Tiffany Hsu, Mytheresa’s Fashion Buying Director, is the first to be welcomed into the 2022 Jing Daily community of individuals shaping China’s burgeoning luxury fashion industry. These profiles highlight industry leaders who contribute to national and global fashion communities, from business executives, entrepreneurs and those working behind the scenes to designers, influencers and creatives.
Cutting a striking figure, Tiffany Hsu looks like she was born to work in fashion. His staff Instagram is a gallery of chic dresses, delivered with a sense of humor and style. However, it was only after the fortuitous discovery of a book about mercurial designer John Galliano that Hsu’s path in the industry became clear. His career as a buyer was just as spontaneous, following a part-time retail job at the now defunct London cult store Feathers.
Since then, she has never looked back and secured purchasing roles at prestigious global retailers such as Lane Crawford in London, Hong Kong and Selfridges in London. He is now head of the fashion purchasing department at the German e-tailer Mytheresa which sells over 200 luxury brands. Looking at the Chinese market share, Mytheresa launched into the market in 2016, named Cecilia Song the first brand ambassador for Greater China in September, and organized events including a virtual chat with Hsu.
Here, Daily Jing chat with Taiwanese taste maker Hsu about Chinese designers, keeping up with evolving trends on the mainland and how Mytheresa locates itself for the country’s most discerning consumers.
JD: Where do you currently reside and how has your work process changed during the pandemic?
TH: I live in London. In the beginning, it was a nice change for me and the entire purchasing team to order from virtual showrooms and attend virtual fashion shows. But we’ve gotten used to the situation a lot since then and developed a highly efficient digital purchasing process for ourselves. However, during the final season of Fashion Week, of course, it was good to see the return of physical events and IRL shows.
What attracted you to working at Mytheresa and when did you start?
I joined Mytheresa as a purchasing manager in 2015. Looking back, it has been quite a journey to get here. I think having a brick and mortar base was invaluable, even though there are huge differences between buying for a store and buying online. You need to be able to grab someone’s attention in the first few seconds as they scroll through the phone. I am able to be very clear about the brand vision and what I know our customer loves. Being able to heal that vision is very fulfilling for Mytheresa.
And six years later, what’s the best part of your job?
One of the best things about working in fashion is that you can meet and work with so many creative people from different backgrounds and with different styles – it’s really inspiring. When it comes to fashion shopping in particular, what I love most is that we are able to see everything firsthand beforehand, and I still find it so fascinating to work with brands and designers on products. We work on many capsules with some of the best brands out there. This has been an important part of my job and something I have developed throughout my years with the company.
How are Chinese luxury consumers different from global contemporaries?
I think Chinese luxury consumers are very knowledgeable and as savvy as other global consumers. I think there are many different types of consumers, so while it would be difficult to generalize and divide Chinese consumers into style groups, you have elements of streetwear and avant-garde, as well as many different directions. I think they all have their merits; however, many Chinese luxury shoppers have higher spending power at a much younger age than other countries.
How is Mytheresa locating for Chinese consumers?
Mytheresa introduced its website in Mandarin in 2016 and we also offer local payment options. In addition, we have Chinese-speaking colleagues in our Customer Care and Personal Shopping teams as well as for social media. Mytheresa is also active on major platforms such as Weibo (where it has 84,000 followers), WeChat and Little Red Book (17,000 fans). Additionally, we often host physical events in China to meet key press, KOLs and customers to introduce them to our brand on a more personal level.
How to keep up with the tastes and demands of local consumers?
To do my job you have to be alert and experienced and closely watch what’s happening and follow the fashion movement, be it China or any other country in the world. We also pay close attention to any new designers and pieces that are uploaded to the Mytheresa website and react quickly. We are always looking for the next novelty.
Any favorite designers from China?
In terms of local Chinese designers, I really like Rumi Zhou, Susan Fang and Shuting Qui.
And finally, plans for 2022?
Well, I love what I do and can’t wait to see where the industry goes in the next few years. As long as there are always exciting products and new talents to discover, I’m happy!