The growing importance of Chinese millennials for the luxury sector

As we all know, millennials are people born between 1982 and 1997 and are – nowadays- considered to be a powerful group of consumers by brands all over the world.

If we look at  Italian millennials —  who are  still in search of  career  stability and therefore  often struggle with low wages – it’s hard to picture this category as an engine for the high-end market.

But looking at overall data, we can clearly see that millennials are very active in the luxury market. According to the “True-Luxury Consumer Insight” study carried out by BCG and Altagamma in 2017, by 2024 millennials are expected to account for 50% of total luxury expenditure. These figures are even more surprising when talking about  Chinese millennials: they are responsible for 33% of the global expenditure when it comes to luxury products, and this is expected in the near future (to 45%). (Source: “Worldwide Luxury Market Monitor”, Altagamma and Bain&Co 2017).

Chinese millennials need to be monitored because their influence will be crucial in the change of the geography of luxury. With the duty-free policy applied by the Chinese government from  July 2017  on the import of high-end products,  Chinese consumers will buy more and more at home: by 2025, Chinese shoppers will make 50% of their purchases in their country. (Source: Il Sole 24 Ore, November 2018).

Considering all these factors, its clear that brands need to market this specific segment of consumers: but what can a brand do to actually reach and attract them?

Fendi as a case history 

A successful example of this attempt is Fendi’s launch of its FF reloaded capsule collection last year.

In June 2018, this collection was presented with a huge event in Shanghai with the clear aim of attracting  Chinese millennials.  Considering that China is the greatest market for the brand right now – where it has already opened 20 shops – it was essential to find a way to communicate Fendi’s DNA in a modern way.



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The real protagonist of the event was the Chinese rapper Jackson Wang, author of the song Fendiman and the new ambassador of Fendi in China. For the first time in the history of a Chinese artist, the song — released for the event — was number one on iTunes in 11 countries, and the artist’s Youtube channel was seen by 6.4 million people in just one day: another confirmation of the importance and power of this type of strategy  for brands nowadays.

The rapper was invited to film the song in a video clip in Rome, on the rooftop of Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, headquarters of the Italian Maison: “We brought Rome to Shanghai” said Chiara Monfardini, worldwide communication director for Fendi.


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But this wasn’t the first time Fendi did something specifically for this market.

In 2017, the brand presented the China Peekaboo Project.

Fendi commissioned six Chinese celebrities – Liu Wen, Guo Jingjing, Angelababy, Yang Lan, Liang  Yuanwei, and Tim Yip – to customize a special edition of the handbag designed more than 10 years ago by Silvia Venturini Fendi.


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The aim of the project was to showcase the compelling versatility of the Peekaboo as well as the alluring creativity and diversity of Fendi’s Chinese muses.


Sources for pictures:

Jackson Wang’s Instagram 

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