BOSIDENG Aligns with BOGNER to Expand in China, Luxe.CO Interviews Decision-makers

January 6,2022

On December 23, 2021, BOGNER opened its first store in China at WF Central in Beijing. Dekang Gao, chairman, CEO and founder of BOSIDENG attended the opening ceremony. Luxe.CO invited William Yang, BOGNER’s GM for Greater China to an exclusive interview. He says: “BOGNER aims to become an exemplary player in the Athluxury Sports Fashion sector in the Greater China Area, creating a new dimension to the combination of fashion and sports.”

This article will illustrate why BOSIDENG chose BOGNER as its partner to solidify its market position as a player in “Athluxury” and how they plan on expanding in China.

William Yang points out that, “Skiing, compared to other sports, has a higher threshold. However, once they become fond of it, consumers’ stickiness would be stronger as well.”

According to Luxe.CO’s user survey, when asked “what sports you think is the coolest”, “skiing” is a top pick. Furthermore, the survey shows that 49.2% of users among which 51.3% are women, think that high-end sports products are not stylish enough.

The outdoor sports market represented by “skiing” is aiming more and more at “high-end” and “fashionable”. As an Athluxury Sports brand, BOGNER’s entrance in China marks a break from the previous standards of traditional ski suits.

Why Did BOGNER Attract Investment from BOSIDENG?

It is said that the two parties have been communicating on a partnership since 2019. They have overcome obstacles to achieve a strategic cooperation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. What brand assets does BOGNER have that make it so appealing to BOSIDENG?

In this regard, Luxe.CO listed three:

  • Symbiosis of “skiing + fashion”

Sports brands that can provide professional products are not rare in the global outdoor market. However, those with fashionable designs ever since their establishment are hard to come by.

In 1932, professional skier Willy Bogner Sr. founded WILLY-BOGNER-SKIVER-TRIEB, a Munich-based import business for skis, equipment and Norwegian knit wear. In 1937, his marriage with fashion designer Maria Bogner introduced fashion design to the brand DNA.

In 1948, Maria led the design and development of trousers made out of stretch material with stirrups, and they took off. Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield were spotted wearing them. In America, the word “Bogners” was included in the dictionary as a synonym of “ski pants.” Maria was referred to as the “Queen of Ski Pants.”

“Maria Bogner created the iconic B zipper in 1955 and it has become the unique brand symbol of Bogner. Many fashion brands followed this design later on,” William Yang points out, “It’s safe to say that BOGNENR is a pioneer in branding in the skiwear sector.”


  • Visual assets

Willy Bogner Jr. was part of the second generation of BOGNER and a former skier who retired in 1969 to focus on filmmaking and photography. Thanks to him, BOGNER enjoys a rich heritage of visual assets. The pop-up space in the BOGNER store at WF Central in Beijing is dedicated to his works including posters and movie clips.

Willy Bogner Jr. participated in four James Bond movies as the cameraman and director for skiing scenes, and was credited as a “world-class photographer specializing in skiing.” He directed and shot his first sports film FIRE and ICE in 1986; and received a Bavarian Film Award for it. Later on, he presented a new brand called FIRE+ICE named after this film. This brand is geared toward younger and more fashion-driven shoppers.

“By using movie-making as a advertising tool, Willy Bogner Jr. promoted the brand and skiing as a new lifestyle to people,” William Yang adds, “The control and pursuit of visual presentation are also ingrained in the brand DNA.”


  • Product strength: specialization and product line

BOGNER has been the sponsor for the national team of Germany and German Ski Association since the Winter Olympic Games in 1936. October 3, 2002 marked the 12th anniversary of a united Germany. Willy Bogner Jr. opened a giant-sized B zipper to reveal the renovated Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Displayed in the store at WF Central in Beijing were antique garments shipped from the German headquarters. They included a pair of  trousers mentioned before named Formula W., an iconic costume in the movie FIRE and ICE, B zippers and sportswear for the national team of the Winter Olympics.

William Yang says that BOGNER’s headquarters in Germany is still in charge of the design and supply chain of the global market.

“Another strength of BOGNER is that it designs outfits for all seasons. In the clothing and retail industries, this puts a lot of stress on the integrity of the supply chain and design capability of a brand,” William Yang adds.

In its Tmall flagship store, BOGNER covers all categories of ski fashion, entailing 200 plus SKU, which is remarkable for an outdoor brand that just entered the Chinese market. Furthermore, according to William Yang, BOGNER is one of the few outdoor brands that offers a selection of leather boots.

How Would BOGNER Expand in China with the Help of BOSIDENG?

In addition to the WF Central store, BOGNER also has pop-up boutiques in SKP Beijing and Lake Songhua Resort. In the future, BOGNER plans to set up stores in high-end malls in first-tier cities including a second direct-sale store at Plaza 66 in Shanghai.

According to William Yang, within the first five years of BOGNER’s and FIRE+ICE’s entrance in China, the brands will establish a business network containing 80 brick and mortar retail stores.

The goal cannot be achieved without BOSIDENG’s help in its operation and retail network of the local market. Over the past three years, BOSIDENG has begun to conduct strategic transformation and brand upgrading. According to Euromonitor International, in terms of both retail volume sales and retail value sales, the Bosideng Group’s down jackets products ranked number one globally in 2020. By March 31, 2021, the number of retail outlets exceeded 4,001.

William Yang believes that to achieve success in China, three conditions must be met simultaneously—timing, a suitable partner and a team that can understand the brand DNA.

As early as 2019, the plan of a joint venture with BOSIDENG has been discussed and the project was launched in 2021 before the Winter Games Beijing 2022. A basic business framework was also forged at that time. Currently, our team in Greater China consists of professionals from both sports and luxury goods sectors, which is in line with BOGNER’s identity as an “ATHLUXURY” brand.

The joint venture is being headed by William Yang, general manager of Greater China for BOGNER. He previously held that title for AMER Sports in China. Flora Zhang is BOGNER’s marketing director for Greater China. Formerly worked for Lululemon, she helped the brand’s entrance, expansion and solidification in China. Tracy Han, a former LVMH executive, is handling the finance role.

In December 2021, BOGNER announced young Chinese actor Yang Yang as its brand ambassador. Yang has over 56 million followers on Sina Weibo and the announcement on the social media platform was reposted over 1 million times; BOGNER has set up official accounts on multiple Chinese social media platforms such as WeChat, Weibo and Xiaohongshu (Little Red Book); BOGNER also has a presence on the e-commerce platform Tmall and its flagship store has joined Tmall’s “Luxury Pavilion.”

When asked how BOGNER plans on conveying brand concept through retail, William Yang says: “The Chinese market enjoys a different business format than its European counterpart. It’s crucial for brands to have strong online and offline retail and operation skills. Our focus is now on direct-sale stores.

As a brand that puts much emphasis on visual representation, we think that BOGNER’s showcases will become a popular background for photo-taking so that many users on Xiaohongshu would share their pictures.

Apart from direct-sale stores, we will partner with multi-brand ski stores and resorts to provide one-stop shopping experience.”

| Photo Credit: BOSIDENG, BOGNER

| Writer: Jiaqi Wang


Your email address will not be published.