Saint Laurent China is forming an e-commerce partnership with online fashion retailer Farfetch.
The French fashion house’s merchandise will be sold on a new online platform set up by Farfetch in a JV with JD.com, says Saint Laurent CEO Francesca Bellettini.
Farfetch’s partnership with JD.com has helped ease concerns about knockoffs, says Belletiini. “Protecting the brand from counterfeiting is fundamental for Saint Laurent.”
She says Saint Laurent’s sales to Chinese consumers have surged in recent years despite a slowdown in the global luxury market.
Kering, which owns Saint Laurent as well as other brands including Gucci, last week reported a sharp rise in sales across Asia, particularly in Mainland China. Saint Laurent has 18 stores in China, mainly in Beijing and Shanghai. Bellettini says the online sales push will help the brand reach customers in smaller cities without the risk of overexpansion.
Saint Laurent is pledging same-day delivery in Beijing and Shanghai as well as Hong Kong. From October, the brand aims to offer delivery within 90 minutes in those three cities.
In New York City in 2015, Kering sued Alibaba, claiming the firm was conspiring with Chinese manufacturers to produce and sell counterfeit versions of its brands. Alibaba has denied the accusations, and a judge dismissed part of the complaint 12 months ago.