How the Icicle brand addresses the economic and health crisis in China

6:30 AM, May 24, 2022

No need to rely on Ye Shou Zeng, 47, and his wife, Tao Xiao Ma, 37, to tell you about Icicle. They belong to the Chinese brand responsible for women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, which was founded in Shanghai. But the person who embodies it is its vice president, French Isabelle Capron. Under the leadership of Fauchon’s former general manager, their group, called ICCF, has to deal with the harsh health confinement of a third of Chinese consumers. “ The group has put everything in place to support the staff of the head office and the three factories located around Shanghai, two of which are currently closed. “, by Isabel Capron, based in Paris. It is no surprise that the ICCF expects a 50% drop in sales volumes in April and hopes to catch up in May thanks to an accelerated turnaround in web sales.”We have a regular base of 400,000 names ‘, she insists. So far rude, Icicle’s growth should resume with a return to normal thanks to solid domestic foundations.

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Isabelle Capron crossed paths with the founders in 2012.” They are clearly out of frame,She remembers. They told me: Check your prejudices, we are the new Chinese. ” these “New Chinese»Travelers are Francophiles and true lovers of textiles and fashion. Tao Xiao Ma is a graduate of the prestigious Donghua University School of Design, where Yi Shuzeng used to teach. “And,Contact Isabel Capronthey knew very early on that they wanted to dress up the emerging urban classes.A successful bet: In their twenty-five years of existence, their footprint has grown to 300 stores, 271 under the Icicle brand – half of which are franchises. In 2020, ICCF generated revenue of €217 million, an increase of 12% and more than 20% over last year. Sales are currently over 95% in the Middle Kingdom.

green fashion leader

The brand gained momentum in 2006, with the purchase of the first factory in the suburbs of Shanghai. This investment allows it to enhance the supply and market. In 2013, it purchased Max Mara coats manufacturer in Jiangsu Province and ensured its transfer to the upscale market. “Icicle was also a company with a mission ahead of its timeDirector confirms,With the ambition to become a leader in “green fashion” in China by focusing on natural raw materials and in a style that is as simple as it is smooth.»

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The organization also ignites its fire in Paris. Present in the capital since 2019, it opened a second store at the end of February on Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, a stone’s throw from Hermès, and just opened a corner at Bon Marché. “The founders have always wanted to have a foothold in the fashion capital of the world”, she explained. With the purchase of Carven in 2018, at the head of the commercial court, for 4.2 million euros, the ICCF is strengthening its influence in the wake of accessible luxury. In September 2021, the French brand (which already has nearly 20 stores) returns in China) to her historic store on the Champs-Elysées.”Carven sculpts women’s bodies, the “modern haute couture” counterpart to Icicle‘,” Desivers Isabelle Capron, responsible for re-launching the brand that celebrated the joy of living in 1945 when it was launched and today wears millennials.

talent hybrid

Between Shanghai and Paris, the sharing of roles depends on the crossbreeding of talent. The bulk of the teams – nearly 3,000 employees – are in China, where the group concentrates its factories and most of its sales network. With 90 people, Paris holds the upper hand in fashion, brand image, accessories and commercial architecture. The Icicle Creative Center is located above the boutique on George V Avenue. In stores, customers can expand their wardrobe with items ranging from 800 to 1500 euros for coats and 500 euros for cashmere sweaters. And spoil yourself with accessories, decorative items and beautiful books. “Our sales spaces in China are a true destination places, combining fashion, art gallery, bookstore and coffee shop.‘ says the vice president.

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2022 is all about uniting the two brands. Objective: Focus on the return of international tourists to Paris and on the e-commerce site Icicle, which has just been launched, to develop sales in Europe. and speed up”shopping life», the sale of products by influencers on their own sites or through social networks.

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