#CNILux: New Heights For Jimmy Choo
Mindful luxury is about being mindful of your clients – that’s how I take it as a retailer and a brand,” said Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis this morning as he rounded up the sought-after company’s recent successes and how the brand is changing under his reign.
“The market of luxury has changed,” he said. “We have had great growth for 20 years and in the last five years it has stalled.” So, what is Jimmy Choo doing about it given that the luxury industry is poised to see three to four per cent growth in the coming years and the shoe sector is growing faster than everything else? He has identified four main areas of focus: the trend for casualwear, the rise of menswear, the shift of the new generation, and its adoption of the digital world.
First up, casualwear. “No one is wearing suits and ties anymore, so what do you do? Make more casual options,” said Denis, who has developed an extensive range of sneakers with his creative director Sandra Choi to great results. “The second-best seller from Jimmy Choo is currently a sneaker,” he continued, while “for women and men, sneakers and shoes are 30 per cent of the business at the moment.”
Secondly, the rise of menswear. With competition intensifying from a new generation of footwear brands, Jimmy Choo has identified menswear as its main area of growth. Currently making up one third of the luxury shoe market, it’s a sector that is growing quicker than womenswear, said Denis, and no more so than in the region playing host to this year’s CNI conference. “We are in a region where men’s shoes are very important,” he explained. “According to buyers, this region has the biggest proportion of men’s shoppers.”
Thirdly, the shift in a generation – which Denis says is “the biggest and most important question”. The way that Generation Z consumes brand messaging “changes the way that we are thinking about marketing,” said Denis, adding that it is the younger generation who are changing the dynamic of marketing through social media.
Which brings us to his fourth focus point: the adoption of the digital world, the intensity and speed of which has made the brand up its game. “In 2010, we were producing 10 pictures a year of print advertising,” said Denis. “Now, on social networks, we are putting out hundreds of images.”
“But no one is interested to just see shoes,” he continued. “People want to see a lifestyle, and that’s good, because then you can start talking about bags, perfumes and accessories.” Which ultimately leads to an omnichannel experience, he said, combining the luxury store with a complementary online platform. A concept that is “easily said but complex” according to Denis, but one the brand is actively pursuing in 2017.
These are advancements and challenges that were best summarised when Denis accurately noted: “What is happening in the luxury industry, is that what was once controlled is changing.”