Monday, 30 November 2009

Good News For Bulgari And Burberry Shares – 30/11/09

According to Reuters, Goldman Sachs has upgraded Bulgari to ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’, with the luxury brand rising 0.5 percent.

On Bulgari, the broker says, “the company is well positioned to benefit from a normalisation of sales and would benefit from surprise from its very low base of comparison in Q3 2010. The progressive end of destocking at retailers and good cost containment efforts are also expected to help the firm in the third-quarter.”

To read more about Bulgari’s finances, go to our November 16 report: Bulgari Sales Receive 10 Percent Boost.

Burberry has also been upgraded by Goldman Sachs from ‘sell’ to ‘neutral’.
The broker says, “Burberry's returns were improving, following strong first-half figures last week, and forecasts sales to grow 8.5 percent in 2011 and 10.9 percent in 2012 estimates, both above I/B/E/S consensus.”

Chanel Creates A Chic New Shanghai Boutique – 30/11/09

Some call Shanghai "the Paris of the East". So luxury brand Chanel appeared to spare no expense to ensure their new Shanghai boutique, in the Peninsula Hotel, is both chic and comfortable.

We read in a Luxist article that the store was inspired by the Paris apartment of Coco Chanel. According to the architect, “The idea was to give this new boutique a residential feel by combining hand picked art, antiques and other objects with a refined store decor.”

The art of shopping is to be a subtle experience at this store where customers enter the apartment-like space, can sit on sofas and have individual items brought to them. What a wonderful way to make the customer feel valued and at ease!

Karl Lagerfeld designed exclusive products to celebrate the store’s opening. These include a classic quilted flap handbag with an inside signature "Shanghai Karl Lagerfeld", sling-back heels with a metallic CC logo and other items.

Shanghai is also receiving more special treatment with Lagerfeld unveiling his latest Metier D’Arts collection for Chanel there on December 3rd. This is the eighth Metier D’Arts collection to follow shows in Paris, Tokyo, New York, Monaco, London and Moscow. Click here to read more at WWD Fashion.

Friday, 27 November 2009

LVMH And Swatch Shares Rated As A Buy – 27/11/09

According to a Marketwatch report, luxury goods makers Swatch and LVMH are both rated as a buy at ING.

For Swatch, ING predicts “a gradual recovery in 2010 for top-line growth and margins.” LVMH, meanwhile, is recommended due to its “well-balanced portfolio of companies and substantial potential for top-line growth.”

Tiffany & Co.’s Profit Takes One Percent Tumble – 27/11/09

Luxury jewellery brand Tiffany & Co. said its third-quarter profit fell due to weaker domestic sales as shoppers continued to limit their discretionary spending.

But despite the 1 percent profit decline, the results exceeded expectations, and Tiffany has raised its full-year forecasts. Read more at Forbes or the Associated Press.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Chadstone’s New Chanel Boutique Is Off To A Lucrative Start – 26/11/09

The media can’t stop discussing Chadstone’s new luxury precinct (see our reports on 20 November and 13 November). And for Chanel in particular, the news was all about the initial sales frenzy.

We read in a report in The Australian that “16 Chanel handbags sold within the first 30 minutes.” Each bag was priced at AU $4910. Only 100 of these limited-edition gold quilted bags were created by Karl Lagerfeld specifically for the opening of this boutique.

Unfortunately, our other piece of local news is not as uplifting. The Prada boutique located in Martin Place, Sydney, was ransacked this week, and thousands of dollars worth of “new line stock” was stolen. Click here to read more.

Jewellery To Share The Runway At Paris Haute Couture Week – 26/11/09

Next January will mark a new era in the Paris’ haute couture week with fine jewellery to be showcased, alongside the fashion.

The jewellery houses who will display their wares include Boucheron, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Chanel Joaillerie, Chaumet, Christian Dior Joaillerie and Mellerio dits Meller.

According to an article in The Independent, this is the first time that has happened in the more than 150-year history of Paris’ haute couture. So it will be an event worth watching although the jewels may be a little blinding…

Hermes heirlooms: Going, Going, Gone! – 26/11/09

When French based auction house Artcurial hosted one of their bi-annual Hermes auctions on November 10, some items, including a Birkin bag, sold for above their estimate and even the original retail price. Which is proof that Hermes is still regarded as an investment item.

Read more about the timeless appeal of Hermes scarves here at the Luxist.

