HONG KONG — Undeterred by the sensitive climate in the city, Italian high fashion sneaker maker Golden Goose Deluxe Brand opened the doors to its flagship store and customization Lab concept here inside K11 Musea, the fourth such location globally after Milan, Dubai, and Tokyo.
The brand’s chief executive officer Silvio Campara, who was in town to visit the 1,850-square-foot space, pushed aside concerns about the impact of Hong Kong’s protests on the brand’s footprint in the city, sharing that there would be in total three openings here this year.
“In the year 2019, Golden Goose is going to open at K11 and Harbour City–in a city where we already have three stores,” said Campara. “We are technically doubling our presence, opening another two stores.”
”Of course, I cannot tell you that it’s doing great but this is a little moment of [slowed] turnover in the store…” but he added “you [have to] believe in these customers, in this city, in these values, even keeping the stores, keeping the business. You have to be optimistic.”
On Monday, the government released figures for Hong Kong’s citywide retail sales for the month of July which showed a decrease of 11.4 percent compared to a year ago. The Hong Kong Retail Management Association said that August is expected to accelerate the drop with most of its retailer members reporting a decline of more than 50 percent.
Campara shared that turnover of the brand reached 300 million euros this year up from 20 million in 2007. Asia currently comes in at 36 percent of total revenue for the company, with America at 34 percent and Europe at 30 percent. Within Asia, South Korea takes the larger share of the revenue at 65 percent, while China and Hong Kong sit at 35 percent.
Given that the brand does minimal advertising, store footprint has been integral to its business.
“We basically communicate in three ways,” said Campara. “The first is the store, the second through scarcity, and the third is through word of mouth. All three are very linked because through the location of the store, we make sure to find the right people, and the right people will speak to other right people. This is the way we have built the brand in the 19 years of history of the brand, and how we have stayed consistent.”
At the Golden Goose Lab, followers of the brand can purchase limited edition and customizable sneakers, all weathered and ornamented by sneaker makers trained by the brand’s artisans in Venice. The product is modified on the spot, and shoppers are encouraged to select custom color laces, add charms, tape, and more.
Campara also assured that the Sino-U.S. trade war is not, at least directly, impacting their business. “We are 100 percent made in Venice,” said Campara. “We are unaffected by the trade war.”
While the sneaker explosion has led to brands all across the spectrum–from luxury to mass–pivoting towards the category, Campara said the brand prides itself on keeping its products handmade.
“Every single brand now recognizes sneakers as a category, as a mass category, but for Golden Goose, we are still the only ones who do handmade sneakers all over the world.”