TRP Travel Retail Style Index: May 2021

Tiffany & Co Blackpink Rosé ambassador

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

This month’s highlights come from a purposeful social retail pop-up in Hainan, a luxury hometail makeover and the latest TikTok trend.

1/ SOCIAL RETAIL. Societal pressures are the focus for a new type of phygital pop-up courtesy of Japanese skincare brand SK-II that has debuted a retail-tainment destination in the Haitang Bay Duty Free Shopping Centre in Sanya, Hainan.

The pop-up is an immersive representation of the P&G-owned brand’s new SK-II Studio animated anthology series called VS. The film and retail campaign aims to highlight career pressures faced by women and viewed through the experiences of six athletes taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics.

The VS series pop-up makes its global debut at the Chinese duty free hotspot. A key attraction is the contactless skin counselling technology, the Mini Magic Scan, that is powered by an AI skin analysis tool and allows visitors to “understand their skin strengths and potential” while they reveal their skin age and receive personalised skincare recommendations.

While customers line up to purchase their SK-II products they can interact with the installation to unlock exclusive WeChat mini programme content designed to engage visitors. This includes an AR experience to take part in a VS kaiju battle alongside the Olympic athletes included in the films.

TRP Takeaway: SK-II has tapped into a powerful pre-Olympics marketing dynamic that raises the issue of social acceptance of success. This is a clever phygital interpretation of pop-up retail and complements the brand’s new VS series to inspire every woman that they have the power to #CHANGEDESTINY.

A duo of K-pop and C-pop influencers have taken on global brand ambassador roles for Tiffany & Co as the jeweller invests in the burgeoning hard-luxury market in Asia.

Blackpink’s Rosé (full name Roseanne Park Chae-young) fronts a new ad campaign for the brand’s latest HardWear collection (above). In the new digital campaign, Rosé wears the collection’s chunky 18K gold gauge link necklaces and pavé diamonds. “I love how bold and chic you can look. I’m very interested in layering my necklaces these days,” she tells Vogue.

With more than 70 million followers on Weibo, Yi Yangqianxi, also known as Jackson Yee and as a member of boy band TF Boys is one of C-pop’s biggest stars. Yee has been promoted by Tiffany & Co from regional ambassador in China to a global ambassador role with the hope the Chinese star will cross over to Western markets.

TRP Takeaway: Tiffany & Co’s new parent company LVMH is investing in targeting Gen Z and Millennial digital audiences, especially through an Asia luxury lens.

One silver lining of the pandemic has been luxury retail renovations, while physical stores have been closed. Two of Value Retail’s best known outlet malls, Bicester Village (Oxford, UK) and Fidenza Village (Milan, Italy) have had makeovers to allow customers to make personal shopping appointments at the VIP Apartments and with concierge sales specialists via Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. Interior designer David Thomas redesigned the VIP Apartment spaces into themed rooms, each of which can be used for private events, online or offline. At Fidenza Village, the design brief was: “Imagine [Luchino] Visconti’s [1963 film] ‘The Leopard’ – the art and the art scene. This is the apartment of an eclectic woman who loves collecting art, she travels and brings her collections home and is an avid book reader.”

Value Retail says the result is that the location has maintained “a very strong pool of luxury consumers who would generally be traveling around the world but who were obliged to stay home.” I’m crossing my fingers and booking a flight to Milan.

TRP Takeaway: As VIP ‘clienteling’ gets a tech makeover, it’s clear luxury marketplaces need to play catch up. And with global travel looking more likely to resume in the second half of 2021, destination marketing will play a key role in luring high spending customers, who are used to shopping in a home environment.

Headscarves? Yes! For its latest GG Multicolour capsule collection drop, Gucci has jumped on the latest #PleaseDontGo TikTok trend for headscarf wearing (with pets) in cars. I love the humour and adaptability of Gucci’s new digital advertising remit and the luxury brand’s latest TikTok campaign feels more in tune with this community’s way of doing trends than previous efforts, that were rather Gucci-fied.

TRP Takeaway: Luxury brands are flexing their creativity especially for Gen Z digital trends.

