Monthly Archives: August 2013

Handbag Backed Loans

When 30-year-old homemaker Maggie Wong is tight on cash, all she needs to do is reach for her designer purse—and then hand it over to a loan officer.

Luxury-obsessed Hong Kong has a new form of loan collateral: the handbag. The WSJ’s Mariko Sanchanta and Riva Gold discuss this money-lending innovation from Lady Finance—which will lend against a purse on the spot, as long as it’s from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Hermès or Chanel.

Say hello to the handbag-backed loan. While typical lenders often ask for cars and homes as collateral, Hong Kong’s Yes Lady Finance Co. deals in borrowers’ beloved handbags.

The four-year-old company accepts purses on the spot, bringing in assessors from affiliate Milan Station Holdings Ltd., 1150.HK +6.33% a chain for luxury secondhand purses, to check the bags’ condition and authenticity.

Yes Lady provides a loan within half an hour at 80% of the bag’s value—as long as it is from Gucci, Chanel, Hermès or Louis Vuitton. Occasionally, a Prada purse will do the trick. Secondhand classic purses and special-edition handbags often retain much of their retail prices.

A customer gets her bag back by repaying the loan at 4% monthly interest within four months. Yes Lady says almost all its clients quickly pay off their loans and reclaim their bags.

The company recently lent about US$20,600 in exchange for a Hermès Birkin bag, but Yes Lady’s purse-backed loans start at about US$200.

The company is carving out a niche in a city with 200 licensed pawnbrokers and over 900 more-typical lenders. The pawn industry, a common form of lending here, primarily targets low-income residents and domestic help from abroad. Pawnbrokers typically accept only watches, jewelry and electronics as collateral.

Inside the Milan Station store on Wellington Street, in Hong Kong’s Central district.

Yes Lady, its Cantonese name translates to “Rich Woman,” instead caters to wealthy residents whose money may be tied up in stock—or luxury accessories.

Many Hong Kong residents go to nonbank lenders for flexibility in loan size and type of collateral. While banks are regulated by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, nonbank lenders are subject to the more flexible guidelines of the Money Lenders or Pawnbrokers Ordinance. As a result, Yes Lady doesn’t need to ask customers for proof of income or to undergo a credit check. All it requires is a Hong Kong address and identification card.

Ms. Wong says she uses the service when her money is locked up in savings or the stock market to pay for, say, daily expenses or her 5-year-old son’s tuition. “I don’t want to go through all the complicated application procedures in the banks,” she says.

In the past year, she has put up three purses—Guccis and Louis Vuittons—for a total of US$1,290. She paid off the loans and has the bags back.

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Office worker Angel Yam says she doesn’t care if she gets back the Chanel purse she used for a roughly US$1,550 loan. “I have too many idle handbags at home,” she says, estimating her collection at more than 40 bags, including a dozen from luxury brands. “I don’t feel any loss when I take some of them as collateral for loans.” She used the Chanel-backed loan to travel and buy stock.

One Yes Lady customer brought in 40 or 50 Gucci purses at once, says company Manager Irene Chu. The client received a US$38,000 loan and later returned to reclaim the bags, which he sold in his own store. About one in five purse-loan customers is male at Yes Lady’s two offices in Hong Kong, she says.

According to Milan Station’s 2011 prospectus, there were more than 170 independent retailers in Hong Kong that primarily sold luxury purses. The company projected that revenue for luxury handbags would reach about US$4 billion in Hong Kong by next year.

Ms. Chu says some customers bring in fakes. “We don’t tell them we know,” she says, “we just say we can’t approve the loan.”

 

Source: The Wall Street Journal online, August 13, 2013

Asia to account for half of luxury goods market

A new study has indicated Asia will take over 50 percent of the luxury market in the next ten years. As Asian household incomes grow and local economies expand, the region will account of 50 to 60 percent of the world’s luxury brand turnover, according to Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).

Asia to account for half of luxury goods market

The region, which currently accounts for around two-thirds of the market, has seen a slowdown in its luxury goods sales in recent years, the EIU’s new ‘Rich Pickings’ report suggests.

The strongest growth region is to remain China, as the country is thought to have nearly 13m households with a disposable income of 150,000 US dollars or more by 2030. India will be hot on the heels of China, with more than 30m households expected to have annual incomes exceeding 50,000 dollars.

