Nanushka, the Budapest-based fashion house, said it has launched on Alibaba Group’s business-to-consumer marketplace Tmall and opened a store in Shanghai.
The fast-growing brand, worn by Michelle Obama, Yang Mi and Billie Eilish, is out to make a big splash in China, targeting nine stores across the world’s second-largest economy by 2026.
China is on track to become the world’s largest luxury market by 2025 and global brands, such as Bulgari, Moncler and Brunello Cucinelli have all launched this year on Alibaba’s digital marketplaces serving over a billion Chinese consumers.
“China continues to be at the very forefront of the luxury sector and presents a significant long-term opportunity for us,” Nanushka’s CEO Péter Baldaszti said in a statement on Monday.
Nanushka’s China push is part of broader international expansion. The brand has opened brick-and-mortar stores in New York and London since 2019 to complement its flagship store in Budapest.
But, China is likely to be the brand’s biggest investment and the largest footprint in the coming years. Last month Nanushka opened a Shanghai store in the upscale IAMP shopping mall, also home to Gucci, Prada and Balmain boutiques. Nanushka is engaging and collaborating with locally based creatives to build a community around the Shanghai store.
Next up, Nanushka plans to open a store in the center of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, later this year. The brand aims to have nine stores in Chinese Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities by 2026, at which point nearly half of its stores globally will be in the Middle Kingdom.
“We believe that a combined strategy of having a strong physical and digital presence for our customers is essential to enabling our customers to connect with our brand,” said Baldaszti, who is also the CEO of private equity firm Vanguards, Nanushka’s owner.
Led by husband-and-wife duo Sandra Sándor and Baldaszti, who co-founded the brand in 2006, Nanushka’s core design principles are centered on craftsmanship and sustainability with a modern minimalist aesthetic.
The brand’s show at Paris Fashion Week referenced industrial bohemian chic and included coats made out of vegan leather. Nanushka publishes sustainability reports and is a Signatory of the UN Fashion Charter.
Nanushka’s global rollout push comes as the climate crisis weighs on purchasing decisions worldwide. A recent survey found that 90% of Chinese consumers already know the importance of sustainable shopping.
About 80% of Chinese consumers try to avoid plastic materials and nearly half have purchased second-hand or organic clothing in the past two years, said consultancy Roland Berger who conducted the survey in collaboration with the fashion industry trade journal WWD.
“[Nanushka’s] minimalist, bohemian pieces, which are designed with responsible materials to reduce the environmental impact of production, perfectly aligns to the changing wants and needs of consumers on Tmall,” said Mei Chen, Alibaba’s Head of Fashion and Luxury for the UK, US and Northern Europe.
Alibaba is targeting Scope 1 and 2 carbon neutrality by 2030 and is working with global brands to offer more climate-friendly choices to Chinese consumers.
Nanushka boasts ready-to-wear lines for women and men, accessories and a core collection. Its best sellers include the Hide Jacket and the Vinni pants.
Nanushka is making its Tmall debut just ahead of the world’s largest shopping event, 11.11, also known in China as Single’s Day.
This year, more than 10 luxury brands will make their 11.11 debut on Alibaba’s Tmall Luxury Pavilion, where affluent Chinese consumers shop for premium brands.
“We look forward to celebrating [Nanushka’s] first 11.11 Global Shopping Festival and watch them build rich and meaningful connections with consumers through our digital platform,” said Alibaba’s Chen.