The luxury scene is booming around the world. One would be surprised to know that Vietnam, a picturesque city known for its Buddhist rivers and pagodas, also extends its sphere of luxury. World of Watches welcomes Vietnam to its international presence with an exclusive interview with the CEO and publisher of WOW Vietnam, Hon Nguyen Huu.
Interview with Hon Nguyen Huu, WOW Vietnam
Can you tell us more about the luxury scene in Vietnam in the past year? Are new shopping malls open in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) suggesting that the luxury goods market is healthy?
For me, luxury has never been a big party. For my friends, the commercial results for luxury brand offices in Vietnam are improving. Some have said that with the stagnant markets of Singapore and Thailand, chances are being shifted to Vietnam. Not only for fashion or watches, I have attended many exciting events that have marked a good year for luxury brands in Vietnam. And pretty much safe for the coming year.
However, that does not mean that we are preparing this growth well. People – the main force behind all luxury services in Vietnam – are not qualified enough to meet the demand. Customers who pay a lot of money for a high-end experience will also need service providers, which is why marketers will have to equip themselves with professionalism and in-depth knowledge of this territory. I hope the brand leaders will pay more attention to it.
"The results of luxury brand companies in Vietnam improve"
The Landmark 81 is one of the newest shopping malls opened this year. It is the highest skyscraper of the SEA and the world's top 10 with a commercial area of 59,000 m². In addition, the sky-view bars and gyms also point to the rapid growth in the number of luxury brands that frequent this Saigon River property. Another shopping center – Union Square – which is being renovated with the hotel-mall model will open soon in District 1.
I love the vintage look and heritage value. If I had to choose a place to go shopping, I would love the Rex Hotel. In this heritage hotel, Jonathan Hanh Nguyen has invested and opened new boutiques of Rolex, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bvlgari, Cartier …
Which luxury brands seem to mix very well with the rich Vietnamese consumers? On the fashion side or the watch?
Each brand will offer customers the experience of shopping and service with their own high quality standards. I love the way Hermes, Cartier, Rolex, Omega, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada keep their customers loyal. This is true for consumer stories and brands. Recently, Gucci or HYT has introduced a new and innovative approach to Generation Y and Generation Z. To talk about watches in particular, independent and classic brands are attracting the attention of Vietnamese consumers. Vietnamese do not worry about spending money, they love the uniqueness and pay a lot for their property when possible.
Luxury customers are often quiet, so it's hard to know which brand is doing the best.
WOW Vietnam has already had many fans in Vietnam, what is the specific positioning of the magazine and why is it appreciated by watch lovers as well as by more sophisticated watch collectors?
First, the content is our incomparable strength that no other magazine has, because our editors possess an extensive knowledge of watchmaking. Close relationships with watch collectors are both a source of pride and pressure to improve our problems day after day. WOW Singapore is a good link between our customers and us because it provides perfect content that continually strengthens the magazine, which holds licenses in 9 countries.
Secondly, a distribution network of 300 watch collectors and clubs passionate about watches, this has always been an appreciation of WOW. We also have a wide coverage of 500 booths in 63 provinces and shops, hotels, galleries and great restaurants. Even in favorite places millennia, like the Hidden Archive event, I've seen 9X wearing Panerai or Speake-Marin clothing while they sell their clothing collection. It's a new surprise that requires WOW to move properly in the future.
During the next quarter, you will launch LUXUO.VN in Vietnam. What will be specific to the luxury information portal and how will it be different from existing luxury information channels?
LUXUO.VN is the first online issue on luxury living in Vietnam. Being the pioneer brings us more pressure and challenges. I still believe that we need a good content strategy before we start doing different things with Luxuo. This is why Luxuo.vn reflects different points of view on the luxury market, the shopping and the culture of the luxury brands, with concentrated, deep and alive perspectives. We provide the best things on Luxuo.vn, with shopping choices, market views, brand stories and personalities.
Information on luxury brands is not just in printed versions. The digital magazine and the media also play their own roles. This is changing the marketing of magazines. But interesting pressure indeed.
Are special activities and activations planned? How are you going to attract luxury goods lovers and watch collectors?
Of course, the first thing to do is that there will be a launch event on January 17, 2019. Each issue of WOW will feature a separate offline event to put us in touch with collectors of watches. In addition, the private event Luxuo Network is being rolled out.
Where do you see LUXUO in Vietnam in two years? "
The Vietnamese always say, "Do not count your chickens before hatching". Just to tell you that I am still very excited about the projects of the next two years.
Tell us about the founders and the team behind your media group and explain why you are very confident about the success of WOW and LUXUO in Vietnam.
You know, we have very experienced members and, for newcomers, they are appreciated with passion. Our editors are the ones who worked for Harper's Bazaar Vietnam, Wow Vietnam, The Official Vietnam and Elle Vietnam before joining SR. We also have a marketing team consisting of a watch collector and a fashion influencer. The socially aware life of young members forces us to stay abreast of the latest market news. We will do a lot, I hope.
Who is a person or mentor who inspired you in your life?
It is a philosophy that I pursued in all my careers and I think that is what makes my success today is to always say "Yes". Yes to a job, yes to a meeting, yes to a coffee shop, or help a friend because you will never know what the future will bring you. Make the most of the present. In other respects, I do my best to be accessible. I always focus on things that matter rather than being cool. Focusing on personal care is the foundation of a meaningful and meaningful life. You must dream of things bigger than yourself.
Who taught me that? It is my mother.
Visit the website World of Watches Vietnam on Luxuo.vn.