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更新时间:2015-7-6 9:15:34 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

For Ramadan, Courting the Muslim Shopper

On his Armani/Dolci website and in his sweets emporiums across the Middle East, Giorgio Armani is offering a box of chocolates, date-and-honey-filled pralines sans alcohol.

乔治·阿玛尼(Giorgio Armani)在自己的糖果品牌Armani/Dolci的线上和中东各地的实体店推出一款巧克力糖,它不含酒精,有大枣和蜂蜜填心。

But his gracious gesture has nothing on that of Monique Lhuillier, who is selling a selection of caftans on the upscale Moda Operandi site, including a version in virginal white embroidered with cascades of field flowers.

但是与莫尼克·鲁里耶(Monique Lhuillier)相比,阿玛尼这一亲切举措都不算什么。鲁里耶正在高档的Moda Operandi网店销售一系列精选宽松束腰长袖长袍,其中一款是绣着野花的纯白色长裙。

Nor can it compete with Tommy Hilfiger, whose 11-piece capsule collection, available at Hilfiger stores in the Middle East, incorporates temptations like a cowl-neck black satin evening dress and a long-sleeve teal gown slit, a bit indecorously, from instep to knee.

阿玛尼的举措也无法与汤米·希尔费格(Tommy Hilfiger)相提并论,后者在自己的中东店铺里销售11件胶囊系列,包括胸前皱领黑色绸缎晚礼服和蓝绿色长袖开叉长裙(从脚背开到膝盖,有点不合礼节)。

Mr. Hilfiger is among the latest in a handful of designers and merchants seeking to capitalize on the advent of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic lunar calendar. (It ends this year on July 17.) A time of fasting and contemplation alternating in the evenings with festive gatherings of family and friends, it has emerged in recent years as a month of extravagant spending that is rivaled, some say, only by Christmas.


As far back as 2012, Euromonitor International, a market research firm in London, took note. “Like Christmas, a religious context serves as a reason for families and friends to come together,” Ilse Thomele, an analyst, observed, predicting, “a typical ‘Ramadan consumer’ is likely to emerge in the same way as the Christmas shopper as a global phenomenon.”

2012年,伦敦的市场调查公司欧睿国际(Euromonitor International)已经注意到这种趋势。该公司的分析师伊尔丝·汤米利(Ilse Thomele)说,“和圣诞节一样,宗教习俗给家人和朋友提供了一个相聚的机会”。她预测,“与圣诞节购物成为全球现象一样,可能会出现典型的‘斋月消费’。”

That notion was not lost on Net-a-Porter, which last month heralded the month with the online announcement of a “Ramadan Edit,” featuring two fair-haired models glamorously posed in flowing garments against a backdrop of parched earth.

电商Net-a-Porter没有错过这个机会。上个月,它在自己的网站上发布“斋月特辑”(Ramadan Edit),宣告斋月的到来——两位金发模特身穿飘逸的长裙摆出迷人的姿势,背景是干燥的土地。

The gambit was a bold one. “It’s the first time we’re talking to Ramadan so directly,” said Holly Russell, the senior ready-to-wear buyer for Net-a-Porter. Thus far feedback on Facebook and other social networking sites has been positive. “We haven’t gauged quite yet the impact that it’s going to have,” she said.

这是个大胆的举措。“这是我们首次如此直接地谈论斋月,”Net-a-Porter网站的高级成衣买手霍莉·拉塞尔(Holly Russell)说。到目前为止,Facebook等社交网站的反馈都是正面的。“我们还没有估量它会产生怎样的影响,”她说。

One thing is certain: Such appeals to a deep-pocketed segment of the Muslim community have rarely been more pointed or direct.


In London, where the annual influx of Middle Eastern shoppers has been termed the Ramadan rush, “Ramadan has long been every big store’s unspoken secret,” said Ed Burstell, the managing director of Liberty of London. Referring to the Net-a-Porter edit, he added, “This is the first time I’ve seen the Ramadan shopper so blatantly profiled.”

在伦敦,一年一度中东购物者的涌入被称为斋月热潮。伦敦利伯提百货公司(Liberty of London)的总经理埃德·博斯泰尔(Ed Burstell)说,“很久以来,斋月一直是所有大型百货公司心照不宣的秘密。提到Net-a-Porter的特辑时,他补充说,“这是我第一次看到如此公然取悦斋月购物者的宣传。”

Such efforts are bound to raise eyebrows, he said.


