Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jul 13, 2022
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Italian fashion group OTB aims to accelerate in China

Translated by
Nicola Mira
Jul 13, 2022

Renzo Rosso wants to create a new Italian luxury conglomerate. To achieve this, the president of Italian fashion group OTB is planning to apply for a stock market listing in 2024. He is also keen to shift to a higher gear in China, a country that is about to become the world’s premier luxury goods market, and where Rosso is planning to concentrate one third of OTB’s investments between now and 2025. In China, the group has recently completed a major operation, opening a 2,400 m2 retail hub that is home to stores by Maison Margiela, Jil Sander, Marni and Amiri.

The façades of OTB’s four new Shanghai stores - DR

OTB’s new hub is located within Shanghai’s JC Plaza shopping centre, on highly commercial Nanjing Road, not far from stores by Dior, Hermès and Louis Vuitton, and features street-facing shops on two levels. The hub notably includes the first address in China, extending over a 580 m2 retail area, for high-end Californian denim label Amiri, in which OTB holds a minority stake. The store’s interiors have been designed by the label’s CEO and creative director Mike Amiri, in collaboration with Parisian agency Nocod.

For Jil Sander too, this is the first store in China. It extends over 600 m2 and its interiors have been styled by the label’s creative directors Lucie and Luke Meier, with British designer Sir John Pawson. The German label, acquired in March 2021 by OTB, operates 35 stores worldwide. For Maison Margiela, the new, 500 m2 Shanghai store is the largest in the world, and it also features a 65 m2 café on the upper floor. The hub’s fourth store, home to Marni, extends instead over 340 m2.

“The JC Plaza project is a tangible sign of our growth plans in China, a country that will soon account for 50% of global fashion and luxury consumption,” Rosso stated in a press release. He regards Shanghai as “one of the world’s most interesting cities for its vibrant artistic and cultural scene.”

The goal for OTB, which currently operates some 80 stores in 19 Chinese cities, is to double the number of its addresses in the country within two years, and to forge stronger links in China by means of local collaborations. Last year, OTB opened official accounts on leading Chinese social media like WeChat and Weibo, while Diesel, Maison Margiela and Marni have successfully launched bespoke initiatives on WeChat and Tmall, the e-commerce platform owned by the Alibaba Group, recording sales spikes of over 140%.

Asia as a whole is a key market for OTB, which opened a subsidiary in South Korea last year, while Japan alone accounts for 25% of the group’s total revenue.

In 2021, OTB recorded a revenue of €1.53 billion, notably driven by its luxury labels’ performances.

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