About CLA

China Luxury Advisors counsels luxury brands, tourism boards, destinations and retailers on their China consumer strategy, ranging from market entry to digital to attracting, converting, and retaining Chinese customers worldwide. Some of our clients include:

We’re a global company with locations in New York, Beijing, Paris, and Los Angeles.


China Luxury Advisors' thought leadership.

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China Luxury Advisors Services include:

China Ready Training

CLA conducts a host of China-Ready trainings for tourism and destinations around the world, ranging from an introduction to Chinese tourism, to Serving Chinese Tourists and recent trends including the rise of FIT tourists and Chinese millennial tourists.

China Market Entry

China Luxury Advisors works with brands to enter the China market—from assessing the market opportunity to finding and vetting distributors to assisting in set-up and inception of a China entity.

In-Store Training

China Luxury Advisors works with luxury retailers to provide targeted training for store staff to better understand the Chinese consumer and develop targeted tactics to attract, convert and retain these valuable consumers.

China Strategy Workshops

China Luxury Advisors works with clients to contextualize the Chinese consumer opportunity, facilitating internal workshops, training and strategy sessions to align thinking around the unique nature of the Chinese consumer market.

Travel Media and Trade Outreach

China Luxury Advisors provides comprehensive travel trade services in the China market, ranging from tour operator research and outreach to travel media planning and public relations targeted to luxury travel media.

China Digital Strategy

China Luxury Advisors works closely with brands to develop successful and proven China digital strategies with maximum ROI, then oversee rollout and execution.

Chinese Consumer Intelligence

China Luxury Advisors engages in custom intelligence for clients on Chinese luxury consumer behavior and outbound Chinese tourist-shopper trends. Working with travel partners in North America, Europe, and China, CLA gains rare access and insight into a private yet free-spending consumer base.

Influencer Engagement

China Luxury Advisors leverages its deep network of Chinese influencers and Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs) in China and worldwide, to help brands reach and engage target demographics.

Luxury Consumer Engagement

China Luxury Advisors works with brands to create custom consumer engagement opportunities that drive traffic and build consumer understanding of a brand’s heritage and history in their home country.

Chinese Outbound Traveler Strategy

China Luxury Advisors works with luxury brands to develop comprehensive strategies to attract, convert and build loyalty with Chinese consumers as they travel around the world.

In addition to the above services, China Luxury Advisors partners with its extensive network of practitioners to offer a wide range of advisory services for luxury brands seeking assistance with this unique and often challenging market.


China Luxury Advisors' team includes a roster of experienced China operators and strategists.

Sage Brennan


Sage first visited China in 1987, and has been studying and speaking the language and culture ever since. He has worked in China as a researcher, investor, entrepreneur, journalist and advisor, with a specialization in digital, mobile and strategy.

Sage contributed the weekly “Sage Brennan’s This Week in China” column to Dow Jones’ MarketWatch for two years, and remains a frequent commentator on China-related media and technology issues in print media and on programs such as CNBC’s Asia Squawk Box, Wall Street Journal and others.

Sage was a founder and curator of the Shanghai chapter of MobileMonday, with over 3,000 participants, and founded the TEDxShanghai chapter. He is also a regular speaker on China at conferences such as SouthXSouthwest, AdTech, ShopAmerica and others. A native of Boston, Sage holds both an MBA and an undergraduate degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and harbors a lifelong passion for Mandarin and China.

Renee Hartmann


Renee has been working and living in China since 2000, with a specialty in understanding and selling to the emerging Chinese consumer. She has worked as a brand owner, retail operator, consumer researcher, public relations specialist and market entry strategist in China.

Renee was co-founder of Shanghai-based apparel brand, Eno, and served as its COO and CFO for more than five years. Renee led the company’s fundraising efforts, which resulted in raising more than US$8 million from venture capital and angel investors. She oversaw Eno’s groundbreaking marketing practice, resulting in the company’s recognition as one of the Top Ten Most Innovative companies in China by Fast Company in 2010.

Renee holds a BBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. She holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and was named one of CNN’s “Top 20 People to Watch in Shanghai” in 2010. Renee has operated and lived in China for more than ten years and speaks Mandarin.

Philip Guarino

Director Europe

With business experience in more than 40 countries and travel to over 70, Philip brings both unique perspective and practical insight to the benefit of growing businesses. He has held numerous leadership positions in international business development and strategic planning in a variety of industries in the US, Europe and Latin America- both in corporate management and as an entrepreneur.

