On June 25th at the National Retail Federation’s Converge Conference, Alibaba President Michael Evans and fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg discussed how 2020 brought about a digital transformation for many brands, including DVF. At the session, Furstenberg discussed how she saw this past year as a big opportunity to transform and how Alibaba helped her do it.
“I had never experienced in my life the world stopping, so all of a sudden, the world stopped, and we just had to assess it,” said Furstenberg. “We never had the luxury of stopping. So maybe now is the time to rethink about the business model and see how we can go into the future.”
The pandemic helped accelerate DVF’s work to expand in China through Alibaba’s platforms. Furstenberg explained how DVF used Alibaba’s 6.18 Festival as a platform to reach Chinese consumers. During the festival, she held a special broadcast from her flagship store in New York City. The livestream featured her spring and summer collection to reach more than 320,000 fans on DVF’s Tmall flagship store in China. “I think it's a celebration to watch what they do and to watch how you can integrate all the different facets is fascinating, but most of all, it is great for the consumer and at the end, that's what we need to do. We need to respect the consumer and give her what they want,” Furstenberg said about DVF’s collaboration with Alibaba.
Michael Evans emphasized that while 50% of total China retail sales happen online, Alibaba is also helping brands succeed by providing digital tools, analytics and consumer insights that can also be used for physical stores. He said that Alibaba is helping to digitize the full retail supply chain, including manufacturing, warehousing, pricing, marketing, and logistics, whether it’s online or in-person.
"What makes brands so interested in the China market is not only do we have the online capabilities, but the data and consumer insights help many brands decide where to open their next offline location,” said Evans. “We have created a holistic retail environment that's fully integrated.”