Real Authentication Blog | Luxury Authentication News

Real Authentication provides top tier Authentication, Identification and Valuation services for over 100 Designer Luxury Brands: Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Hermes, Prada, Gucci, Fendi and more. Contact us today to shop and sell with the confidence and protection you deserve!

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The RealReal Will 'Dominate Digital Consignment Space'

Several digital native fashion retailers are worth taking a look at, according to DA Davidson.
Analyst John Morris initiated coverage of several fashion retailers Tuesday, including Revolve Group LLC RVLV 0.19% with a Neutral rating and $19 price target.
“As a digitally native brand, Revolve sits squarely at the intersection of sophisticated data-driven assortment planning and coveted fashion apparel,” the analyst said.

Inventory Overhang Remains A Concern

In the near term, Revolve is struggling with growing pains that are likely to last for several quarters as it "right-sizes" inventory and invests in future growth, Morris said.
Part of Revolve’s inventory overhang has been planned, as the company is building up for the launch of its superdown division and braces for international expansion, he said.
“Yet inventories have risen significantly faster than sales, most recently rising 31% in 3Q, ahead of 21% sales growth,” the analyst said.
A portion of the higher inventory levels have led to more discounting that weighs against gross margin upside, Morris said.
"We see these headwinds continuing for several more quarters."

The Real Deal

DA Davidson initiated coverage of The RealReal, Inc. REAL 5.2% with a Buy rating and $22 price target.
The RealReal is a brand destination with several first-mover competitive advantages in a market that is displaying accelerating growth, Morris said.
RealReal has a unique business model that makes it possible for the company to be a front-runner for trends like sustainability, uniqueness and individuality that are favored by the millennial and Gen Z demographics, he said.
"With a seamless supply chain, high customer retention, and substantial take rate, we expect REAL to dominate the digital consignment space,” the analyst said.
The RealReal’s authentication process has come into question of late, but this went unmentioned in the DA Davidson note.

Stitch Fix: Rising Ad Spend Tempers Sentiment  

Stitch Fix Inc SFIX 2.34% reported a first-quarter earnings and sales beat Monday, and several analysts highlighted the company’s new "direct buy" feature as a catalyst for future growth.
DA Davidson took a more guarded stance on Stitch Fix, initiating coverage with a Neutral rating and $27 price target.
Morris said he is cautious about Stitch Fix’s growth prospects, cost efficiency and a lack of visibility.
"We rate it Neutral because the company is showing a decelerating client growth rate despite significantly increasing marketing spend at a time when its core business is more challenged by competition and the complexities of growth which is likely to erode margins in the near term."
Stitch Fix is chasing new clients, and its advertising spend as a percentage of sales increased from 3% in 2016 to 8% in 2018 — yet its client growth rate is decelerating, the analyst said.
The e-commerce site is expecting  advertising spend as a percentage of sales to settle at around 9%-11% in FY2020, according to DA Davidson.
Increased competition could threaten the company’s market share, Morris said.
“According to our industry sources,, Inc. AMZN 2.72% and Nordstrom, Inc. JWN 2.05% lust for the customer data gathered from a subscription service: sizes, style preferences, direct feedback, etc.”
The new fashion subscription service entrants Rent the Runway and Urban Outfitters, Inc.'s URBN 0.22% Nuuly are other competitors clawing for market share, according to DA Davidson.  oa here

Sunday, January 5, 2020

The It Bag Goes Unisex in China

Actor Feiyun Chen endorsing the hand case from Dior x Rimowa’s collaboration. Photo: @Dior’s official Weibo.