Image shows a ‘Mexique’ Hermes scarf, designed in 1985, which is available for purchase at, which the Luxist suggests has the most comprehensive collection of vintage Hermes scarves on the market.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

PPR Set For A Major Overhaul – 25/11/09

Under the direction of C.E.O Francois-Henri Pinault, PPR plans to sell retail businesses that generate 70 percent of group sales, in order to focus on clothing and accessories brands within its luxury Gucci Group and Puma, the sports wear company.

The first move in this overhaul is the planned flotation of CFAO, their African distribution business. Next, the business hopes to sell Fnac, a high street book and music retail chain, Conforama furniture stores and the Redcats catalogue business.

But according to a Financial Times article, Pinault “is not interested in slimming PPR down to a pure luxury player and is looking to replace the lower-margin retail businesses with mid-market brands.”

The Wall Street Journal also featured an interesting article on this subject. It revealed that PPR’s retail business has proven a drag on profitability. In the first half of the year, PPR said it made 1.7 to 3.3 cents on the dollar in its retail business, and 18.6 cents on the dollar in its luxury division.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Alarm Bells Ring As Watchmaker Chopard Is Forced To Cut Costs – 24/11/09

Another watchmaker has hit a rough patch. Chopard, Switzerland's largest family-owned watch and jewellery company, has had to temporarily close a store in Palm Beach, Florida, and lay off workers. It is also expecting sales to fall by up to a fifth this year.

We read in the Wall Street Journal that Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, co-president of the watchmaker, says that despite these cost-cutting measures, he realises the 149-year-old company will have to invest for their long term future. In the past Chopard has sponsored some of the biggest social events of the year, including the Elton John AIDS Foundation's annual White Tie & Tiara Summer Ball.

Burberry Set To Expand Their Leather Goods – 24/11/09

Last week, we reported Burberry’s profit had dropped 24 percent (see the MO Down for 19 November). This week, Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s Chief Creative Officer, has expansion on his agenda.

We read in a Reuters article, Burberry To Expand In Shoes And Handbags, that the main areas of expansion will be leather goods, children’s wear and sportswear.

Bailey said there is solid demand for new types of Burberry goods such as belts and shoes. He also suggested, "We will be growing the range with a bigger emphasis on shoes."

Currently, non-apparel items make up around one-third of Burberry's revenue.

It was only last month that we reported Burberry also has a cosmetics line in the pipeline (see the MO Down for 27 October).

Lanvin Lures A Mystery Minority Investor – 24/11/09

After a lengthy search for a financial partner, French fashion house Lanvin has found a minority investor to take a 12.5 percent stake, according to Reuters.

Lanvin said in a statement last week that the operation had been carried out through a capital increase. The identity of the investor was not revealed.

The luxury brand, best known for its intricate trimmings and embroideries, said the move would help its long-term plans for global expansion.

Monday, 23 November 2009

Behold The New ‘House of Burberry’ – 23/11/09

Norwegian artist Jens Werner thought it would be “fun” to paint his house, located in Larvik, in Burberry’s famed plaid pattern.

This image, from a Daily Mail report, shows the finished makeover. We wonder what Burberry think. We don’t think they will appreciate his art, which has been called “tacky”. In fact, they are suing a pets accessory chain for using their plaid pattern (see our report on 21 October: Burberry Is Being Dogged By Plaid Plagiarism)

On the other hand, Burberry may not care as they may be too busy with their expansion into India.

We read in a Times Online article that Burberry is poised to enter a new joint venture with Indian fashion retailer Genesis Colors. C.E.O. Angela Ahrendts said," Obviously, India is on a different curve [to China]. We only have about two stores there now, but I see the same growth potential.”

Chanel Set To Release Their First In-House Magazine – 23/11/09

Click here to enter a whole new world – one dreamed up by Karl Lagerfeld and Olivier Zahm, from France’s Purple Fashion Magazine.

Your passport to this world is through the Chanel boutiques. This free in-house magazine will be distributed worldwide and is named 31 Rue Cambon, the name of the first ever Chanel boutique. We definitely can’t wait to get our hands on it.

Friday, 20 November 2009

Our Critique Of Chadstone’s New Luxury Mall – 20/11/09

We talked last week about the proposed grand opening of Chadstone Shopping Centre’s luxury retail precinct (see the MO Down for 13 November), but now we have flown down to Melbourne and explored it for ourselves – along with the reputed 5,000 people who queued for the launch.

