Speaking at the general assembly of Christian Dior on Thursday, the president and ceo of Christian Dior Couture said the French fashion house has not been affected by the antigraft campaign that began nearly a year ago under the new administration of President Xi Jinping.
“Our position in China is strong both in terms of image and market share gain, so I remain very confident regarding China, as far as Christian Dior Couture is concerned,” Toledano told WWD on the sidelines of the meeting. “We have not been affected by the [crackdown on] gifting.”
Commenting on the data released by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, which showed an overall 0.5 percent drop in exports of Swiss timepieces last month, Citi analyst Thomas Chauvet said the outlook for China remained uncertain.
“It is a negative data point for the Swiss watch industry and luxury sector sentiment as we were expecting further easing of destocking in China and possible benefits from [the] earlier timing of Chinese New Year,” he said in a research note.
“China’s new President Xi Jinping’s tough stance on corruption practices and extravagant spending is likely to limit any recovery of the illegitimate component of luxury demand this year [gifting]. This is likely to have a greater impact on the high-end rather than the midrange segment,” he added.
Toledano noted that Dior sold mainly products for personal use, such as women’s dresses. “On the men’s side, we are younger and more fashionable and edgy, so we are not part of the political thing,” he said. “As far as Dior is concerned, we have positioned ourselves well.”
He noted that the “Esprit Dior” exhibition, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai from Sept. 13 to Nov. 10 attracted more than 120,000 visitors. “Wealthy and young Chinese people have a level of knowledge and an appetite for learning about brands, their tradition, history, know-how and quality,” he noted.
Responding to a shareholder’s question during the general assembly, Toledano declined to reveal China’s contribution to total sales at Christian Dior Couture. He said that while demand across Mainland China varied, there was still an appetite for ostentatious consumption in some sections of the country.
“There is ostentation, and ostentation. I was reading a report recently that said that the graphic design and logo of certain brands were still extremely popular, provided they have a history and interesting graphic design,” he noted.
The nation’s leadership earlier this month released new rules outlining how officials should avoid extravagant spending on activities ranging from overseas travel to the purchase of new vehicles.
Some say the ongoing campaign could portend a slower shopping season over the upcoming January Chinese New Year, a period known for elaborate gifting, particularly between businesses and governments as a form of collateral to ink business deals in the coming year.
Christian Dior, the luxury goods group, is the main holding company of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the owner of brands including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Guerlain, Sephora, Moët & Chandon and Tag Heuer.
The general assembly was called to present the company’s results for the period of May 1 to June 30, following a change in the timing of its financial year. According to the revised dates, the current financial year runs from July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast