Berluti enters the Chinese TMall Luxury Pavilion

Berluti, the historic brand founded in 1895 by Italian Alessandro Berluti and now part of the LVMH empire, has announced its entry into the Chinese sales platform TMall Luxury Pavilion, the virtual luxury showcase designed and managed by web giant Alibaba.

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto23 août 2022

Since 2011, the Italian brand Berluti is managed by Antoine Arnault (Berluti)

The enormous potential represented by the Chinese customer base is obviously in the firing line. Berluti could not miss the digital turn of the Asian markets and the ever-increasing interest of the younger generations in the Chinese metropolises for interactive shopping experiences.

Boosting sales and pushing the brand into the digital domain are the two major objectives of the historic label, taken over in 2011 by Antoine Arnault.

While the European market focuses on the classic shoe models that have made Berluti an iconic brand of men's elegance, the products highlighted on the Chinese platform - such as the Playoff sneakers - are primarily intended to appeal to young consumers, with the aim of renewing the brand's image and making it attractive to new generations of buyers.

Appreciated by a multitude of personalities throughout its history, from Isadora Duncan to Helena Rubinstein, from Andy Warhol to Jean Cocteau, the Berluti brand has had its ups and downs.

The pandemic had an impact on sales results, and CEO Antoine Arnault, who is also in charge of the brand's communications, launched a series of campaigns to try to reinvent and reshape the image of the house. But a year ago, the Belgian artistic director Kris Van Assche left the house without being replaced. A former Dior Men's designer, Van Assche presented his last collection in Shanghai in April 2021, in collaboration with the Russian painter Lev Khesin. Faced with Berluti's new digital strategy, the Belgian designer had declared that "the massive digitisation imposed on fashion in Covid times is a dangerous game for luxury". 

Since the departure of the artistic director, Antoine Arnault has favoured maintaining the classic line of shoes and clothes and highlighting exceptional craftsmanship, rather than relying on the creativity of a star designer. Collaborations with artists and designers remain occasional and Berluti will no longer be bound by the constraints of the fashion calendar of fashion weeks to, in the words of Antoine Arnault, "allow the house to freely choose the way it presents its exceptional products."

Berluti has over 60 points of sale worldwide.

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