A street snap of actor Xiao Zhao wearing the GG Supreme messenger bag went viral. Image: Sina China
The term It bag is often perceived as heavily feminine. Across the globe, women have long been the key demographic to success in the It bag business, and China is no exception. The much-diffused internet slang “包治百病,” appropriates the ancient Chinese medicine saying of “cure guarantee” in a pun to spell “bags cure all types of illness” in today’s context. Yet it’d be naïve to exclude Chinese men in this fashion frenzy. As gender norms continue to relax among the Chinese youth, sporting an It bag is increasingly indispensable to the total look of a Chinese male fashionista. A “unisex” shopping trend, embodied by behaviors like men buying women’s bags or women buying men’s bags, is on the rise.
In the November Beijing launch party of the Dior x Rimowa’s collaboration, Chinese male celebrities dominated the stage. Actors Feiyun Chen, Han Dongjun, and Lin Yi were all there to wear and promote the collaboration’s cross-body hand case. Sean Gao, a marketing manager based in Hong Kong, told Jing Daily that the hand case is already in his wish list. “I like it because it has a strong, firm look, and it is gender-neutral. In my day-to-day, I usually do shoppers because a shopper is not specifically designed for men or women,” he said. A quest for the more gender-inclusive design was the underlying sentiment.
But there have also been a rising number of Chinese men, straight or gay, that are opting for women’s bag, regardless of the gendered indication. Eric Liu, a Shanghai-based fashion blogger, told Jing Daily that he buys from the women’s bag section because the men’s section usually lacks choices. Unlike Sean, Eric doesn’t think the designer’s gendered intent as important. “The first made-for-women bag I bought was Marc Jacob’s Snapshot. It has a gender-neutral look and a cool chain design. As a straight man, I don’t feel embarrassed about wearing a bag designed for women because no one has pointed that out,” Eric said. However, he admits that most of fashion’s big names still have a limited offering of men’s bags. In his opinion, the existing choices are either too “street,” too utilitarian, or simply not fashionable enough.
Deny it or not, China’s fashion scene is undergoing an accelerated transformation of gendered identity. The number of male fashion bloggers on Chinese social media is spiking, boosted by now widespread “Little Fresh Meat” male idol phenomenon. On Weibo and Little Red Book, popular hashtags such as #男生怎么穿 (what men wear) and #实用男包推荐 (practical men bag recommendation) give a sneak peek into the country’s male fashionista community, although the so-called “practical” style tips often gear towards choices that are more trend-forward than practical. From posting about everyday tote, utility pouch, to logo-laden fanny packs, Chinese men fashionistas pursue the It bag just as fervently as women do.
It Bag Dude

The “It bag” dude community on Little Red Book. Photo: LRB screenshot.
In the West, the general implication for “unisex bag” still leans on the talk of utilitarian backpacks or, at most, a weekender bag for elegant occasions. An It bag for men is reserved for a closed and exclusive circle of urban fashionistas. In China, however, owning fashion-forward, big-name bags is a much more mainstream practice among the millennial men. Thanks to the broad gender fluidity trend in fashion, many old-time It bags for women now have launched their men versions: Fendi‘s Peekaboo, Dior’s saddle bag, Loewe’s Puzzle bag, Louis Vuitton‘s Soft Trunk collection, to name a few. According to social posts, some Chinese women also opt for these men’s versions for a more oversized, effortless chic look.
Dior’s China brand ambassador Junkai Wang wearing the brand’s iconic Saddle Bag. Photo: @Dior’s official Weibo.
A series of media images in China have injected this sense of gender fluidity among the youth, blurring their boundaries of traditional masculinity and femininity. In early 2018, the Chinese TV talent show “Idol Producer” gave rise to a wave of K-pop-style male idols wearing a chest-pack, neon-color jacket, bleached hair, and earrings. While delicate-featured male idols proliferate, young Chinese women are buying more power suits and increasingly attracted by a “girl boss” identity. In October 2018, Japanese condom brand Okamoto published a post titled “Boys buy bags, girls buy condom” on its WeChat account, saying that the ratio of women buying condoms on its e-commerce had risen from 30.6 % to 40.1% during November 2016 and June 2018.
In a country where systematic gender inequality and traditional family norms still persist, these signs of youth social changes would have all be seen as culturally outrageous just a decade ago. But today, even the adjective Chinese millennials use to praise women and men have radically changed. For example, the more relevant way to compliment a woman is to say she is “very alpha” instead of “very pretty.” To praise a man, they are adopting languages like “fashionably coquettish” (骚气 in Chinese). Though the notion of “coquettish” is often associated with an overtly flirtatious woman in the West, it refers to the androgynous cool appeal of a modern Chinese male idol.

