LVMH doubled down on the menswear market in Asia

Jimin, a member of the boy group BTS.

At the end of the menswear season, many brands have announced new additions to their global ambassador lineup. At luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, it announced that BTS’s Jimin will be its new global ambassador. Join a coterie of K-pop stars like Jisoo from blackpinkExo’s Sehun and Astro’s Cha Eunwoo.

His stablemate Givenchy also announced that Big Bang’s Taeyang has been appointed as its first male global ambassador. While at Louis Vuitton, Chinese actor Dylan Wang was the brand’s latest global ambassador and starred in a video campaign for its collaboration with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

Taeyang from Big Bang.

LVMH’s range of brand appointments comes after adjusting its leadership in various households. Christian Dior CEO Pietro Picari will succeed Michael Burke as CEO of Louis Vuitton, and Delphine Arnault, Bernard Arnault’s eldest daughter, will take over as CEO of Dior. The gears may already be working even before new management takes office next month – an even bigger focus on the menswear market in Asia.

According to market research firm Imarc, the global menswear market was valued at $533.3 billion in 2021 and the company expects the market to reach $746.9 billion in 2027. The compound annual growth rate of the sector is expected to reach 5.92 percent between 2022. Until 2027.

Supporting this projected trajectory is men’s growing appetite for fashion. Since 2016, menswear sales growth has consistently outperformed womenswear as reported by Euromonitor. Recently, due to the rise of streetwear, the demand for menswear has increased even more. Along with the general shift towards casual presentation, it’s not surprising that luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Givenchy are putting more resources into the menswear department.

Other factors also play a role such as the ease of buying via e-commerce, the increase in purchasing power, and the growing influence of social media and celebrity endorsements. These help drive market growth and interest among male buyers. But more specifically, LVMH’s appointment of Asian ambassadors demonstrates the group’s focus on the region. The region’s spending power has grown significantly over the years with income also increasing in tandem. Asia’s GDP is expected to reach 4.5 percent in 2023, according to a statement from the International Monetary Fund.

Not only is LVMH focusing on its menswear division, but fellow competitor Valentino has also announced the appointment of a new brand ambassador. Suga, another boy band member of BTS, will be headlining the Maison Essentials line. For these newly appointed ambassadors, the common denominator that binds them all together is the influence they wield.

Jimin, Taeyang, and Suga were likely chosen because of the huge cultural power that K-pop now has in the world. More than just music icons, these artists are now the embodiment of style and taking on the role of tastemakers. Moreover, per a recent report by Morgan Stanley, South Korea is now the epicenter of luxury spending. The country spends more than economic giants like China and the United States, raking in $16.8 billion in revenue and translating it into a 24 percent increase in 2022. The younger generation, who have grown up listening to their music will be greatly interested in emulating their idols and one of the fastest ways is through fashion. This provides an opportunity for brands to not only become associated with the ambassador, but also become a ‘trusted brand’.

Riding budding celebrities is a proven method to success, as is Dylan Wang’s appointment. The Chinese actor has more than 17 million followers on Weibo and his video campaign for the Louis Vuitton Yayoi Kusama collaboration has received over 1 million reports and nearly 700,000 likes on the social media platform. Brands definitely care about making sure they are at the forefront of the cultural movement and catching the attention of the growing young spenders.

Suppose one had to look at the various appointments on a macro level. In this case, LVMH is trying to support sales in the Asia region as jitters in Europe and inflation are likely to dampen consumer confidence. As a precautionary measure to mitigate the potential repercussions and continue their growth. The group is directing its efforts towards Asia, which is said to be the next economic powerhouse. With such huge potential, it remains to be seen who will be chosen as the next brand ambassador.

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