Philip graduated from Harvard College in 1992 with an A.B. in Government (International Relations) cum laude, where he was also the recipient of the John Harvard and Harvard College awards for academic achievement. He received a Masters in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 with a specialization in Entrepreneurial Management. He also completed adjunct studies in International Relations at the Universidad de Belgrano in Buenos Aires, Argentina (1990) and in business administration at the SDA Bocconi in Milan, Italy (1997).

Philip is fluent in five languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese) and is an avid- and intrepid- traveler.

Charlie Gu


Charlie Gu is a communications strategist with professional experience in global PR firms, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies. Fluent in Mandarin, English, (some French) and three other local Chinese dialects, he possesses a deep understanding of the Chinese culture, especially the diversity that is inherent within segments of the Chinese community.

Charlie is responsible for crafting and executing Chinese tourism marketing strategies for Beverly Center, a premier fashion destination in Los Angeles. At Beverly Center, Charlie helped launch a series of China-Ready tourism initiatives including a Chinese tour guide reception and Weibo account, and kick-started a partnership with key Chinese student groups in Los Angeles.

Before joining the CLA Team, Charlie worked at David Lang & Associates, a boutique public relations firm specializing in Asian community outreach and public affairs in Los Angeles, managing clients including Alameda Corridor East Construction Authority, LA Metro, Southern California Association of Governments and Hong Kong Tourism Board. Charlie has also worked for international PR firms including Weber Shandwick (in London) and Golin Harris (in Shanghai and Los Angeles), serving clients in a spectrum of industries from healthcare, government entities to food and international luxury brands.

Charlie holds a Master’s Degree in Strategic Public Relations from the Annenberg School for Communications at the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in Journalism from Shanghai International Studies University.

In the News

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13 July 2016

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02 June 2016

China’s Rich Kids Want Personalized, Digital Travel

31 May 2016

Millennials account for 73% of outbound tourists in China

14 May 2016

K.K.R. Selling Stake in the Fashion Group SMCP to Shandong Ruyi of China

01 April 2016

Versace to Bottega Court Local Shoppers as Jet-Set Demand Cools

01 April 2016

The latest destination for China’s billions: U.S. hotels

28 March 2016

How a Creative Campaign Boosted a Spanish Retailer’s WeChat Following Nearly 500%

10 March 2016

When Chinese consumers want Western goods, they turn to these U.S. intermediaries

07 March 2016

Can China End the Illicit ‘Daigou’ Trade?

05 February 2016

UK handed tax free spending boost as Chinese continue to travel

01 February 2016

Chinese company buys 60% of gay dating app Grindr

12 January 2016

Benefiting from luxury spending of Chinese millennials

11 January 2016

Chinese investors expand acquisitions worldwide to tap outbound Chinese travellers

13 December 2015

Guess who benefited most from Chinese shoppers in 2015?

01 December 2015

WeChat extends cashless payments to Chinese tourists overseas

01 December 2015

Middle-class Chinese boost Japan’s tourism push

20 November 2015

Japan Likely to Hit 2020 Tourism Goal Early, Thanks to Chinese Visitors

18 November 2015

Ctrip Strengthens Its Leadership Position In China With Stake In Rival Firm, Qunar

30 October 2015

China online travel firm Ctrip in tie-up with rival Qunar

27 October 2015

Chinese retail spend to hit $422bn by 2020

18 October 2015

Carnival Doubles Lines in China

13 October 2015

Chinese Tourists Defy Slowing Economy to Travel Abroad

06 October 2015

El gasto de los turistas chinos se va a duplicar en el año 2020.

02 October 2015

Chinese Tourists Will Spend $229 Billion Abroad in 2015

29 September 2015

The Future Of Wealthy Chinese Travelers & Luxury Spend

28 September 2015

China’s tourists lead the world in race to the shops

25 September 2015

Les groupes de luxe changent de stratégies pour faire face à la crise chinoise

21 September 2015

Chinese consumers will double overseas spending by 2020

17 September 2015

How Pasadena plans to attract Chinese tourists through ‘China Ready’ program

16 September 2015

China’s Turmoil May Stall Rebound in Watch Sales

08 September 2015

Can Luxury Brands Weather the China Storm?

01 September 2015

Luxury counselor Sage Brennan on China’s luxury spending

25 August 2015

Chinese Menswear Market

24 August 2015

What does the Chinese currency devaluation mean for the luxury industry?