In beauty, big names such as Givenchy Beauty, Estée Lauder, and Guerlain have tapped young androgynous idols Jackson Yee, Wang Kai, and Yang Yang to capture the Chinese beauty consumers, now both female and male. But Chinese millennial men today are looking beyond beauty. The It bag market is the next step to make their style statements heard.
In 2019, a Gucci bag “the GG Supreme messenger bag” has been closely associated with actor Xiao Zhan, as the street snap of him wearing that bag got viral on the Internet. Celine, the French house mostly known for its women’s bags, appointed male idol Li Jian to carry the brand’s logo handbag on the September issue of Elle Men. Are these bags marketed to their female fans, or style inspiration for the fans’ boyfriends, or other Chinese men? Perhaps the answer is not important. What is important, is to have something that is “It” and cool enough to put on. oa here

Thursday, January 2, 2020

How department stores lost their clout in the beauty industry to Ulta, e-commerce and influencers

  • As retailers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora have won over shoppers, the former anchor of the cosmetics industry — the department store — has faltered.
  • Global cosmetics industry sales are projected to hit $430 billion by 2022, according to Allied Market Research.
  • Influencers can make or break a brand, prompting companies to spend anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars for a single product post on an influencer's page.
  • Sixty-three percent of 18- to 34-year-olds trust influencer's opinions of brands more than advertising done by the brand itself, according to an Edelman survey.
Pedestrians pass in front of an Ulta Beauty store in New York.
In the beauty business, there's been a changing of the guard over the past decade.
Social media has bolstered the success of specialty stores and cultivated a number of billion-dollar upstart beauty brands that are going head-to-head with well-established players like Estee Lauder. As retailers like Ulta Beauty and Sephora have won over shoppers, the former anchor of the cosmetics industry — the department store — has faltered.
"Beauty seems to be following the same general trend from retail a few years ago," said Vic Drabicky, founder of January Digital, a marketing consultancy that works with popular cosmetic lines like NARS and Rihanna's Fenty Beauty.
"When you can show people, it's more than just a transaction, and add-in experience and expertise, you end up in a good spot."
Since 2009, U.S. beauty and personal care sales have risen 52%, according to market research company Euromonitor. The global cosmetics industry is projected to hit $430 billion by 2022, according to a report by Allied Market Research.

Specialty stores shine

Ulta Beauty has been a clear standout over the past decade with its stock up more than 1,250% since 2009, nearly seven times the gains of the broader market. The retailer now has a market cap of $14.4 billion as of the market's close on Dec. 26.
Over its 30 years in business, Ulta's strength has been its focus on being an all-in-one destination. It offers in-store salon services as well as products ranging from drugstore lines like Maybelline and L'Oreal to pricier prestige brands like Urban Decay and Benefit.
Ulta has also bucked a broader slowdown among retailers with its in-store sales up more than 413% since 2009. And, while other retailers are closing stores, it opened 67 locations in the first 10 months of the year, according to FactSet. The company, which wasn't immediately available to comment, had previously announced plans to open 80 stores by year-end.
"Beauty specialists have gained share at the expense of department stores over the last decade," Fatima Linares, senior research manager at Euromonitor, said in an interview. "While specialist retail sales grew by almost 6 percentage points from 2009 to 2018, department stores saw their shares stagnate in the same period."
The entrance to Sephora at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.
Ulta's appeal has been helped by its celebrity brands, such as an exclusive in-store distribution deal for the Kylie Cosmetics line last November and its relationship with YouTube star James Charles. These relationships help drive traffic to the store. However, a pullback in the key color cosmetics category, which includes lipsticks and eye shadows, has weighed on the stock recently. Ulta's shares are up around 3% this year, despite seeing a 42% surge in the first quarter of 2019.
"This has happened before, and therefore it is expected that color cosmetics will recover at some point, but it looks like this time, the recovery will take longer," said Linares. "The trend this time is driven by consumers looking for a more natural and healthier options and, in consequence, opting for a more natural look."
However, rival beauty specialist Sephora, owned by french luxury brand LVMH, has already made efforts to cater to the shift in trends.
"The past decade has been a time of significant growth and change for the beauty industry," Artemis Patrick, Sephora's chief merchandising officer, said. "For example, growing demand for ingredient transparency inspired us to launch Clean at Sephora, which helps clients to better navigate the growing category of clean beauty."
For the educated consumer, health and wellness have now become a top priority. Within the beauty industry, this has been most evident in the growing popularity of self-care products like face masks and moisturizers, which has helped drive sales of skin-care products up 48% over the past decade, according to Euromonitor.
"The number of consumers who are making purchase decisions primarily based on the price of a product is decreasing," Larissa Jensen, executive director, and beauty industry analyst at NPD, said in an August report. "The significance of knowing exactly what they are putting on their skin becomes more important."
For some consumers, this means steering clear of items that contain microplastics and favoring items that include natural and organic ingredients.
The specialty retailers also have been quick to take advantage of emerging technology to help drive customers to their stories.
According to a survey by WSL Strategic Retail that was presented at the Connected Consumer Conference in November, 57% of female shoppers use mobile devices to help them shop in-store. However, 43% are often choosing between two to three stores when making cosmetic purchases.
To lure these customers in, Sephora has adopted an ad technology by Google that reveals local store promotions and inventory on shoppers' phones as they walk near a store. While LVMH does not break out Sephora's individual numbers, Google said the retailer saw a noticeable increase in in-store sales and a higher return on advertising spending from these promotions.

