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Simon P. Lock on the ORDRE Alibaba investment

Last Friday, we were very pleased to announce, via an article in BoF, that Alibaba has made a strategic investment in ORDRE. As one of the world’s leading technology companies and the market leader in China it is an important endorsement of our company’s vision.

That vision is to enable the luxury fashion industry to manage global wholesale retail networks through the application of innovative technologies. Key to this, is developing technology such as ORDRE’s existing 360-degree view images and virtual reality experiences, so that complex collections can be understood in online showrooms and giving fashion buyers the confidence to place wholesale orders remotely when they can’t always travel to or attend physical showrooms.

As well as applying this technology in designer’s physical showrooms to further increasing buying efficiencies there are two major outcomes: the first is reducing the need to travel to frequently lower the enormous carbon emissions the industry currently generates. The second is a legacy of digital assets that have huge potential for B2C engagement. ORDRE is already working with its retailer and designer community to utilise the digital assets it produces for B2B, distributing them through B2C via consumer social media networks, alongside applying them to e-commerce and business development.

These include 360-degree view images, 360 video and virtual reality experiences, fashion shows and designer interviews. These digital assets will also drive a number of initiatives planned between ORDRE and Alibaba.

One of these initiatives includes increasing our impact in China, a country that over the next decade will become the world’s largest consumer of luxury goods surpassing other major markets (accounting for 44 percent by 2025, according to McKinsey & Company.) Retail distribution networks are expanding, as are wholesale opportunities, and ORDRE, with Alibaba’s support, will be driving B2B opportunities for retailers and designers alike.

Last year, Alibaba launched the most sophisticated luxury direct-to-consumer brand platform in China - Tmall’s Luxury Pavilion. Driven by its relationship with high net worth luxury consumers, this groundbreaking platform is already achieving incredible results and introducing discerning Chinese customers to new luxury brands through innovative technology.

As an extension to its existing global B2B services, ORDRE will use the Luxury Pavilion to create new direct-to-consumer pathways, combining the power of our technology and digital assets with the experience, data and expertise of Alibaba. Our assets will provide consumers with a deeper understanding of luxury brands’ heritage, as well as, providing intimate details of products via our 360 view technology.

As a retailer in the ORDRE network, a designer in our portfolio or an industry member in our community, it is a very exciting time here as we develop our B2B services and introduce B2C opportunities as we build our integrated fashion platform globally.

ORDRE and Alibaba’s partnership is based on a number of factors such as authenticity, protection of luxury brands’ DNA, customer transparency and beautifully invisible logistics. As the digital revolution continues to create opportunities for us all in the fashion industry, I look forward to the opportunity of working with you.

Simon P. Lock Founder & Chief Executive
[email protected]