The report forecasts that India will become a “key battleground for luxury brands as the retail market opens up to foreign investment”.

A wealthy elite has also emerged in Indonesia on the back of the global commodities boom. Meanwhile, Malaysia and Thailand are becoming shopping destinations, the EIU says, with the former benefiting from low import duties on luxury goods.

However, not all countries will see growth. In particular, Japan is suffering from a weak currency and fragile consumer confidence, which the report said will hamper its potential.

The newly wealthy are also savvy and have the resources to travel, Asian shoppers may buy luxury goods when abroad to avoid the high level duties. This is expected to have an impact on growth.

 

Source: FashionUnited, August 13, 2013

Prada’s growth driven by Asia and US

Italian luxury fashion company Prada announced its preliminary results for the first half of the fiscal year yesterday. Net revenue rose by 11.6 percent to 1.73 billion euro from 1.55 billion euro in the previous year. With an increase by 17.7 percent, revenue in the Asia-Pacific region grew by almost one fifth. At plus 13.5 percent, the US also showed higher-than-average growth.

The active demand for luxury clothing in Asia and especially Greater China worked out for Europe as well: Here, the company attributed the increase of revenue by 5.7 percent to the purchases by numerous tourists.

Asia, US and retail drive Prada’s growth

Prada’s Prada growth spurred by Asia and USown retail stores contributed to an increase of retail sales by 15.6 percent (same store sales by 7 percent), whereas wholesale reported a decline in sales by 3.5 percent. The company said this was mainly due to “the selective strategy adopted by the group, which led to a reduction in the number of wholesale partners by more than 100″.

“[We will] continue to base our long-term growth strategy on the balanced international expansion of our retail network, achieving efficiency in all areas and constantly seeking quality and stylistic innovation,” confirmed chief executive Patrizio Bertelli the good retail results and strategy.

During the first half of the year, Prada opened 30 new stores, bringing its total number of stores to 491 as of 31st July. Of those, the company operated 301 Prada stores, 133 Miu Miu stores, 8 Church’s stores and Car Shoe stores.

In terms of brands, the company’s flagship brand Prada fared best with an increase of sales by 14.3 percent; Church’s showed an increase by 5.1 percent, Miu Miu by 3.7 percent and Car Shoe recorded an unspecified loss. Prada will announce its complete results for the first half of the fiscal year on 17th September.

 

Source: Fashion United, august 2013

Rosalia Merca passes away

Rosalía Mera, co-fundadora de Inditex junto a su ex marido Amancio Ortega, falleció ayer jueves por la noche a los 69 años de edad en un hospital de A Coruña. La empresaria tuvo una parada cardiorrespiratoria tras el derrame cerebral que sufrió el miércoles mientras pasaba unos días de vacaciones en Menorca con su hija Sandra.

Rosalía Mera tenía un 6,99 por ciento del capital de Inditex entre otras sociedades. Su fortuna se estima en 4.700 millones de euros. Según la revista Forbes, es la mujer más rica de España y figuraba en el 66º de la lista de las personas más influyentes del mundo.

Mera nació en un popular barrio de A Coruña en 1944. Se hizo costurera y comenzó diseñando ropa de trabajo en casa junto a su entonces marido, Amancio Ortega, en una pequeña tienda de batas que cosía ella misma, bajo la marca Goa.

 

Zara: una aventura, no exenta de lógica

“En el proyecto y en la realización trabajamos el que fue mi marido, un hermano de él, una cuñada y yo. Para mí, como para todas las mujeres, el amor es muy importante y, como la idea partía del hombre que quería, la hice mía y me dediqué a su realización hasta que tuve mi segundo hijo”, relataba Mera sobre los inicios del proyecto textil con Amancio Ortega, su hermano Antonio y su hermana Josefa.“Aquello podría ser una aventura, pero no exenta de lógica. ¿Por qué teníamos que vender nosotros lo que otros hacían? ¿Por qué no podíamos invertir el proceso? Nos pusimos a hacer prendas para que otros las vendiesen y funcionó”, agregaba respecto a lo que fueron los inicios de Zara.

La empresaria estuvo casada durante 20 años con el actual dueño de Inditex, con el que tuvo dos hijos hasta que en 1986 rompió su matrimonio.

