Bottega Veneta CEO Marco Bizzarri said he feels particularly confident about China and the Asian market. “If you look at our business, over 55 percent of our business is in Asia, 45 percent is the U.S. and Europe. That is completely the reverse of the industry,” he said. While most of the success in Asia is thanks to Bottega Veneta’s performance in Japan, Bizzarri is optimistic about China. “China is a super important market and it is growing very fast. The fact that the Chinese customers are approaching our brand quicker than any other emerging country is due to the speed of the maturity of the market,” said Bizzarri.
A maturing luxury market is responsible for Chinese consumers’ growing appreciation of Bottega Veneta’s understated style. And while the label is doing well all over the world – its first quarter sales are up 39 percent – it seems as though the Chinese consumer is keeping apace with fashionistas worldwide. But in the beginning, Bottega Veneta needed a more nuanced strategy to reach Chinese consumers.
“At the very beginning, we needed to make sure that the Bottega Veneta values were matching Chinese consumer behavior,” he said. “That’s why we were a little cautious at the beginning. Afterward, we realized that the Chinese consumer is very sophisticated. Of course there are a lot of people that are still buying and showing off logos, there’s nothing against it, but the point is that we are approaching a consumer that is different.”
That different sort of consumer led Bottega Veneta to open its first men’s-only shop last year in a Shenyang, Liaoning province, mall in response to consumer demand. It’s a feat the brand has since recreated in New York City successfully. Last year, Bottega Venetta launched the Chinese language version of its website to better reach its consumers.
Recently, Bottega Veneta opened its fourth store in Shanghai that doubles as gallery space for up-and-coming Chinese photograhers. It is the label’s 22nd store in China. The only “celebrities” to be found at the event were the brand’s female artisians from Vicenza, Italy, who were there to demonstrate Bottega Veneta’s signature weaving technique. The event was as understated as the company’s bags, but just as popular.
photo credit: bottega veneta