Strategy for D&G to come back to China

The Italian luxury house went all out for the tenth anniversary of Alta Moda, its unique, maximalist showcase designed to highlight exclusive made-to-measure collections in various Italian locations. This year, 750 clients and editors from all over the world, including Asia and China, were invited to Sicily’s Syracuse and Marzamemi to experience the brand at its most luxurious.

Split across four days, guests were treated to extravagant and immersive experiences in venues from ports to historic squares, Greek theaters to quarry caves, all inspired by the area’s myths, culture, and costume.

The new Alta Gioielleria jewelry collection, created by a group of twelve master artisans, featured amethysts, tanzanites, and diamonds set in gold with ancient drachmas. A theatrical procession on the Syracuse Cathedral square displayed over one hundred womenswear looks with all the pomp and splendor of Italian opera. Each look was unique, a show in its own right, but was united by traditional Sicilian black and colorful references to house motifs, such as the oranges and lemons of the Amalfi Coast and agave green.

For a company with a name like Dolce & Gabbana, having fun is serious business. Evenings were a kaleidoscope of dinners and discos attended by celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Monica Belluci, Kris Jenner, Ciara, Helen Mirren, and others. Eighteen Chinese VIPs, including the actor Ludi Lin of Mortal Kombat and Aquaman, attended the exclusive event. Lin, who has 2.5 million Weibo followers, stated that he was “thrilled to be there, meeting people from all over the world gathered to view the pinnacle of fashion.”

Although the average client expenditure is kept confidential, it is rumored to exceed $100,000 (675,00 RMB) per individual. Alta Moda does not disclose sales figures either, but by the end of the festivities, over 75% of the couture runway pieces and looks had been purchased. The following evening, the dance floor was adorned with numerous newly purchased items.

SHANGHAI, CHINA – 2019/07/20: Pedestrians walk past an Italian luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana store in Shanghai. (Photo by Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Since 2019, the company has maintained a low-key strategy in the mainland to deal with the fallout of its infamous scandal. Despite this, a number of KOLs posted about the event on Weibo: these ranged from @单品毁灭者, with 1.6M followers; to @thefashionstyle, who has 268,600 devotees; right down to niche influencers such as @Frigaciak图库, with some 21,500 fans. Some posts about Alta Moda highlighted the celebrities who attended (like Kris Jenner) rather than the brand itself. On lifestyle marketplace Xiaohongshu, the hashtag #ThisIsVeryDG (#这很DG) has 634.3k views and many accounts reshared older posts of homegrown ambassadors wearing Dolce & Gabbana, for instance singer Karry Wang and actor Dilraba Dilmurat. 

Digital appointments were held for those unable to attend, and the response was overwhelmingly positive from the Chinese guests who flew in from Shanghai, Beijing, the United Kingdom, and Australia. According to their feedback, the cut, fit, and overall style of the maison’s garments were especially popular. Sicily itself was also very popular. Unquote, a guest gushed that they “loved the events and the Sicilian inspiration of the clothing.” Another observer stated, “The performances greatly impressed me. They stand for Italy.”

Indeed, the Made in Italy philosophy underlying Dolce & Gabbana appears to be convincing these HNWI to remain loyal to the brand. The “preservation of Italian traditions” and “efforts to promote Italian design” were noted by one partygoer. Nonetheless, he added, “Chinese culture and social values must be taken into account. This is the best way to win over critics and reach a wider audience.”

Not the most obvious, but the house could connect with domestic consumers in a number of ways. Each evening of Alta Moda provided opportunities to view its homeware in action, including furniture, textiles, and porcelain tableware with colorful patterns such as Blu Mediterraneo. One Chinese attendee described it as “colorful and happy,” despite the fact that the line is currently unavailable in the mainland.

The interesting thing about Dolce and Gabbana in China is that despite the apparent significant setback, it has been selling all along. According to the most recent figures, the country contributed approximately 12 percent of total revenues. While some citizens may still be hesitant, a vast majority are purchasing the brand’s products. Alta Moda provided a brief illustration of this.

Here is 6 tips for you in order to help your fashion brand to succeed in China

1. Build Your Reputation

In China, you need to start building your reputation for the simple reason that English content and positive comments on Western media platforms are not seen on the Chinese web. The vast majority of internet research is in Mandarin (over 97.5%).

Online and offline, reputation is also essential. Online refers to what people learn about you via the internet, which may be positive or negative, and this has a significant impact on how people judge you. Furthermore, word-of-mouth is a significant means of spreading information offline, so offline reputation is also vital.

Remember that the Chinese web is a unique ecosystem that necessitates a fresh and innovative approach, and that the appropriate Chinese platform should be selected to build your visibility and reputation in order to target Chinese consumers.

2. Leverage Local Platforms like Baidu and Zhihu

Baidu, whose interface is similar to Google’s, accounts for 75% of online research in China. Since it is a very useful portal in China, it is necessary to establish a high-quality website, landing page, content, and third-party references that appear in searches based on Mandarin Character Keywords in order to make businesses visible. The combination of pay-per-click ads and search engine optimization can increase quality traffic.

3. KOLs are Important to Increase Your Brand’s Promotion

You need to keep your customers entertained with live videos, be creative when executing campaigns, and connect with opinion leaders in order to grow your business (KOLs). With regard to KOLs, a considerable following has already been built up around them. In addition, they might be hired by companies or brands because they have a lot of power. By offering high-quality tailored exposure, different KOLs can target specific groups and demographics.

Investing in Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) is a must if you want to link your brand directly to your target audience. Chinese influencers are the best option.

As far as KOLs are concerned, the greatest strategy is to create a “echo chamber” effect by posting messages about the business on multiple channels simultaneously. If a large number of well-known individuals post about your brand, this will bolster its credibility.

4. Importance of Branding for Your Brand

Brands are what Chinese consumers buy, not items, since they are concerned with branding. When it comes to “face” in China, the most common means of expressing one’s identity is through the purchase of brand-name products. Consider this unique expression’s newfound desire when it comes to branding in a world that is driven by consumer wants.

Because ‘international’ products are often considered to be of high quality in China, branding your own business as an international brand can pay dividends in the long term. Most foreign companies in China make the blunder of over-localizing their brand. You can connect with the local culture by using Chinese models and things, but you should emphasize your own unique culture and country of origin to attract Chinese fashion customers.

GMA case study


This is the French edition of the famous Fashion magazine, and since 1920 important public figures appear on its cover. The magazine cooperates with renowned photographers, models and actresses to create such iconic covers. In China its objective was of promoting Vogue Paris and expanding its status of fashion authority.


CHATON is an high end lingerie brand. It was founded in 2013 by a multicultural couple: this French-Russian cooperation gave life to a very sensual brand. They have set their mind on entering the Chinese market: with the luxury lingerie market now maturing and local consumers craving invisible luxuries, they have seen this as a great opportunity to target this new clientele.

Need China Marketing Experts?

After giving you all this advice, you will find that the Chinese Fashion market is difficult to penetrate.  There are many Marketing techniques to know and master. 

This is why it seems indispensable to ask for help. This is what will provide you with. A team of 70 marketers are at your service to bring you all the support you need to develop your business. So do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.

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