Famed British fashion designer Alexander McQueen has become the latest in a growing list of luxury brands to launch a virtual store on Tmall Luxury Pavilion, Chinese retailer Alibaba Group’s platform for premium brands.
Becoming the first online store in China that is directly run by the brand itself, rather than through a local partner, the store will launch on 16 April, featuring items that incorporate images from the John Daekin Archive as part of the designs.
The Pavilion said the brand’s complete control over their store will give full creative influence over the look and feel of the site, as the Daekin archive manages the work of the 20th-century British photographer who captured the lives of friends in Soho.
Founded in 1992 by the late Lee Alexander McQueen, the brand is synonymous with modern British couture. The brand oversees a network of 73 directly operated boutiques, as well as several franchises and specialty stores worldwide.
Alexander McQueen is the third Kerig-owned luxury brand to join the Pavilion, following Hong Kong-based jeweller Qeelin and Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta.
Sherry Lang, managing director of Tmall’s luxury division, said: “We want to help luxury brands expand their reach in smaller cities and rural areas, where purchasing power is growing, but offer limited access to luxury goods. The Pavilion is well-positioned to fill that gap.”
Lang noted that the Pavilion helps maisons and premium brands engage with China’s younger generation of consumers, delivering the brand exclusivity and tailored shopping experience online that they would get in a brick-and-mortar store.
The growth of the Pavilion comes as Chinese consumers drive global high-end spending, with mainland China’s luxury sales growing 20% to £20bn ($25.8bn) last year, according to Bain & Co.
Launched in 2017, Tmall Luxury Pavilion now offers more than 100 brands, ranging from apparel and beauty items to watches and luxury cars, including Valentino, Burberry, Tod’s, Versace, Stella McCartney, Moschino, Giuseppe Zanotti, MCM, La Mer, Maserati, LVMH-owned Rimowa, Guerlain, Givenchy, Tag Heuer and Zenith.