PLUS, ICYMI…Vogue Business says the trend for beauty brands such as SK-II to create their own content marks a bigger shift for the ad industry and it points towards purpose marketing…Chinese are flocking to resort island Hainan where thanks to increased duty free allowances, sales are expected to double in 2021 for the second year in a row…Hainan is the location for a new DFS duty free retail complex in Haikou Mission Hills and will be completed in phases over the next two years, eventually spanning over 30,000 sq. m, including the largest beauty hall in DFS’ global store network.


This post is contributed by DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON, who is a freelance travel retail industry journalist. Read her previous posts on Disneyrollergirl here.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Alison Farrington
IMAGE: Tiffany & Co
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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Yuzu beauty news – a fragrance, a foundation, and a fabulous fruit-growing lab

Louis Vuitton On the Beach Les Colognes fragrance

Latest update on beauty ingredient, yuzu fruit. Since I mentioned it in my spring trend round up, the Japanese citrus has cropped up in a summer fragrance and a radiance boosting foundation.

The fragrance first. Louis Vuitton’s On the Beach‘ (£200, above and below) is part of its Les Colognes line (colognes but with eau de parfum concentration) and combines a top juicy note of yuzu (the note you smell first), with a herby cocktail of thyme, rosemary, pink pepper, cloves and cypress, plus a floral neroli note. It’s designed to smell subtly coastal rather than full-on beachy (despite the name). Fragrantica has some early reviews here.

Louis Vuitton On The Beach fragrance with yuzu note

On the foundation front, Clé de Peau Beauté has just launched its Radiant Fluid Natural Foundation* (£110, below) to accompany last season’s Radiant Fluid Matte Foundation. The Japanese do understated make-up really well, and the innovative J-beauty brands are big on adding skincare benefits to make-up.

The new foundation contains quince seed extract and yuzu seed extract to retain moisture which adds to the natural-looking ‘radiance-enhancing’ finish. It also offers 12-hour wear and protection from UV rays and oxidisation. I can vouch for its long-wear, natural finish (I’ve been trialling a sample) and also its nuanced shade range – there are 31 shades that cater for different undertones. Buy it at Harrods* and Cult Beauty*.
Cle de Peau Beaute Radiant Fluid Foundation Natural

On a related yuzu-flavoured note, I recently read the most fascinating story about former Tate Modern Director Vicente Todolí and his Italian citrus fruit research-lab-slash-garden Fundació Todolí Citrus. Created to conduct research into the medical, culinary and cosmetic uses of all sorts of global citrus plants, the sale of yuzu to restaurants helps to fund this non profit. The original piece I read was in the new (and highly recommended) issue of Konfekt but as that’s not available online, this piece is a good substitute.

Finally, if you missed out on Jane Cunningham’s original yuzu-scented Japanese Cleansing Cloud, it’s back in stock at Victoria Health here.


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Louis Vuitton x 2; Cle de Peau Beauté
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

CLICK HERE to get Disneyrollergirl blog posts straight to your inbox once a week
CLICK HERE to buy my book The New Garconne: How to be a Modern Gentlewoman

Oh look, another celeb beauty launch

Humanrace skincare

I’m so cynical about celeb beauty lines and yet completely seduced by this Pharrell-founded skincare brand, Humanrace. I just love this clean, clinical packaging and I hope the products smell of Granny Smiths.

For the marketing campaign, Pharrell has used extreme close-ups of smooth-skinned, modern day influencers, including the artist Blondey and a robotic cancer surgeon called Dipen Parekh. The blurb is all very worthy which is a bit of a turn-off for me. I guess all that needs to be seen is if non-influencer people talk about it and if it’s actually any good. (You can buy it here – when it’s not sold out – from $32.) (more…)

R.I.P Glossier stores

Glossier Covent Garden closure

Sad, but not unexpected times for Glossier. British Beauty Blogger reports it has decided to cut all its store retail jobs and will close its three stores until at least next year. London’s Covent Garden store was originally planned as a pop-up, but was then extended until the end of the year due to unexpected demand. (more…)