The stores that opened included:
• Louis Vuitton
• Gucci – a new look store, the first of which in Australia.
• Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Coach and Jimmy Choo.
• Prada, Miu Miu, Burberry, Omega and Ralph Lauren are due to open later in the year and next year.
• And there’s Hardy Bros. and Swarovski as well.

We read that there were long lines of people queuing, some apparently overnight, for the first look at some of the international luxury and premium end brands that opened their doors. This week was a soft opening for most brands with official launch parties to unfold over the coming days/weeks, culminating in the overall Chadstone official launch on 2nd December.

We thought the vibe was 'sunny' in every sense, with 30 degree+ temperatures outside and wonderful natural light filtering through the centre. Every store visited was beaming with happy staff and happier clients, notably crowded were Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Coach.

Going by the reactions we witnessed, it certainly seems as though Colonial First State Global Asset Management, managers of the Chadstone property, are on the right strategy.

Click here to read The Age’s article, which reports that Chadstone was “overwhelmed by crowds” for this luxury opening.

Cartier Expands Cheaper Lines For Christmas Time – 20/11/09

Luxury jewellery brand Cartier has expanded its range of more affordable products ahead of Christmas, according to Reuters.

The brand launched its latest collection, "les must," earlier this month and their C.E.O., Bernard Fornas, said demand so far has been "very, very strong."

The price tags, pitched between 200 euros (AU$320) and around 3,000 euros (AU$4,807), appeal not only to younger clients but also to more mature shoppers looking for presents for teenagers, Fornas said.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Burberry’s Profit Has Dropped 24 Percent – 19/11/09

The big news today is that Burberry have announced a 24 percent slump in their profits for the first half of the financial year.

But the luxury brand is not down and out. They’re looking to the future. They “expect to perform well in the second half of its fiscal year as it is selling a greater proportion of its goods through its own stores, and is continuing to trim costs in the face of the economic downturn,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Almost Double The Profit For Online Luxury Store – 19/11/09

Italian online retailer Yoox, which sells premium luxury brands like Armani and Prada, has reported a 48.8 percent rise in sales over the first nine months of the year. They also launched an initial public offering (IPO) in Milan this week.

Their award-winning website,, seemed full of heavy discounting and what they deemed “accessible prices” – making it a bargain lover’s paradise, and a site to keep our eye on.

For more facts and figures about the IPO, click here to go to AFP.

Let’s Hope It’s Third Time Lucky For Christian Lacroix – 19/11/09

The waiting game continues for Christian Lacroix as the Paris Commerce Court postponed their decision for the second time.

This time, the reason for the delay was that two potential buyers, Hassan bin Ali al-Nuaimi and Bernard Krief Consulting, "could not show the documentation certifying the funds needed for the acquisition were available," according to Reuters.

A decision will, hopefully, be made on December 1st. Consult the MO Down for October 29 for background information on this hearing.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009 “It’s eBay For The Mega Rich” – 18/11/2009

Forget eBay, now billionaires have their own online auction place to buy, sell or barter their million dollar jewellery, yachts and mansions. It’s called, a website where the minimum bid is US $1000.

However unlike eBay, this site guarantees all items' authenticity and will not release payment until the goods are delivered.

The site, which collects a fee of up to 5 percent per sale, claims to have 26,000 multimillionaires and "nearly a dozen" billionaires signed up, according to an article in the New York Post. Interesting! Perhaps billionaires can’t resist the website’s catch cry – “so register today, and start bartering like Billionaires”…

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Place Your Bids For The Yves Saint Laurent Charity Auction – 17/11/09

As bargain hunters chase Jimmy Choo’s H&M range, luxury connoisseurs have their sights firmly on the second Yves Saint Laurent Charity Auction, which begins today.

“Buyers are expected to turn out in numbers,” Jonathan Rendell, Deputy Head of Christie's America, told the AFP.

Click here to see many of the items on auction. And you can also consult our earlier, more detailed report for the facts on this charity auction.

Jimmy Choo’s H&M Range Causes Global Buying Frenzy – 17/11/09

In June, we announced there would be shopping pandemonium when Swedish fashion retailer H&M teamed up with accessory brand Jimmy Choo – and we were on the money!

There was excitement around the globe as the footwear range was released on November 12 and, it seems, sold out by lunch time. Many customers camped out for hours for their chance to own these cut-price shoes, which are now being sold on eBay for double their original price, according to London’s Daily Mail.

Check here to read the MO Down on June 18, which includes our thoughts on the benefits of these types of collaborations.

