HIGH-END FRENCH FASHION RETAILER GOING FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH
“The success of your business depends on how hard you are prepared to work and there’s no easy ride. But in Hong Kong it is easy to find like-minded people to support your dream”
Ariane Zagury, Rue Madame
Bringing the best of Parisian fashion and flair to Hong Kong customers looking for style and quality at a more affordable price, Rue Madame has proven a big success
Rue Madame, the retail brainchild of financier-turned-owner-entrepreneur Ariane Zagury, is so successful that within the last three years the brand has opened 10 retail shops in total, five in the International Finance Centre (IFC) and another five in Causeway Bay.
“As Asia’s retail paradise Hong Kong has all the top-end luxury brands and some of the mass-market labels, but there are very few retailers catering for the mid-market. This is a fast developing segment in France,” Zagury said.
She decided to set up Rue Madame, selling Parisian fashion to educated and sophisticated Hong Kong women guided more by taste than labels. Her exclusive range includes Majestic, Laurence Dolige, ba&sh, essentiel, Vanessa Bruno and many others.
As an ex-investment banker, Zagury has an eye for a business opportunity. She negotiated to be the exclusive agent in Asia for American Vintage, a luxury basics brand with a French twist that was established in 2005 and has a turnover of €50 million per annum.
Choosing the right location and setting the right price are keys to success for a retail business, Zagury said, and provided a few tips for entrepreneurs who would like to start their own business. “One must be realistic about planning and the business must be profitable at least in the medium term. As an entrepreneur, you should tailor make your work according to your personality, and in this respect, you must be very clear about who you are. The best marketing tool is always your product,” she said.
Some 15 years ago Zagury holidayed in Hong Kong and since then she has always wanted to move to the city. She considers it a blessing to live and work in Hong Kong. “There is nowhere elselike Hong Kong in Asia. You can feel the energy of the city and it is the ideal place for non-Asians because it is so cosmopolitan and welcoming,” she said. This is why she would not have considered setting up her business anywhere else in Asia. “The success of your business depends on how hard you are prepared to work and there’s no easy ride. But in Hong Kong it is easy to find like-minded people to support your dream.”
Zagury appreciates the support that InvestHK has provided all along, especially the aftercare service. “InvestHK provides a very good local perspective for people who have just arrived in Hong Kong and would like to enter the market here,” she said.
Fast Facts: Rue Madame
- Retails the latest exclusive clothing and accessory brands from France
- 10 retail locations in Hong Kong