Loewe has also benefited in China from a minimal events footprint, rejecting the large-scale approach used by brands a decade ago — long-time market observers will remember splashy events like Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi fashion show on the Great Wall of China in 2007 or Cartier’s “Treasures” exhibition at the Forbidden City in 2009. Loewe has instead hosted occasional small-scale, exclusive parties in Beijing or Shanghai. Like every other brand in the current Covid-19 era, Loewe has largely put a hold on the usual cocktails-and-DJ events and instead taken a more timely, content-commerce approach to events that also ties into another of its brand attributes, low-key diffusion.
For most brands, having a second or diffusion line can devalue the primary brand, owing to the diffusion line’s lower prices and, in some cases, lower quality. But Loewe — via its colorful, summery Paula’s Ibiza line — has succeeded in selling (ever so slightly) lower-priced, limited-edition items and appealing to a younger audience in China and globally without damaging its core brand in any way (and even becoming a gateway for that younger audience to be “upsold” the flagship Loewe line).
Neither an “accessible luxury” line nor a lesser brand, Paula’s Ibiza sits in the enviable position of being a seasonal collection that shoppers can only purchase for a limited time, helping the most popular Paula’s items reliably sell out each year.
This month, Loewe and Paula’s Ibiza perfectly aligned with the ongoing “cloud” trend in China via a music event held both online and offline on July 11 in partnership with the Beijing-based Modern Sky, the country’s most influential rock and indie label. This year, Modern Sky has shown itself to be a pioneer in cloud-based events, having held its popular Strawberry Music Festival series online this spring in collaboration with Bilibili and offering livestreamed concerts as part of JD.com’s 618 Shopping Festival.
For the “Club Paula’s” event, Modern Sky and Loewe launched a WeChat mini-program that featured livestreamed performances from Paula’s Ibiza-outfitted Chinese rappers Tizzy T, Vinida (万妮达), Li Daben (李大奔), and OBO3, all former contestants of the popular Gen Z-oriented competition show “Rap of China” (中国新说唱).