Mr. Andrea Bonardi
Managing Director La Perla , Asia
Luxury lingerie is not affordable for many. What is your opinion about the global luxury lingerie market? How is it in comparison to other apparel market?
Luxury lingerie is the ultimate luxury experience, as the product cannot be seen and therefore is not associated with status. It is a product for pure self indulgence that is bought by very sophisticated customers who have already gone through the scale of luxury (shoes, accessories, jewelry, and apparel) and look for something more fulfilling from a personal point of view. As you can understand, the appreciation of luxury lingerie therefore requires a lot of customer education and appreciation of beauty, quality, and craftsmanship factors that are not always required when buying apparel or other luxury products. If a comparison can be done, I would say that buying luxury lingerie is a bit like buying an expensive watch, that requires the customer to appreciate its complications and mechanisms that are not visible to the eye and yet make a difference.
How do you see the emerging economies in terms of a market for luxury lingerie? Do you think that there is a lot of scope for luxury lingerie in there?
We have started a very aggressive development plan in emerging markets, believing that there is a lot of scope for luxury lingerie. Over the last couple of years we have opened over 30 stores in Asia, Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union and Middle East. Emerging markets of course do represent a challenge for us, as customers do still prefer to show off, but those societies are also changing very fast and we see a growing interest from women in those countries to experience a different level of luxury, more sophisticated and intimate, and La Perla fits perfectly in this dynamics.
What have you got to say about the market for beachwear?
Beachwear is becoming more and more of lifestyle apparel, whereas in the past it had a more functional use. The growing number of resort destinations, the dilution of seasonality due to easier and faster access to tropical destinations, have boosted this trend, that La Perla had in fact anticipated many years ago already by creating very beautiful, luxurious collections.
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