At the time of writing, Singapore is in Phase 2 of the government-imposed circuit breaker. Shopping malls and retail stores have reopened, with safety measures in place. But long before that, people were already basking in the pleasures of shopping in the comfort and safety of their homes. For luxury, the experience has become an elevated, more intimate one that analysts predict will continue even after we come out of the woods and people are allowed back into physical stores.
How has the pandemic made luxury shopping feel more exclusive?
SHOW OF SOLIDARITY
When lockdowns around the world started confining people to their homes, fashion forces swung into action like superheroes to the rescue. On one hand, they marshalled their resources to combat the crisis, making monetary donations to fund public hospitals and emergency services, lending muscle to fundraising initiatives and relief efforts, as well as pivoting into the production of single-use masks and PPE (personal protective equipment).
On the other hand, they thought about emotional wellbeing too. They brought comfort in the forms of positive messages, entertainment and fun activities, in a bid to alleviate the depression and stress of living in isolation during a global health crisis.
Dolce & Gabbana was one of the fashion houses that acted early by making a donation to longtime partner, Humanitas University, which is doing scientific research on the coronavirus. It also sought to raise more money by dedicating a portion of proceeds from e-commerce sales of its Devotion bag to the institution. To distract those frustrated from being cooped up at home, the brand hosted a series of digital workshops that families could enjoy together.
Over at Dior, its renowned petites mains banded together to reopen the Baby Dior ateliers in Redon to make more masks for front liners. The Maison sought to uplift spirits with feel-good content through inspiring Dior Talks podcasts, staved off boredom with book and film recommendations, gave ideas on games to play and which of Monsieur Christian Dior’s favourite dishes to whip up, and even provided online dance lessons to get people moving and endorphins pumping.
And there’s always retail therapy. Dior, along with counterparts such as Bottega Veneta and Gucci, introduced remote shopping services with direct-to-door delivery. In July, Louis Vuitton launched its dedicated e-commerce website in Singapore. Available on both web and mobile platforms, it offers a host of personalization services, in addition to complimentary same- or next-day doorstep delivery via the White Glove Service by a dedicated team. Come October, Longchamp will join the e-commerce wave, even as it already offers remote shopping with home delivery.
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