5 Feb 2019

Being fashionable has become fashionable again

Vremena Goda Galleries' CEO Lilit Adibekyan in her blog on the website "Snob" told about the fashion industry’s trends in Russia, as well as the new two-storey Louis Vuitton boutique in Vremena Goda mall.

"Stagnation" – a word that has recently described the processes in many industries, and the fashion industry is no exception. After the crisis of 2014, some buyers moved away from buying luxury brands. I read a study by Fashion Consulting Group: real disposable income of potential buyers decreased by 11%, and prices rose by almost a third. All this naturally leads people to think about the need to save.

There is a new trend: people mix luxury brands and mass market, especially as the giants of the fashion industry do everything possible for this. Suffice it to recall the collaboration of H&M with Moschino or Lanvin: their joint capsule collections have become really iconic on the market. Even such popular mass-market brands as Zara are increasingly copying luxury collections, attracting new customers.

A large part of the middle class, which used to love to combine luxury and mass market, completely switched to mass market: it is more profitable and corresponds to their current level of income.

Does this mean that luxury in Russia is in decline? Not at all: if a person used to buy Chanel suits for $ 25,000, it is unlikely that today he will update his wardrobe in Zara or H&M. Another thing is that the approach to shopping has changed: people began to count money, compare European and Russian prices, negotiate a discount. A shopping trip to European capitals is no longer a necessity: people see that because of the exchange rate difference, Russian prices are often more profitable than European ones. There's no point in "flying abroad" to save money.

But this approach of buyers to fashion requires a change in the overall strategy of luxury brands. People want to see not just a label on clothes – it is important for them to Express their individuality, creativity, maybe even to take part in the creation of the product for which they are ready to give money.

Being fashionable has become fashionable again

The most interesting thing is that it does not contradict another trend – to be popular, to fit into some cluster, category. People want to be a "community of individuals" and broadcast it not only in words but also through their style.

The task of the luxury segment in the fashion industry now is to show that they are perfection, to give the client something that he will not find anyone else. For example, recently in our shopping center "Vremena Goda" opened 650-meter Louis Vuitton boutique, which took the area on two floors. Its design is very similar to the flagship store LV’s design in Paris, on the place Vendome, and unique materials are used to create it.

LV is not only an iconic brand in the field of style, classic collections of women's and men's clothing and accessories. Objêts Nomades interior design items appeared in the Moscow boutique – the result of the collaboration of Louis Vuitton house and world-renowned designers.

Objêts Nomades is a kind of statement to myself and the world: "I am unique and I want it to be reflected in everything that surrounds me, including the interior of my house." To put in the living room sofa Bomboca design by the Campana brothers, to decorate the hallway the Bell lamp by Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, have in the bedroom a screen Diamond Screen by Marcel wanders -- this thing is a real exclusive, which is immediately "read" for the true connoisseur of style. Residents of Russia in this regard are very lucky, because things from this collection are presented in a single boutique in Eastern Europe – we have in Moscow.

The uniqueness of the opening of this boutique is also in the fact that it did not appear in the center – in GUM, TSUM or Stoleshnikov lane. This is a manifestation of another important trend in our industry – the desire for convenience. People want comfort, intimacy, but are not ready to give up the opportunity to get maximum in one place. They want to come shopping with the whole family, give children the opportunity to play in the children's room, mom – to go to yoga and massage, dad – to meet friends in the restaurant. Grocery store, dry cleaning, cinema, branded stores – all in one place.

Being fashionable has become fashionable again

This integrated approach to shopping is a product of accelerating the overall pace of life. "Everything here and now" is the motto of the modern buyer. People want to use their time more efficiently: spend less time in traffic jams and more time communicating with family and friends. And they are ready to pay for the comfort and service that can be obtained in large shopping centers.

And here it is worth remembering about the Internet and its impact on the world of fashion. The market of online trading in the fashion segment is now gaining momentum, but it is fashion and style – those areas in which personal presence is very important, the opportunity to touch and try on your favorite thing, to see it live. Even those brands that originally appeared as online players go offline. The share of the online market in our industry is minimal – no more than 5% of the total turnover, although more than half of the brands, even luxury ones, have their own online stores.

Another trend, which is simply impossible not to say, is a decrease in the number of new brands on the market. If earlier in the Russian market there were 15-18 new brands, in the last couple of years they were only 2-3 per year. On the one hand, it's sad: we don't get direct access to very interesting collections. On the other hand, it shows the emergence of really big players in the market. We are moving to a new level, to a more "heavy" Suite and to new customers.

The same Louis Vuitton is the flagship that pulls everyone else and makes other brands change and adjust to the buyer to provide a healthier competition. Brands complement each other, attract new customers – not only Russian, but also the correct, solvent tourist flow from other countries. People come to us to gain access to the fact that there is only us, the same Objêts Nomades. And they are ready not only to look and photograph, but also to buy.

Being fashionable has become fashionable again

This trend will continue in 2019. I can't reveal all the secrets yet, but I can say for sure about the opening of Chanel boutique with an area twice as large as the existing one. Another large and famous brand from the LVMH portfolio, as well as a brand from the Kering Group, will appear on our market. It is also possible to open a store Abercrombie & Fitch – I know, many are waiting for it.

Many brands have now realized that the Russian market is in the top 5 in sales. For them it is a great opportunity to develop their business and work independently, not through intermediaries. Yes, there are certain questions about the operational aspects, but why share the turnover with others, if you can do everything yourself? This means that in the next five years we will have a market of strong, dynamically developing brands that will dictate their rules and desires.