Sergio Rossi has tapped the billionaire entrepreneur Adrien Cheng as it looks to expand in the Chinese market and speak to the younger generations of millennial and Gen Z luxury consumers.
By partnering with Cheng’s Luxba Group, the brand management and distribution house based in Hong Kong and Shanghai, the Italian footwear label is aiming to accelerate its growth in China as well as benefit from Cheng’s growing business platform. That includes investments in the likes of Moda Operandi, Dazed Media and Not Just a Label, as well as the museum-retail concept K11 Art Mall.
“Sergio Rossi represents a certain ideal that Chinese millennials and Gen Z aspire to — heritage, craftsmanship and design subtlety. I have no doubt our online and offline reach, local expertise and insights will mark a new chapter for Sergio Rossi’s global expansion,” said Cheng, pointing to Luxba group’s offer of all-encompassing services. They include brand strategy, merchandising and pricing in order to help the label develop a healthy ecosystem of stores and navigate the regulatory and consumption differences in China.
Riccardo Sciutto, CEO at Sergio Rossi, said that the partnership is building on the brand’s new strategy to speak to a younger audience, which is being implemented through such moves as the launch of the sr1 collection of 10 redesigned Sergio Rossi classics and a number of influencer initiatives to promote it.
“With the sr1 collection, we relaunched the brand, aiming to stay true to the DNA and heritage of Sergio Rossi, keeping in mind the modern woman of today and allowing us to communicate to a new, fresh audience. It is crucial to keep in mind the tastes and preferences of the Chinese millennials. As we continue to build off the brand’s success, we choose a partner who has the resources, experience and aligned vision to help us go further,” added Scuitto.
Luxba is also working with the likes of Moschino, Love Moschino, Red Valentino, Yves Salomon and Dsquared2 to establish those brands’ presences and grow their retail networks in China.
In the last year, Cheng has made a series of strategic investments, via his K11 and C Ventures vehicles, aiming to help digital-first brands and platforms crack the Chinese market. His investments include Armarium, which offers luxury rentals right off the runway; upscale fitness brand Bandier; women’s social media platform Galore; the digital wardrobe manager Finery; and the entertainment site SkyBound.
His vision is to create a brand portfolio that marries fashion, art and creative media, and to unite these brands to meet the demands of next-generation consumers.