German athleisure and sportswear brand Willy Bogner, which is renowned for its luxury knitwear, is expanding into the Chinese market through a joint venture with the Bosideng Apparel Group. The roll-out will include the setting up of an extensive digital presence as well as the opening of 80 retail stores throughout China over the next five years.
Together, the Munich-based ‘Athluxury’ sports Fashion Company and the Chinese apparel group want to establish the Bogner and Fire+Ice brands across the country. The starting points are well-known luxury malls such as Plaza 66 in Shanghai as well as SKP and WF Central in Beijing. Further points of sale will follow shortly.
Heinz Hackl, Co-CEO of Bogner said the joint venture would enable the brand to access the full potential of the fast-growing luxury market in the Greater China Area. Bogner expects the number of fashion and winter sports enthusiasts to grow at an above-average rate, driven by next year’s Winter Olympic Games in Beijing. Both target groups will be addressed through its Bogner and Fire+Ice brands. “This step is a milestone in our global growth path and contributes perfectly to our internationalization strategy,” Hackl said. “Our goal as Bogner is to become an established player in the athluxury sports fashion sector in the Greater China Area, creating a new dimension to the combination of fashion and sports. We are pleased to have Bosideng as a strong partner with great market expertise at our side to seize the potential of the region with us.”
Hackl also noted that Bogner would benefit from Bosideng’s many years of experience and track record in the Chinese fashion market. As well as its familiarity with the target customers, Bosideng has strong omni channel expertise and a strong existing logistics network in the region. In turn, Bogner is bringing a well-established international brand with almost 90-years of history and in the luxury fashion and sports segment to the Greater China Area.
Konstantinos Balogiannis, Global Director of sales at Bogner, who has been significantly involved in steering the project from the very beginning, added: “In Bosideng, we have found the ideal partner for our large-scale market entry. The joint venture enables us to actively shape the market and operate very independently in China. At the same time, we can draw on Bosideng’s local market expertise and network. For our market entry, we were able to win an experienced team with international know-how that is very familiar with the Chinese market.”
The joint venture will be headed by William Yang, General Manager, Greater China, Bogner. William has an international track record in building various brands in the Chinese market. Before joining Bogner, he was General Manager, Greater China at Amer Sports. Tracy Han is responsible for the finance area, where she contributes her many years of experience in the luxury industry, including time at the LVMH Group.
Welcoming the new partnership, Gao Dekang, Chairman and CEO of Bosideng, said: “As a down apparel brand with 45-year history, Bosideng has longstanding connections through sponsorship in winter sports. In the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games with approximately 300 mn additional people participating in winter sports, we see a great opportunity, which we are seizing in cooperating with Bogner to enter China’s winter sports and luxury fashion market.
“We believe that the cooperation with Bogner will provide the strong momentum for Bosideng’s medium-to-long term development. With our passion for winter sports apparel, we are definitely able to bring unique wearing experiences for Chinese customers.”
Willy Bogner, based in Munich, operates in more than 50 countries with the Bogner (Woman, Man, Sport, Kids) and Fire+Ice brands as well as licenses.