Monday, 16 November 2009

Johann Rupert To Be Richemont’s New C.E.O – 16/11/2009

Shares in Richemont surged 5 percent last week, after news that Executive Chairman Johann Rupert will be taking over the C.E.O. job at the luxury group.

According to Reuters, Rupert, a South African billionaire known for his hands-on approach, will take over from Norbert Platt as C.E.O from April 1. Platt is resigning due to health reasons.

This article also suggests that consumers' appetites for watches and jewellery, which represent about 78 percent of Richemont's total revenues, is beginning to increase, with Platt commenting that “this year's Christmas sales were likely to be better than last year's.”

For background information on the Richemont watch slump, go to our October 26 report (Swiss Watchmakers Are Alarmed Over Another Sales Slump.)

Bulgari Sales Receive An 10 Percent Boost – 16/11/2009

Shares in Italian jewellery brand Bulgari rose more than 4 percent last week after the company returned to a net profit in the third quarter.

Bulgari announced to Reuters that “sales in its own stores rose more than 10 percent in October, at constant exchange rates, and that it expects the fourth quarter to be the best of the year.”

See the MO Down for 12 October for our detailed report, which attributes gains in the Asian market as the reason why Bulgari is back on top.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Melbourne’s Chadstone Shopping Centre Welcomes 12 New Luxury Brands – 13/11/09

Melbourne's luxury venues will almost double when Chadstone Shopping Centre officially opens its new luxury retail precinct on November 18.

Chadstone will house 12 high-end stores including Chanel, Burberry, Hugo Boss, Louis Vuitton, Omega, Prada, Coach, Ralph Lauren and Tiffany, as well as Miu Miu's first Australian store, and the first stand-alone Jimmy Choo store in Victoria.

Melbourne’s Crown Casino is also increasing its luxury fashion offering with a two-storey Versace outlet to be launched later this month. Crown already boasts Louis Vuitton, Prada and Burberry as its luxury tenants.

We read about these developments in an article entitled Rich Pickings. This article suggests “Australia seems to be experiencing something of a luxury boom. According to IBIS world, there are expected to be 4917 luxury goods boutiques in Australia, a 2.8 percent increase from 2008-9.”

We raised our eyebrows at the above suggestion of 4000+ luxury boutiques. This is where we believe the word ‘luxury’ is being misused. If the journalist was consistent in her article, she mentioned only the international luxury mono brands in terms of the first and second tier brands, the number of distribution points (including airport, duty free and department store) would be closer to 200 – obviously there is a very loose application of the word luxury.

The Japanese Shun Hermes For H&M – 13/11/09

As Versace shuts up shop in Japan (see the MO Down for 8 October) and Hermes sees a significant sales slump (see the MO Down for 25 September), low cost Swiss fashion chain H&M moves in to reap the benefits.

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, Japanese sales of H&M have been steadily increasing all year. This week, the company plans to unveil its first full Japanese "concept" store in Shinjuku, which will feature men's, women's and children's clothes as well as its new Jimmy Choo collaboration shoe line (see the MO Down for 18 June for our report on this joint project.)

H&M's Japan Country Manager, Christine Edman, says, "Caring about value and quality has been in Japan for a long time, but it's more pronounced now because of the recession. The Japanese know that lower prices do not mean bad quality."

Christopher Bailey Receives A Big Promotion – 13/11/09

Burberry’s Creative Director, Christopher Bailey, has been promoted to the newly created role of Chief Creative Officer.

Angela Ahrendts, C.E.O of Burberry, revealed that Bailey had been promoted in recognition of his contribution to the brand since his appointment as Creative Director in 2001. She said, “The Burberry brand today is more cohesive than at anytime in the company’s history owing much to the clarity, consistency and purity of his amazing vision.”

Click here to read more.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Chanel Forced To Court Over Crochet Pattern – 12/11/09

A crochet pattern is at the centre of the legal battle between Chanel and Carmen Colle, founder of an ethical clothing company. Colle claims the crochet sample was created by her tailors not Chanel’s.

Colle, whose clients include Christian Dior, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Givenchy, is suing for €2.5m (AU$4m) of damages for alleged counterfeit and breach of contract. If she wins, the Guardian newspaper suggests “her case could empower the petites mains who work as tailors and seamstresses for powerful brands in France.”

A spokeswoman for Chanel denied the allegations, saying, "The making of a crochet sample on the basis of precise instructions given by Chanel's creative studio does not mean that a pattern's creation can be claimed.”

