Byravee Iyer
Dec 4, 2014

Spanish retailer makes naked pitch to Singaporeans

SINGAPORE - Don’t be surprised to find a line of semi-naked people along Orchard on December 11. They’re probably just eager to score a free outfit from Desigual, which is promising the first 100 semi-naked people that turn up at its store a free outfit to cover up.

The Japanese leg of Desigual's 'naked party'
The Japanese leg of Desigual's 'naked party'

Desigual’s global campaign, which launched five seasons ago in 50 markets including Milan, Paris, London, Berlin and even Japan, is finally debuting in Singapore. However, the one point of difference is that while other markets featured naked or nearly naked people, Singaporean shoppers will be provided bathrobes as the brand seeks to be “respectful of culture and religion”.

The clothing company is promoting its ‘seminaked party’ through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Expect to see some jostling and overnight queuing if Facebook confirmations are anything to go by. 

Desigual was founded in 1984, and Singapore was its first international launch. Figueras said Asia is a big focus for the Spanish label, in particular Japan, Signapore and Hong Kong. “The idea is to continue our efforts in these markets and increase brand awareness and expand the number of stores.”According to Andrea Figueras, Desigual’s marketing communications manager for the Asian market, the idea of the campaign comes from the company’s philosophy of doing things differently and goes back to the retailer’s positioning of ‘La vida es Chula’, which means ‘Life is cool’. “We want our consumers to have a good time, and the aim of the campaign is to celebrate the kickoff of our sales period,” she said.

Andrea Figueras

The company currently has 19 stores in Japan, nine in Singapore and two in Hong Kong. The retailer has offices in Japan and Hong Kong and a local country manager who oversees each of the markets. Jordi Balsells, vice president for Asia Pacific, claims sales are growing at about 30 per cent year-on-year and estimates market share at 6 per cent. The company plans to open 10 more stores in the region next year, he added.

Like its colourful and over-the-top designs, the clothing company strives to be different. Perhaps that explains why the company signed an endorsement deal with Winnie Harlow, a former America’s Next Top Model contestant who has the skin-pigmentation condition vitiligo.

Desigual doesn’t try to compete on cost. “We don’t have competitors because we have such a unique product,” Figueras pointed out. “We keep price competitive because we’re a mainstream brand. Our initial idea was to make sure that every person has one piece of Desigual in their wardrobe, but we want to focus on making consumers happy.”

What’s also interesting about Desigual is that it doesn’t rely on external agencies. A 70-person in-house marketing team is responsible for all its campaigns, communications, PR, direct marketing, CRM and digital. 

 

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