Coppolella, an Italian streetwear and skateboarding apparel brand born in 2016, was recently acquired by Peacebird, a leading Chinese fashion retail group. The holding behind the brand owns seven companies, employs 12,000 people and runs 4,500 doors in China registering annual revenues of US$1.6 billion. The group also aims to make its newly acquired brand grow worldwide. Step one of its strategy is expanding in Asia by reaching €200 million sales in China by 2025.

Paolo Coppolella, founder and creative and artistic director of Coppolella, explained how the brand will reach its objectives.

From left: Paolo Coppolella, founder and creative director, Coppolella, Yang Kang, president, ATD and Lu Yi, responsible of the brand's commercial strategies
Photo: Coppolella
From left: Paolo Coppolella, founder and creative director, Coppolella, Yang Kang, president, ATD and Lu Yi, responsible of the brand's commercial strategies
How does Coppolella aim to grow?
We will mostly develop via e-commerce and only in minor part via physical stores. We first opened a Coppollella flagship store on the e-commerce platform Tmall, the main Chinese marketplace controlled by Alibaba, able to connect our brand with over 700 million consumers. The aim of the project is to reach about €10 million sales by end 2020 and €200 million by 2025 in China.

In June 2020 we opened a Coppolella online store on vip.com, a successful online platform that counts 29.6 million users. Since fall 2020 we are offering through Tmall skateboards, jackets and pieces in denim, cord, polar fleece and technical fabrics. Along with it we have also started collaborations with important brands like Disney and Pixar, but also with young artists, talents and international skateboarding giants.

Our fall ’20 collection counts more than 70 items in part born from these collaborations. The one signed with Disney is an exclusive collab for the Asian market offering four drops, one per month, ironically reinterpreting iconic characters such as  Mickey Mouse, Maleficent, Cruella, and Toy Story 4 protagonists. Another capsule was recently designed by Deborah Tommasini, a young and talented designer, illustrator, comic artist and writer of European-Asian origins.

Since summer 2020 we have also collaborated with Dewu, an important app specialized in selling streetwear through China, and opened our Chinese TikTok channel, the worldwide popular app that also works as a great channel for promotion and direct selling.

Is Coppolella also selling through brick-and-mortar stores?
We also continue collaborating through ATD, our official distributor for offline in Asia. For the second year in a row we are also presenting a capsule collection whose graphics pay homage to both Milan and Shanghai, two key cities for Coppolella’s identity and development. This collection will be sold both through the main online platforms and the most important offline stores.

Skateboarding is part of Coppolella's DNA
Photo: Coppolella
Skateboarding is part of Coppolella's DNA
What about live-streaming e-commerce? Is Coppolella involved in that?
Yes, it is, as live streaming sessions have become a trendy selling channel for the Chinese market and most international brands long to be part of it. Our brand has been one of the protagonists of a live streaming session supported by Vija, a famous Chinese influencer. Thanks to this platform, for instance, we sold up to a total of 20,000 exemplars of a single product in a few hours.


Are you aiming to also expand in other markets in addition to Asia?
Our primary objective, after consolidating our presence in Asia, is to grow again in Europe through a selected distribution network we will start selling through starting from s/s 2021.

Are there any sponsorships and collabs planned for the future?
Our popularity has grown significantly as we dressed the Chinese skateboarding national team and local hip hop and trap stars love us.

Moreover, we want to strengthen our relationships with many skateboarding schools already supported by us. At present the team Coppolella supports appreciated riders such as Fabio Emilcare, Fulvio Bonafè, Davide Degli Agosti, Kevin Aracri and–just arrived–the very young and talented Enea Bertoli. 

As soon playful activities will be allowed again, the brand go back sponsoring various international events such as, for instance, music festivals, and will also continue supporting young artists by involving them in capsule collections and collaborations we will co-design with four hands.



 
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