Department stores makeover

It's been an uphill battle for department stores. Not only have the specialty stores wooed their customers, but the rise of e-commerce has weakened foot traffic through their stores. Consumers are looking for the quickest and most efficient way to shop, and increasingly online options win out.
Since 2013 beauty and personal-care sales at department stores have increased by around 6%, while online sales in the same category are up more than 150%, according to Euromonitor.
Amazon is seeing a benefit from this shift. In June, it launched its first professional beauty store, offering products reserved for licensed stylists and makeup artists through its Amazon business accounts.
The following month, Amazon teamed up with pop star Lady Gaga as the sole retail distributor of her first cosmetics line, Haus Laboratories. The partnership appears to be paying off: Haus' Glam Room Palette No. 1 was one of the bestselling beauty products on the website this holiday season.
Meanwhile, departments stores are feeling the pinch. Macy's destination business, which includes beauty categories such as fragrances and cosmetics, makes up 40% of the company's sales.
"We're gaining market share in fragrances but we're not in overall beauty," said Macy's CEO Jeffrey Gennette on an earnings conference call this summer. "We're really holding our own in skin care, but we're not maintaining our share and we're ceding market share in color [cosmetics]."
The retailer declined to comment on recent sales trends, however, it said it is doubling down on its effort to reengage beauty customers. One example is a partnership with Modiface, an augmented reality business that was acquired by L'Oreal in March 2018, that allows shoppers to virtually try on a variety of cosmetics both on an app and in-store.
"Technology and experiential components will continue to be paramount to successful beauty campaigns, launches and displays," Nata Dvir, Macy's general business manager for beauty, said. "Improving the customer experience and creating newness in the category is showing no signs of slowing down."
Nordstrom has also revamped its strategy by dedicating two floors to beauty in its new Manhattan flagship store, including millennial favorites such as hair-styling service DryBar and an Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio.
The redesign also features digital experiences such as an interactive fragrance finder that allows customers to use a touch screen to try out new fragrances. A personality quiz directs you to a scent you might like, then you can opt to have the machine spray a sample.
Kylie Jenner visits Houston Ulta Beauty to promote the exclusive launch of Kylie Cosmetics with the beauty retailer, on November 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas.
"We don't think of our business in separate channels but give a holistic experience both online and in store, connecting the digital and physical," said Gemma Lionello, executive vice president and general merchandise manager for accessories and beauty at Nordstrom.
Their launch of new initiatives to draw in customers has yet to turn the tide on stock performance. As of Thursday's market close, Nordstrom shares, which have a market value of $6.4 billion, have fallen about 12% this year. Kohl's has a market value of about $8 billion and is down about 23% this year, while Macy's has seen its stock tumble a whopping 44% in 2019. Macy's loss, which has cut its market value to $5.1 billion, has also pushed it to the bottom of the S&P 500 this year.

