piece of item or a fixed concept. Luxury is an emotion.
What's your understanding of the "see now, buy now" model that's employed by Burberry, Tom Ford and others. How do you think it will affect the fashion retail landscape?
Global travelling and the increasing use of mobile shopping have allowed for a seasonless approach to discovery, creating a sense of urgency in purchasing and expectation for short lead times. The 'see now, buy now' model adopted by businesses that are predominantly direct-retail may work well with the well-travelled, technology savvy and fashion-loving consumer.
However, there needs to be a deeper consideration for the participation and time needed for other important stakeholders in the industry. The chronology of a fashion calendar needs to sustain brands of various scales that approach their business differently.
Therefore, this model can surely exist with our current calendar, but we will need to think about the growing polarisation of brands this might potentially create.
What's your strategy for Lane Crawford and JOYCE to appeal to local customers and visiting tourists?
It has become less of a question of cultural demand and more about being able to provide our customers with a great product and superior quality of service. Both companies have a heritage footprint in Hong Kong, therefore it goes without saying that we are committed to sustaining a very important relationship with the local community. At the same time, we stay connected globally to ensure our consumer touchpoints are local to them. JOYCE continues to pioneer current and emerging luxury brands to offer our customer, while omni-channel will remain at the centre of Lane Crawford's strategy to reach out to highly mobile customers.
Lane Crawford and JOYCE have been actively representing Chinese contemporary designers and artists. What's your vision for luxury made in China? Why do you believe in promoting Chinese designers through Lane Crawford and JOYCE?
China continues to be a source with limitless potential and credibility, much of which remains untapped. It is becoming difficult to categorise these designers as Chinese designers: some of them live abroad and were educated abroad; they show in New York, London, Milan and Paris. They are international brands and their collections sit within a global context and in our international portfolios. What is very interesting about these designers is their Chinese reinterpretation of global fashion trends, with specific areas of focus such as silhouettes, juxtaposition of materials, fabrics and quirky prints.
As part of its "Created in China" project, which kicked off in 2013, Lane Crawford has launched and mentored successful brands such as Comme Moi and Ms Min. JOYCE is devoted to discovering international designers and seeing them through their incubation stage to launch them globally. These designers include Chinese talents as well as other designers from around the world. Today, the number of Chinese brands in the Lane Crawford and JOYCE portfolio has exceeded 20 across all categories. Whether or not we consider China as our home market, our interest lies in enabling an evolving creative culture that needs to be uncovered, explored and nurtured.
Who inspires you?
I respect people in the industry who are committed to their vision. These are individuals who force us to question the status quo, creating their own rules and allowing us to evolve and add value to fashion. Terry Jones, for example, broke the barriers of elitist fashion and created its relevance to a wider audience through a more accessible language of music and culture. Dries van Noten does not allow himself to be bound by pre-collections because he sees the importance of taking his time to deliver what he feels is a fully accomplished collection. Similarly, Alaia never sees the need for his seasonal presence at the fashion calendar because he works within his own time frame, only needing to hold a fashion show when he has something to show.
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