Desigual targets Asia with strong accessories offer in new line

desiqual AW18

Desigual has unveiled its new AW18 collection as it turns its attention to the Asian market

Desigual is focusing on the Asian market for 2018 with a plan to increase its presence in Japan and Korea.

Head of GTR Jordi Valls spoke to Frontier as he introduced us to the new AW18 collection, which is inspired by the phrase “we are animal”.

Throughout 2017, the Barcelona-based fashion brand has strengthened its position in the European and Latin American markets as it consolidated its position within the travel retail channel. With the focus now shifting to Asia, Valls says accessories are set to be at the heart of Desigual’s offer for travelling shoppers.

“The importance of Asia in travel retail means that in 2018 it has become a real need for us to work on focusing on markets like Korea or Japan,” Valls said.

“Accessories remain the key products in Desigual’s travel retail offer. These pieces include the handbags as well as garments [some of which have more than one potential use]. Considering this, our designers have tried to focus on creating easygoing products for travellers. We want comfortable pieces which are easy to buy in transit or while travelling.

“It is, therefore, the case that mostly all of them are reversible and with practical handles.”

One of the central pieces of the new line is a perfect example of Valls and the team’s mantra. It is a small clutch handbag which doubles as a large purse or can have a strap attached to become an over-the-shoulder bag.

“The handbags are the key item in this sector,” Valls explained to Frontier. “We want to adapt ourselves to the real customers’ needs. So, in travel retail we create versatile collections, with a lot of possibilities and above all thinking of our specific target – the women shopping in travel retail.”

Multi-faceted accessories are central to Desigual’s offer

The making of Desigual

Desigual’s collections are created from a single phrase or word which is given to the design team. The designers are then taken away from their computers and create images and pictures by hand, taking their lead from the chosen word or phrase.

The individual designs are then worked together to create the patterns which adorn Desigual clothes.

With the focus shifting to Asia, Valls and his tem are working hard to get to know their new target consumers and want to secure inflight listings with high-profile airlines in the region.

He said: “For us it is really important to drive our commercial attention, so we know more about the Asian markets in terms of travel retail, and to achieving a big international presence on premium airlines.”

Going digital

Valls believes engaging with customers in the region will give the brand the insights it needs to grow and capture the attention of shoppers. To this end, he says social media is a key tool in both the region and the market at large.

“Thanks to the online and social media we can keep a more specific and regular contact with our customers,” he added. “This works not only in terms of knowing them, but also to pick up all their feedback. This is the way to improve.”