We’ll keep you in the loop on this case…

Another Fashion Designer Is Decimated By The Credit Crunch – 12/11/09

London fashion designer Luella Bartley has become the latest victim of the GFC, with her design company forced to close after they lost financial backing from their main investor, Club 21.

Singapore-based Club 21, which also distributes Giorgio Armani, “reluctantly" decided to withdraw its backing after the closure of Luella's Italian production company, Carla Carini, meant that orders for the spring/summer 2010 collection could not be fulfilled. So, as The Independent reports, Luella “is a victim of knock-on effects of the credit crunch, rather than guilty of mismanagement or lack of vision.”

But this doesn’t have to be the end for the Luella brand. As we have seen with Escada, who were rescued by the Mittals earlier this week (see the MO Down for 9 November), there are white knights out there waiting to save designers in distress…

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

The New Luxury Gift Service With Lagerfeld’s Tick Of Approval – 11/11/09

With perfect timing for Christmas, London’s new premium luxury gift service, Bokks, has launched this week, endorsed by actor Dustin Hoffman and supermodel Veronica Webb. Karl Lagerfeld is also involved and called it “a genius idea.”

According to a report in The Independent, Bokks is the brainchild of Walter Bugno, the ex-boss of Australia's Sydney Football Club.

Items available through the service will cost from £250 (AUS$450) up to as much as £1m (AUS $1.8m). Bugno says: "There is nothing cheap. It may be expensive but not expensive for quality." He also wants to have the gifts hand-delivered, so is offering customers the option of hiring a white velvet-gloved "bellhop" porter to deliver their gifts.

We thought that the site was visually impressive, looking every inch what it promises to be: a “Portal to Luxury”. Visit it for yourself at Meanwhile, we’ll keep you posted on whether this service wins over the luxury clientele. Having Lagerfeld on board is definitely a big plus.

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Luxury Brands Embrace Emerging Markets – 10/11/09

Earlier this month, Louis Vuitton opened its first store in Mongolia. This is a prime example of the luxury market’s new focus on emerging/untapped markets.

In an AFP article, Louis Vuitton’s Chairman, Yves Carcelle, said Mongolia is “a country that is taking off economically."

During the store’s launch, Louis Vuitton showcased a special saddle in a nod to Mongolia's "nomadic roots and strong horse riding culture." (click here to read more).

This expansion into Mongolia is a big step for not only Louis Vuitton but the entire luxury market. These emerging markets may become very important in years to come, perhaps influencing style and design. For decades, luxury brands have designed with the European market in mind, but that was when they knew which side their bread was buttered on…

Monday, 9 November 2009

Hermes’ Revenue Rises By 10 Percent – 9/11/09

We’re starting Monday morning off on a high note by announcing that Hermes has achieved a 10 percent rise in revenue during the third quarter.

This rise was attributed to the popularity of the Birkin bag and other high-end leather goods. Click here to read more.

Important Insights On The “New Luxury Wave” – 9/11/09

Click here to read a brilliantly researched WWD article on the future of the luxury landscape. It includes interviews with major industry figures, including Karl Lagerfeld, plus C.E.Os from LVMH, Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Chloé, Hermes, Prada, Versace and Coach.

Many important issues are raised in the article. One point that caught our eye was that “consumer expectations are likely to be higher than ever, with craftsmanship, service, heritage, and longevity among new priorities.”

Pierre-Yves Roussel, C.E.O of the fashion division at LVMH, said customers “want it all: the quality, the creativity, the exclusivity, and the service. You tend to forget that in good years because in good years it’s easier. Being in luxury, we have to be perfect in everything we do.”

The “growth of e-commerce and social networking and eco concerns” were also mentioned as factors that will shape the luxury industry in years to come.

Escada Lives On – 9/11/09

Insolvent German brand Escada has finally been purchased by a family company – the Mittals.

In a statement, Megna Mittal said, “Our first priority is to ensure that the great heritage of this iconic company is translated into a strong and successful future. Despite recent difficulties, Escada has the potential to redefine its place in the world of luxury brands and become synonymous with fine quality and elegance.”

According to WWD Fashion, Escada’s current C.E.O, Bruno Sälzer, will remain at the helm of the company.

We’ve been following the Escada insolvency since day one. Click here for our detailed report on August 13.