The rise of the influencer

Social media has also brought its own massive change to the industry. It created a digital subgroup of celebrity with enormous reach, millions of fans and — most importantly — the power to make or break a brand.
One platform that's been critical to the rise of the influencer is Facebook's Instagram. Of the social network's more than a billion user accounts, some 500,000 are made up of active influencer accounts. Companies spend anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars for beauty gurus to make a single product post on their page.
"The rise of Instagram has really propelled the effect that social media has had and just, in general, the space has grown rapidly," said Tribe Dynamics co-founder Conor Begley. Tribe, an influencer software data company, calculates the monetary revenue of influencer-sponsored content.
Tribe uses a metric called "earned media value" to calculate how much individual and combined influencer engagement with followers, and other users, is worth when promoting products and services across social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.
For example, before its $845 million buyout by Shiseido, prestige skin-care line Drunk Elephant garnered nearly $35 million in total EMV from the start of the 2019 — a more than 100% increase for the brand from the year prior.
"Close to a dozen [beauty] brands have achieved billion-dollar valuation and have done it using really effective marketing that is social-media focused," Begley said.
This coupled with the e-commerce explosion has bred a mega-industry, with online beauty retailing projected to be worth $38 billion by 2023, suggesting a 13% increase from its current value, according to Euromonitor.
Some of the beauty unicorns include cult cosmetic lines such as Glossier and influencer-turned-mogul Huda Kattan's Huda Beauty line. Eighty percent of teens say they now get their beauty tips from influencers, according to a survey of teen spending conducted by Piper Jaffray this fall.
One reason is trust. According to a survey in Edelman's 2019 trust barometer report, 63% of 18- to 34-year-olds trust influencers' opinions of brands more than advertising done by the brand itself. Additionally, the survey revealed that within a six-month time period 58% of those polled admitted to purchasing a new product because of an influencer.
"All of the power went from manufacturers and retailers to the consumers themselves," said Drabicky. "Now we have social media where makeup artists are going on there and showing people exactly what to do." oa here

Thursday, September 26, 2019

6 best vintage shops where millennials and Gen Zers are buying their Gucci, Dior and Prada handbags

The drawers in your mother’s closet are probably a treasure trove full of archival designs you can no longer find in stores. Otherwise, second-hand goods are the answer.

The interest in vintage designer bags has also grown considerably among millennials and Gen Zers. Photo: @DILN_
The interest in vintage designer bags has also grown considerably among millennials and Gen Zers. Photo: @DILN_

The year is 2019, but curiously many are dressed more like their ‘90s style icons these days. Some are even revisiting throwback fashion trends from the 2000s that we all thought should be left in the past. After dad shoes, scrunchies, bucket hats and tiny sunglasses became hot fashion items in the past two years, capri pants and biker shorts are now having a moment. The interest in vintage designer bags has also grown considerably among millennials and Gen Zers. From Fendi’s Zucca print and Dior’s signature branding, to Gucci’s house monogram and Prada’s classic, inverted triangle logo plate, retro purses are all over Instagram.
So, where can you find these old luxury handbags? The easy answer would be your mother’s wardrobe. Those drawers of hers are like a treasure trove full of archival designs you can no longer find in stores. You’ll just have to rummage through them for your dream bag, and hope that your mum doesn’t notice anything has gone missing. Just kidding.
For those who prefer a less sneaky route, we’ve rounded up a list of the six best stores to shop for designer bags online. Read on to learn where we get our second-hand goods.

The RealReal 

Vestiaire Collective

Vestiaire Collective is where supermodel Karlie Kloss shops her Chanel bags, so you know it’s got to have a great selection. Another major player in the reselling market, the web store sees a vast line-up of pre-owned handbags by Prada, Fendi and the like — all available at reduced prices.

What Goes Around Comes Around

Luxury Garage Sale

 If you’re a fan of designer bags but not particularly fond of the price tags they come with, then Luxury Garage Sale will be your new best friend. The upscale consignment store offers a massive range of coveted styles, including archival styles from Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton. Check the site now to see if you can find any bargains.

Madison Avenue Couture

The Hermès Birkin is one of the most coveted luxury handbags on the market. If that’s your ultimate dream bag, look no further than Madison Avenue Couture. The store carries a huge selection of new and preloved Birkins that are difficult to get hold of.


 From vintage Prada to Goyard and Balenciaga, expect to find a stunning array of statement designer handbags at vastly reduced prices on Rebag’s website. For those who live in California, Florida or New York, you may also visit Rebag’s IRL locations to see its inventory in person.

oa here
Blogger Template Created by pipdig