Al divorciarse se licenció en Magisterio y se dedicó a la Fundación Paideia, una organización sin animo de lucro que lucha por la integración de las personas discapacitadas, y que decidió fundar inspirada por el hijo que tuvo con Ortega, que padece síndrome de Down.

Su fortuna se multiplicó en 2001 tras la salida a Bolsa de Inditex. En A Coruña ha actuado además de mecenas cultural a través de un vivero de empresas.

 

Source: Fashion United, August 2013

Cointreau Limited Edition Packaging

Cointreau Limited Edition Pack by Rice Creative Cointreau Limited Edition Pack by Rice Creative

Cointreau approached us to create a limited edition pack for them. This pack was to help them communicate one of their most successful cocktails, by including a shaker with the bottle, and some simple instructions. This cocktail was to be made interesting to a female audience. This package also lined up with the Tet holiday in Vietnam, and Cointreau requested we consider this in the design.

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Cointreau Limited Edition Pack by Rice Creative 04 Cointreau Limited Edition Pack by Rice Creative

 

Source: Retail Design Blog

iWatch: will not revolutionize watch market

Apple und Microsoft sind nur zwei, die seit einiger Zeit an der Smartwatch arbeiten und damit den Uhrenmarkt verändern wollen. Außergewöhnliche Werkstoffe, Telefonfunktion und vieles Weitere am Handgelenk: Haben die klassischen Hersteller wie Rolex, Omega oder Tissot nun Einbrüche zu befürchten? Nach Meinung der weltweit führenden Uhrenhandelsplattform Chrono24 wird sich der Uhrenmarkt nicht verändern: “International werden klassische Uhren und ihre Hersteller keine Marktanteile verlieren. Eher die Label für Quarz- und Modeuhren werden hier in den direkten Wettbewerb treten”, sagt Tim Stracke, Geschäftsführer von Chrono24.

International sind Asien, Russland und Südamerika für den Uhrenmarkt Länder, in denen die klassische mechanische Armbanduhr hohe Wachstumsraten hat. Das wird sich auch in den kommenden Monaten kaum zugunsten einer Smartwatch verändern – auch mit Blick auf den Werterhalt. “Eine Smartwatch wird nach wenigen Jahren Elektroschrott sein – hochwertige Uhren überleben Jahrzehnte ohne Probleme und vor allem ohne massiven Wertverlust”, so Tim Stracke. Auf Chrono24 sind aktuell ca. 150.000 Luxusuhren aus ca. 70 Ländern zu haben – wertig und wertstabil.

Bei aller Erwartungshaltung sei bei den smarten Uhren mehr als ein Modeartikel kaum zu erwarten – und hier hat im Uhrenbereich nur ein Modell eine dauerhafte Mode erzeugt: Die Swatch. Hier sind allerdings die Einstiegspreise deutlich geringer als es bei den Smartwatches zu erwarten ist. Dennoch prognostiziert auch der Chrono24-Chef gute Erfolge für die Smartwatch-Modelle, egal von welchem Hersteller. “Als Gadget werden die Uhren mit Display ihre Kunden finden. Allerdings ist zu vermuten, dass diese Modelle häufig am anderen Handgelenk getragen werden – als Gag”, prognostiziert Tim Stracke.

 

Source: FashionMag, August 2013

Aromatherapy Packaging Rebranding

Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood

Aromatherapy Associates have been the leading experts within aromatherapy for over 30 years. Founders, Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey have been teaching, practicing and blending therapeutic oils all this time and in 1985 began to share their expertise within the greatest spa’s in the most luxurious locations.

Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood 01 Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood

On the back of this success Aromatherapy Associates was at forefront of developing products that fans could buy and use in their own homes. After a number of years it was felt that AA needed to open up their secret club to a wider audience and asked Elmwood to help them develop a brand identity and packaging that would better capture their story and what makes it so special. The new branding and packaging looks to dial up the luxury credentials of the products and capture the ceremonial nature of these perfectly formulated health and beauty products.

Designed by Elmwood

Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood 02 Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood

Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood 04 Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood

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Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood 08 Aromatherapy Associates brand identity and packaging by Elmwood

Source: retail design blog, august 2013

Una de 50 works with top model

The Spanish jewellery and accessories brand’s new collection tours ten fashion capitals with the famous international top model.

