Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Interview With Hon Nguyen Huu, WOW Vietnam

World of Watches welcomes Vietnam to its fold of international presence with an exclusive interview with Hon Nguyen Huu

Dec 17, 2018 | By LUXUO

The luxury scene is booming all around the world. One would be surprised to know that Vietnam, a quaint city known for its rivers and Buddhist pagodas is expanding its luxury sphere as well. World of Watches welcomes Vietnam to its fold of international presence with an exclusive interview with CEO and Publisher of  WOW Vietnam Hon Nguyen Huu.

Interview With Hon Nguyen Huu, WOW Vietnam

Can you let us know more of the Vietnam luxury scene this past year? Were there new malls opened in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) that suggest that the luxury goods market is healthy?

Well, for me, luxury has never been a big party. To my friends, their business results for luxury brand offices in Vietnam are getting better. Some said that with the stagnant markets in Singapore and Thailand, the chances are shifted to Vietnam. Not only for fashion or watches, I have seen lots of exciting events which marked a good year for luxury brands in Vietnam. And pretty sure for the coming year.

However, it doesn’t mean we have good preparation for this growth. People – the main force behind all luxury services in Vietnam – are not qualified enough for the demand. Customers who pay a lot of money for high-end experience will also require a lots from service providers, that’s why marketers will have to equip themselves with professionalism and deep knowledge in this territory. I hope that brand leaders will pay more attention to this.

“business results for luxury brand offices in Vietnam are getting better,”

Landmark 81 is one of the newest shopping centres opening this year. It’s the tallest skyscraper in SEA and top ten around the world with shopping area of 59,000 sqm. Besides, bars and sky view gyms also signal the rapid growth of luxury brands coming to this Saigon riverside building. Another shopping mall – Union Square – which is under renovation with the model of hotel-shopping mall will be opened in district 1 soon.

I love the vintage look and value of the heritage, if I were to choose a place for shopping, I’d love Rex Hotel. At this heritage hotel, Jonathan Hanh Nguyen has invested and opened new boutiques of Rolex, Chanel, Salvatore Ferragamo, Bvlgari, Cartier…

Which luxury brands seem to blend very well with the affluent Vietnamese consumers? On the fashion side, or on the watch side?

Each brand will offer to customers the shopping and service experience with their own high-quality standards. I like the way of Hermes, Cartier, Rolex, Omega, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Prada are keeping their loyal customers. This is real for consumers and brands stories. Recently, Gucci or HYT has brought a new fresh approach towards Millennials and Gen Z. To talk about watch particularly, the independent and classic brands are turning attention to Vietnamese consumers. Vietnamese are not concerned with spending money, they just love the uniqueness and pay a lot for their ownership when possible.

And a special thing is luxury consumers are often quiet, so it’s hard to tell which brand is doing better.

 WOW Vietnam has already had many fans in Vietnam, what is the magazine’s specific positioning and why is it appreciated by both watch lovers and also more knowledgeable watch collectors?

Firstly, content is our unparalleled strength that no other magazine has, due to the fact that our editors have deep knowledge in watches. The close relationship with watch collectors are both pride and pressure for us to improve our issues day by day. WOW Singapore is a good link between customers and us, to provide perfect content that continuously makes the magazine which has licenses in 9 countries even stronger.

Secondly, a distribution network to 300 watch collectors and clubs who have deep passion for watches, this has always been WOW appreciation. We also have the wide coverage of 500 stalls in 63 provinces and boutiques, hotels, galleries and big restaurants. Even at the favourite places of millennials, like the Hidden Archive event, I have seen some 9X wearing Panerai or Speake-Marin while they auction their clothes collection. This is a new surprise which requires WOW to have proper moves in the future.

You will be launching LUXUO.VN in Vietnam within the next quarter, what will be specific to the luxury news portal, and how will it be different from existing luxury news channels ?

LUXUO.VN is the first online issue about luxury life in Vietnam. Being the pioneer brings us more pressure and challenges. I still believe we need a good content strategy before starting doing different things with Luxuo. That’s why different perspectives about the luxury market, shopping and luxury brands culture will be reflected in with focus, deep and lively perspectives. We provide the best things on, from shopping choices, market views, brands stories and people.

The information about luxury brands is not in printed versions only. Digital magazine and media also play their own roles. This makes the magazines’ marketing change. But interesting pressure indeed.

Are there Special events and activations planned? How will you engage luxury goods lovers and watch collectors?

Sure, the very first thing is that there will be a launch event on 17th Jan 2019. Each WOW issue will have a separate offline event to connect us with watch collectors. Moreover, Luxuo Network Private Event is being rolled out.

Where do you see LUXUO in Vietnam two years from now?’

The Vietnamese always say: “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”. Just to let you know, I am still very excited with plans for the next 2 years.

Tell us about the founders and team behind your Media Group and why you are highly confident of the success of WOW and LUXUO in Vietnam.

You know, we have very experienced members, and for the newcomers, they are appreciated with high passion. Our editors are the ones who have worked for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, Wow Vietnam, L’Officiel Vietnam, and Elle Vietnam before they came to SR. We also have a marketing team consisting of a watch collector and a fashion-influencer. Socially-savvy lives of young members make us stay updated with the market. We will do great, I hope.

Who is one person or one mentor who has inspired you in your life ?

There’s a philosophy I have pursued in all of my careers and I think it makes my success today, it is “Always say Yes”. Yes to a job, yes to a meeting, yes to a coffee meet up, or yes in helping a friend because you will never know what the future will bring you. Just make the most out of the present. In other ways, I am trying my best to be approachable. I always focus on the things that matter rather than being cool. Focus on caring for people is a foundation of meaningful and purposeful life. You have to dream of bigger things than yourself.

Who taught me this? It’s my Mom.

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