Chapman, who was in Hong Kong this week to participate in the inaugural edition of the Fashion Asia 2016 forum, said the British luxury retailer carries about 15 Asian designers on its platform, many of them Japanese, but it is looking to pick up more names in the region.
But there is one caveat, Chapman warned. Any new designer the store picks up — China’s Huishan Zhang is one recent addition — needs to have global appeal that transcends a particular country or region.
“If it’s not going to succeed globally for us, we’re not going to work with it,” he said, adding that the company’s sales are growing around 60 percent this year.
“As we become more global, we travel more to these markets, we’re meeting more people and we’re picking up more brands.”
As reported, Lane Crawford is also stocking more Asian fashion brands to diversify itself from other luxury retailers and tap into consumer demand for new talents — particularly from China.
Meanwhile, Matchesfashion.com is branching out linguistically. The site is preparing to launch a French edition early next year and roll out a second foreign language in September — Chapman declined to specify which one — and plans to introduce a new language every six months. Chapman said the different versions of the site will feature a mixture of global and region-specific content. Perhaps more significantly, the retailer is focusing on personalizing content for each customer, he said.
“If I’m dealing with a customer in the Middle East who’s bought only fine jewelry from me, do I want to be showing her a contemporary, young denim brand? No,” he said. “Really, it’s about focusing on trying to show the product that’s appropriate to that consumer.”
Other Fashion Asia 2016 forum attendees included Jason Wu and Dustin Jones, executive vice president and managing director of Macy’s China Ltd.