With 52 shops of its own in Spain and more than 20 distributed between America, Europe and the Middle East, plus 4,000 PoS in 25 markets, Uno de 50 has now looked to Spain’s most international top model to help it design pieces conjuring up the spirit of ten global cities in its most cosmopolitan collection to date.

One bracelet takes inspiration from Barcelona’s modernism. The Milan necklace is reminiscent of the Duomo’s spires. Earrings commemorate Paris and the necklace dedicated to Rome evokes the ruins of its ancient empire. Eugenia’s birthplace Madrid is represented by a bracelet which draws on her childhood memories. Berlin is the leitmotiv of a bracelet in rocker style, while another necklace conjures up picturesque Antwerp. Necklace Miami, the city where Uno de 50 first went global back in 2008, is as sexy and fun as the city to which it pays tribute. The blue skies of Los Angeles are reproduced in another necklace and ring, while a special limited edition necklace recalls some of the peerless corners of the city of New York.

Uno de 50 was founded in 1996 with the aim of offering innovative and exclusive designs. Today its jewellery and fashion accessories are synonymous with quality Spanish design. In 2012, the company turned over €20 mill. and estimates growth of 60% in 2013, reaching an export rate of 53%.

Source: Fashion from Spain, August 2013

Carrea y Carrera Debut in China


The Spanish high-end jewellery’ brand opens a boutique in spectacular Parkview Green mall.

Carrera y Carrera saw out 2012 with a relocation of its Dubai shop in luxurious Atlantis mall at The Palm Hotel & Resort and announcing new boutiques in China for 2013.  True to its word, the international jewellery brand from Spain, which is now operating in 40 countries and has subsidiaries in the USA, Japan and Russia and shops in cities like Moscow, Kiev and Kuala Lumpur, has gone ahead with its expansion plan and introduced its exclusive, generously-proportioned pieces into Beijing.

The new boutique, which covers more than 60sqm, is located in the impressive Parkview Green mall, in the district of Chaoyang which accommodates more than 60% of Beijing’s business agencies and leading companies operating at a global level. It has an extensive VIP area and a reproduction of a traditional jeweller’s table, a symbol of the company’s magnificent metal craftsmanship.

To coincide with the opening, in 2013, the Chinese year of the Snake, the brand extended its Bestiario collection – a tribute to the brand’s sculptural origins – with two pieces inspired by the animal’s curvy lines. The Serpiente presents a struggle between two reptiles covered in white and brown diamond. In contact with the wearer’s skin are two hidden rubies located at the height of the creature’s heart and symbolising strength. The exuberant Serpiente ring in yellow gold and green quartz is another eloquent example of the finest Carrera y Carrera craftsmanship.

Source: FashionFromSpain, August 2013

Levi’s 501: Crowdsourced book

Die berühmteste Jeans überhaupt feierte diesen Frühling ihren 140. Geburtstag. Zu Ehren der 501, die von der Zeitschrift Time Magazine zum „Kleidungsstück des 20. Jahrhunderts“ gekürt wurde, widmet Levis der Jeans ein Buch in limitierter Auflage mit 501 Bildern in zahlreichen Situationen.

Levis 501 Interpretations seit dem 1. August erhältlich. Preis: 50 Euro.

Levis rief seine Fans sowie Stars weltweit zur Teilnahme am Crowdsourcing-Projekt auf und wählte anschließend die besten Fotos aus der ganzen Welt aus. Levi’s 501 Interpretations bietet somit eine Auswahl eklektischer Styles, die durch den roten Faden der 501 zusammengehalten werden. Jede der 501 Ausgaben des Buchs verfügt ganz im Sinne des Sammelobjekts über ein einzigartiges Coverbild.

Seit dem 1. August ist das Buch in den Levis-Stores weltweit sowie auf der Website zum Verkaufspreis von 50 Euro erhältlich. Levis erklärt: „Die Einnahmen kommen den Studierenden des California College of the Arts in San Francisco zu Gute. Sie stellen die besten Fähigkeiten in den drei für Levis grundlegenden Bereichen unter Beweis: Handwerk, Innovation und nachhaltige Entwicklung“.

 

Source: FashionMag Aug 2013