Sales Jump Significantly At David Jones – 9/11/09

Local premium-end retailer David Jones seems to be reaping the rewards of renewed consumer confidence, with The Australian reporting “the group has seen the biggest jump in sales in more than two years.”

Their first quarter sales were also up 2.2 percent on the year, or 0.8 percent compared to this time last year.

Myer also announced a 5.2 percent rise over the quarter, or an 2.9 percent increase compared to this time last year.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Is This The Key To Tiffany & Co.’s Success In China? – 6/11/09

Tiffany & Co. are following in the footsteps of many luxury brands by customising their online marketing campaigns to appeal to the Chinese.

Last week, Tiffany launched their Keys collection with their ‘Journey Behind The Door’ campaign at This site showcases a photography exhibition starring mainland celebrities, each adorned by a Keys necklace (as pictured).

Click here to read more about Tiffany’s new campaign.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

The Gucci Group Commits To Conserving The Rainforest – 5/11/09

The Gucci Group has taken another big step towards being the greenest luxury corporation. Earlier this week, they joined forces with the Rainforest Action Network and pledged to conserve paper.

According to WWD Fashion, their new paper policy will encourage all of the group’s brands to reduce paper use, eliminate those containing fibres from forests of high conservation value, and to purchase recycled paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, all by December 2010.

The Gucci Group’s Executive Vice President of Global Communications, Mimma Viglezio, said, “Standing rainforests are not a luxury, they’re a necessity if the world wants to stop climate change.”

The Gucci Group definitely has our vote for the greenest luxury brand. It was only last month that we revealed Gucci was sponsoring a Ph.D. on sustainable fashion practices (see the MO Down for 14 October). This is yet another indication that green is fast becoming the new black…

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Designer Handbags Have Become Collateral In Hong Kong – 4/11/09

Hong Kong finance firm Yes Lady Finance has caused a global sensation by offering personal loans in exchange for ladies’ designer handbags. Yes, you heard right - a second-hand Birkin equals big bucks.

According to Reuters, Yes Lady Finance is providing loans of up to 70 percent of the value of the item in the second-hand market and charging borrowers interest as low as 28 percent a year with a three-month maturity.

A Louis Vuitton handbag valued at US$2,600 in the second-hand market would fetch a US$1,800 three-month loan, we read in an AFP report. This article also suggested owners would lose the bags if they failed to settle the debt on time.

Yes Lady Finance Co-founder, Wallace Tung, said the scheme was “a good fund-raising option for some tai-tais*.”

This is a surprising first for the personal-loan market. But we doubt the idea will be adopted in Australia any time soon.

*Tai-tais is a slang term for the wives of wealthy Hong Kong businessmen.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

A Peek Into Beijing’s Billionaire Playgrounds – 3/11/09

A few months ago, we reported that Beijing was home to many high rollers (see the MO Down for 26 August). Now an AFP article has reminded us of just how rich they have become…

In this article, entitled ‘What Crisis? China’s Billionaires Live It Up’, Beijing's Jinbao Street, where you can find Gucci, Cartier, Rolls-Royce, Bugatti and Lamborghini, is revealed to be a popular billionaires’ haunt.

Rupert Hoogewerf, the founder of the Hurun Report, confirmed, “China's wealth is growing at breakneck speed.”

The store manager of the Cartier store in Jinbao Street also had compelling proof of Hoogewerf’s observation, saying, “Our business is very good in China. Our clients are very rich. Many buy without looking at the price.”

The Managing Director of Lamborghini, Wilson Ho, agreed stating, "For some people here, money is nothing, they come and they buy a car in one hour... and they settle the payment in full. We're talking about cars that are six, seven, eight million yuan!"

Louis Vuitton is also said to be a hot commodity, with Chinese consumers bringing “armfuls of purchases to the cash register”.

For more observations on the spending habits of Beijing’s wealthy, click here to read more.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Prada Orders Exceeds Expectations By 10 Percent – 2/11/09

Last week, Versace announced a quarter of their workforce will be axed (see the MO Down for 30 October). But it’s a different (much happier) story at Prada where the luxury brand is experiencing “a speedy return to full production.”

According to Reuters, Prada is shortening temporary suspensions* for some workers by three weeks after orders for its Spring/Summer 2010 clothing collection exceeded expectations by 10 percent.

*The Milan fashion group signed an agreement with union workers a few weeks ago to put 250 from a plant of 3,000 into "cassa integrazione" (temporary suspensions where workers receive reduced pay).

Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury,