Michael Kors debuted on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Alibaba’s dedicated platform for premium and luxury brands serving the well-heeled Chinese consumer.
The new online flagship marks the brand’s first third-party partnership in China. The launch features a range of exclusive items sold only on the platform, along with the entire Michael Kors men’s and women’s ranges.
According to a release on the Alibaba’s website, the Tmall Luxury Pavilion is the group’s main destination for launching new products from coveted luxury brands, with 115 already selling there.
Launched in 2017, the platform features products ranging from apparel and beauty to watches and cars from brands like Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Burberry, Tod’s, Versace, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Giuseppe Zanotti, MCM, Maserati, Rimowa and more. Tmall said in its release that it plans to double the number of brands on the Pavilion by March 2020, the end of its fiscal year.
The Tmall platform lives inside Alibaba’s mobile Taobao app, which close to 700 million people use every month and open on average 7.8 times each day.
“Consumers are becoming more digitally engaged with luxury shopping in China and Tmall Luxury Pavilion is the perfect venue for us to communicate Michael Kors’ brand vision,” said John D. Idol, chairman and chief executive officer of Capri Holdings Limited, which owns Michael Kors, along with Jimmy Choo and Versace.
To kick off the partnership and draw attention to the flagship’s grand opening, Michael Kors plans on hosting a number of brand activations, including a yet-unannounced event at New York Fashion week in September. And in honor of Chinese Valentine’s Day on August 7, the brand launched a capsule collection of red-and-black graffiti-printed apparel, handbags, footwear and jewelry—exclusively available through the Luxury Pavilion.
“Michael Kors is an iconic, beloved brand and we are delighted to partner with them as they look to accelerate their momentum in the Chinese market,” said Jiang Fan, president of Alibaba-owned Taobao and Tmall. “This collaboration will bring both exciting products and elevated shopping experiences to the more than 700 million Chinese consumers on our platforms,” he added.
Tmall is aggressively targeting luxury brands in its quest to double the size of its marketplace by next year. Over the past few months, the Luxury Pavilion has added Isabel Marant, Omega watches, Alexander McQueen, Mulberry, Zegna and Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster to its ranks.
According to data from McKinsey and Co., Chinese shoppers have demonstrated a massive appetite for luxury goods. In fact, the country’s consumers represented one-third of global spending on luxury items last year. In a recent report, the firm estimated that China’s consumption of luxury goods will nearly double by 2025 to about RMB 1.2 trillion ($175 billion), up from RMB 770 billion ($112 billion) in May of 2019.
In anticipation of the platform’s growing needs, Alibaba is working to augment its support for Tmall Luxury Pavilion and Mei.com, an outlet for off-season designer wares, with the formation of a new division devoted to the sites.
“Millennials are our key growth engine, especially the ‘Post-90s,’ who represent more than 50 percent of our buyers,” said Lili Chen, general manager of the Pavilion in May, following the debut of Gentle Monster eyewear. “They grew up with access to the internet and are highly connected to digital technologies. For them, e-commerce is not just another option, but a part of their lifestyles,” she added.