Daily Insights

LV Launches on China’s Answer to Instagram

By: Liz Flora | May 08, 2019

Already a key platform for beauty brands, Chinese social shopping app RED has established itself as a luxury fashion destination now that Louis Vuitton has launched an official account.

Known as Xiaohongshu in Chinese, RED has skyrocketed in popularity to become China’s top social app by new downloads. The platform is a go-to for a mostly female millennial and Gen Z user base looking for advice on all things lifestyle, including beauty tutorials, fashion advice, and recommendations on where to travel and eat.

But luxury brands have been more cautious about RED launches than beauty brands or mass-market CPG companies. Gartner L2’s report on China’s mobile disruptors found that only 5% of luxury brands have an official brand shop on RED, and are in the accessible luxury category like jeweler Chow Tai Fook. Meanwhile, 44% of beauty brands have an official RED store, and 58% have a social account on the platform, according to Gartner L2’s new Beauty China: Social & E-Commerce Insight Report.

A handful of luxury brands are starting to trickle onto the app. LVMH-owned Fendi also has an official RED account, but has yet to post anything and remains under the radar with only around 1,300 followers. Jewelry brands Forevermark and Chopard post to their new official accounts on the app, while Tiffany and Cartier have advertised on the platform but don’t operate official accounts. Calvin Klein also has an account on the app.

So far, Louis Vuitton’s account is the most active pure luxury fashion brand with around 10,000 followers, with a small number of posts including celebrity and product content as well as a promotional video by handbag blogger Mr. Bags.

Luxury brands are being discussed and sold on RED whether or not they are active on the platform in an official capacity. Even before launching its platform, Gartner L2 data shows that Louis Vuitton was the fourth most-discussed fashion brand on RED by influencers in a 14-month period ending in April 2018, following Chanel, Gucci, and Hermès. Meanwhile, a prevalence of third-party sellers means that 66% of luxury brands in Gartner L2’s index are available for sale on RED. Launching an official account on the platform will help popular labels like Louis Vuitton gain a share of the voice in a conversation about the brand already taking place among avid young Chinese shoppers.