12 August 2015

Chinese counterfeiting continues to thrive despite resistance

06 August 2015

LA clinic seeks to access Chinese fertility market

05 August 2015

Macau: The Economy and Future in Retail

03 August 2015

Gucci Owner Calls for Hong Kong Rent Cuts as Market Wilts

28 July 2015

Weak Euro Masks Lingering Woes at LVMH, Kering

26 July 2015

The Truth Behind Macau’s Luxury Market

15 July 2015

Fashion World Praises Court on Marriage Equality Ruling

26 June 2015

China’s Slowdown Means End of ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ for Foreign Luxury Brands

24 June 2015


15 June 2015

Gay Chinese couples marry in Los Angeles

10 June 2015

Luxury brands slash prices to fire up China market

08 June 2015

Alibaba Awards 10 Chinese Same-Sex Couples Weddings in WeHo

05 June 2015

Las marcas de lujo juegan a la ruleta rusa con el yuan

04 June 2015

Who’s Set to Benefit From Chinese Tourism This Summer? The USA

02 June 2015

Could Global Pricing Alignment Backfire?

01 June 2015

Big bang dans les prix du luxe en Chine

29 May 2015


26 May 2015

CHANEL’s China Price Cuts: Should Other Brands Do the Same?

20 May 2015

Targeting the Travelling Chinese Luxury Consumer

05 May 2015

The real Apple Watch goes on sale Friday in China, US

24 April 2015

Understanding the Chinese LGBT Traveler

17 April 2015

Price Drops Alone Won’t Boost Luxury Sales in China

14 April 2015

China Clamps Down On Grey Market Tourism

14 April 2015

How Chinese tourism boosts Los Angeles’ economy

25 March 2015

Apple Watch China Holds ‘Emotional’ Appeal For Young Gadget-Obsessed Urbanites

20 March 2015

Luxury Malls Bring Gucci Within Reach of More Chinese

19 March 2015

Chanel Acts on Prices as Euro Worsens Gray Market

17 March 2015

Luxury brands target affluents attending Hong Kong Art Week

16 March 2015

Nokia exit: Is China’s ‘golden age’ of foreign investment over?

09 March 2015

America: The new destination for rich Chinese shoppers

25 March 2015

Can Spain Compete With France For Chinese Tourists?

24 February 2015

Couture houses work to explore Chinese cultural appropriation at The Met

19 February 2015

Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat Branding (Continued)

18 February 2015

Chinese Corruption Crackdown Slams Sales of New Year’s Bling

17 February 2015

NYC’s posh Bergdorf Goodman cashes in on the Year of the Ram

17 February 2015

Luxury Brands Place Bets On Chinese New Year

10 February 2015

3 types of Chinese most concerned about Yuan

02 February 2015

China’s Two-Speed Luxury Market

29 January 2015

Going for China’s glam market

16 January 2015

Chinese luxury market dips

20 January 2015

Chinese Tourists Are Flooding Into The US Thanks To A New Visa Rule

21 January 2015

Year of the Goat: Luxury brands flock to China’s jet-set spenders

20 January 2015

Dubai, Abu Dhabi woo China’s “Seen It All” set

10 December 2014

China’s Blitz Against Corruption Hits Some U.S. Travel Companies

16 November 2014

Struggles Continue for Once-Mighty “Chinese Twitter” Platform Weibo

03 November 2014

Easy days are over in China

17 October 2014

Instantluxe To Sell Second-Hand Luxury to China’s Fashionistas

09 October 2014

Alibaba kicks off IPO global roadshow in NY

09 September 2014

Digging For Diamonds Among China’s ‘KOLs’

28 August 2014

Why China’s Leading Property Developer Is Giving Huge Discounts To Taobao Shoppers

25 August 2014

Big-Spending Chinese Overseas Students Become Luxury Brand Masters

07 August 2014

Consumers from China prefer niche luxury items

02 July 2014

US considers more easing of visa policy for Chinese

30 April 2014

Luxury in China Goes Down-Market to Reach Broader Consumer Base

20 May 2014

Luxury Outlets Sprout in China

13 May 2014

Así es la nueva China: del todo a cien al lujo a todo trapo

22 April 2014

Coach Outflanking Vuitton in China With $400 Handbags

27 February 2014

Despite Slowdown, the Cult of Luxury Grows in China

13 February 2014

China shoppers ring luxury tills from London to New York

16 December 2013

Luxury shopping firms bet on casino approach in China

01 May 2013

5 Habits of Outbound Chinese Travelers in 2014

23 December 2013

China shoppers ring luxury tills from London to New York

16 December 2013

Cash Heifers Are Here: The Luxurious Spending Habits Of Overseas Chinese Students

17 January 2014

U.S. Stores Race To Gain Chinese Clients In Year Of The Horse

03 February 2014

Chasing the high-end Chinese shopper, American style

27 January 2014

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