Indeed, the retail courtship of free-spending Muslims is being greeted skeptically in some quarters. The thing about corporations, said Fareeha Molvi, a young Muslim-American, in an essay on the Racked website, “is that they rarely do things out of sheer human goodwill.” For stores, Ms. Molvi observed, “Financial gains are a far greater motivator.”

的确,在某些地区,零售业对出手阔绰的穆斯林的奉承正遭到质疑。美国穆斯林青年法丽哈·莫勒维(Fareeha Molvi)在Racked网站发表的一篇文章中说,公司“做的事情很少完全是出于善意”。莫勒维认为,对商场来说,“经济利益是一个更重要的刺激因素。”

But profiling, to some minds, is just another word for canny marketing, the strategic, and progressive, attempt to identify consumers, women in particular, who have traditionally greeted Ramadan in their most lavish finery.


Many of them are ready to part with sums estimated to range from $300 to several thousand dollars in a single online or store visit, temporarily setting aside their abayas and burqas for ornately embroidered caftans, colorful gowns, loosefitting dusters and all manner of gilt-edged refinements to wear in the evening and through Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festivities to observe Ramadan’s end.


Ms. Russell describes those women as worldly, tech savvy and fashion aware. “They will look at the runway images, and if they see something they want, they will ask for it,” she said. Many are partial to items like an embroidered Oscar de la Renta caftan ($2,890), an amply proportioned bib-front silk Valentino midi-dress ($3,790) or, on the sportier side, a zip-front Stella McCartney stretch-crepe top ($665).

拉塞尔说,那些女人比较世俗,熟悉技术,了解时尚。“她们会观看秀台造型,如果看到想要的服装,就想得到它,”她说。很多人偏爱奥斯卡·德拉伦塔(Oscar de la Renta)的刺绣束腰长裙(2890美元)、华伦天奴(Valentino)的围裙式前胸宽松丝绸中长裙(3790美元),或者更具运动感的斯特拉·麦卡特尼(Stella McCartney)带拉链弹力绉绸上衣(665美元)。

Shoppers visiting Moda Operandi, which introduced an online pre-Ramadan trunk show as early as February, expect exclusivity, said Jamie Freed, the vice president for customer experience. Though luxury labels like Naeem Khan, Oscar de la Renta, Monique Lhuillier and Badgley Mischka have been popular, clients — “women who dress for other women,” as Ms. Freed observed — are “less concerned with labels than with having something that no one else has.”

Moda Operandi网站的客户体验副总裁杰米·弗里德(Jamie Freed)说,该网站的顾客想要的是独一无二的东西。该网站早在2月份就推出了斋月前非公开在线时装秀。虽然Naeem Khan、奥斯卡·德拉伦塔、莫尼克·鲁里耶和Badgley Mischka等奢侈品牌很受欢迎,但是顾客们——“妆扮给其他女人看的女人们”(弗里德的原话)——“不太在意品牌,更在意拥有其他人没有的东西”。

Others have been more tentative in their marketing efforts. Indeed, even fashion houses like Hilfiger and DKNY, which is offering, for the second consecutive year, a special Ramadan collection, have scarcely dipped a toe in the water, their capsule lines sold strictly in the Middle East.


Some may view such cautious efforts as missed opportunities. According to a study released last year by the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, of two billion Muslims worldwide, about nine million are in North America. Sabiha Ansari, a consortium founder, puts Muslim spending power in the United States at $100 billion. Her hope, she said, is that American retailers will recognize Muslims in this country as a strong economic force.

有些人可能认为这样的谨慎是错失良机。美国穆斯林消费者联合会(American Muslim Consumer Consortium)去年发布的一项调查称,在全球的20亿穆斯林中,有大约900万生活在北美。联合会创始人萨比哈·安萨里(Sabiha Ansari)说,穆斯林在美国的消费额大约是1000亿美元。她说,她希望美国的零售商们能意识到本国的穆斯林也是一股强大的经济力量。

That message has dawned haltingly on high-end merchants. Neiman Marcus has yet to court the Muslim shoppers deliberately, but during a promotional calendar meeting at the headquarters last week, “Ramadan came up as an opportunity we need to understand better,” said Ginger Reeder, a spokeswoman for the store.

高端商场开始隐约意识到这一点。尼曼·马库斯百货公司(Neiman Marcus)尚未刻意取悦穆斯林顾客,但是在上周公司总部的推广日程会上,公司发言人金杰·里德(Ginger Reeder)说,“斋月是我们需要深入了解的一个机会。”

Was it a time for gift-giving, one that includes but is by no means limited to fashion?


“Possibly,” Ms. Reeder said. “We need to dig deeper to find out what the opportunities are.”