Parisian affordable luxury brand BA&SH plans to ramp up its Asian presence after early success in Hong Kong.
The region has become a top priority for founders Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief after a cornerstone 50 per cent investment by LVMH-linked PE fund L Capital in 2015. BA&SH plans to open 12 more stores in China, Macau and Hong Kong next year.
The co-founders made their first personal appearance in Asia at the recent Spring-Summer 2018 collection media preview in Beijing.
“BA&SH is spreading fast in Asia and seems to match the local way of life, confirming the universal reach of its lifestyle,” said Ba&Sh CEO Asia Isolde Andouard.
Hongkongers quickly embraced the BA&SH label, with growing foot traffic in the three stores which have opened since April, at Times Square, Harbour City and IFC Mall.
“The shops are flourishing, so the brand is all the more optimistic and enthusiastic at the time of launching BA&SH in China,” she told Inside Retail Hong Kong.
Five Mainland China stores have opened since September in fashionable and luxury malls in Beijing – Shin Kong Place, Galeries Lafayette and Taikoo Li – and in Shanghai – Reel and Taikoo Hui.
The Asia roll-out is being led by Andouard, who previously headed up rival fashion operator, the Chinese-owned French company SMCP, parent of the Sandro, Maje and Claudie Pierlot.
“Isolde is the right person to achieve ba&sh development in Asia,” explained BA&SH global CEO Pierre-Arnaud Grenade. “Her versatile background and her in-depth understanding of the Asian market are strong assets to support BA&SH implementation there.”
Authenticity wins following
Andouard says the brand’s authenticity won over French women and believes that same authenticity appeals to Asian consumers.
Despite its LVMH-linked ownership, Barbara and Sharon remain the faces of the brand “and, as such, they do reinforce the customers’ identification withBA&SH. But above all, BA&SH benefits from its success in France and from the LVMH network to carry out a daring expansion strategy. The launch in Asia and in the US were done simultaneously, a bold move that is starting to show tangible results,” she said.
The co-founders, high school girlfriends, have given the first two letters of their names and more than 10 years of their lives to create the brand before attracting the attention of LVMH.
Globally, BA&SH now has 500 points of sale worldwide, including 163 direct retail stores.
The brand’s two core values – freedom and friendship – are at the heart of the creative process.
“Trend books never set foot in the BA&SH workshop, where only refined fabrics and craftsmanship ignite the spark of the stylists’ creativity. Barbara and Sharon dreamed of building the ideal wardrobe, and that’s why our products are so versatile, in fitting with today’s never-resting metropolitan woman who parties when she’s not working or with her family.”
The new SS18 collection mixes Anglo-Saxon and Asian inspirations to embody “the joyful and Parisian BA&SH spirit”.
Most prints draw their inspiration from the heart of Asia; Japanese and traditional Chinese patterns are reinterpreted with flair.