Perhaps the defining moment in Mexico’s rise among the global fashion elite was this summer when the lords and ladies of the industry came to Mexico City for the Financial Times Luxury Conference, which shed light on the nation’s visibly booming luxury market. Since then, the impressive pace of retail activity has been fueled by the rollout of three new Dolce & Gabbana stores, along with two Prada boutiques and a flagship St. Laurent location planned for next year… But that’s just the beginning.
“With vistas as breathtaking as its nightlife is electrifying,Mexico’s fashion market is beginning to look as lively as the rest of the country,” writes The Business of Fashion online.
As Latin America’s second largest economy,Mexico also has the second highest number of millionaires and billionaires in the region. By comparing the market with Brazil, which is Mexico’s main rival in Latin America, it becomes apparent that the growing number of major fashion houses opening up in Mexico lately is part of a domino effect that will likely continue hereafter.
“Compared to other Latin American countries,Mexico is particularly well-positioned for business,” shared Carlos Salcido, chief marketing officer of upmarket Mexican department store chain Palacio de Hierro. “Today, we have 10 different free trade agreements with 45 countries in the three main continents and have modified tax rates with certain regions outside of these treaties.”
Things have really started to pick up in the Mexican economy, which had already been very stable for the past 20-plus years. The arrival of a new H&M store in Playa del Carmen will mark the brand’s expansion in Mexico, which is expected to reach at least seven more locations within the next couple of years.
“I’d say that luxury is the most exciting [market segment] at the moment, as we’ve seen an increase in expansion in this segment,” stated Kelly Talamas, editor-in-chief of Vogue Mexico & Latin America.
Other popular international brands with a growing presence in Mexico include Marc by Marc Jacobs, Theory, Emporio Armani, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Mango and Coach, to name only a few. The Liverpool department store dates back to mid-18th century Europe and now has stores covering the length and breadth of Mexico ,including popular locations in Playa del Carmen and Cancun.
“If we were to talk about specific partners who have helped us achieve this transition from high-end retailer to luxury, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co. and Salvatore Ferragamo were our pioneers,” shared Salcido.
Current estimates put Mexico’s apparel and footwear market at just shy of $30 billion, but analysts predict this number will swell by at least $10 billion over the next few years. In addition, the ready-to-wear designer piece of the fashion market pie is expected to grow by around 50 percent during the same period, growing from $1.9 billion in 2014 to at least $3 billion by 2018.