Jing Daily’s Top Posts For The Week
One of the most significant trends that has gained strength in the last two years has been the emergence of Hong Kong as Asia’s wine auction epicenter. Having only dropped its stiff wine tariff in February 2008, the one-time trickle of wine into Hong Kong has since become a sustained flood, with cashed-up Chinese buyers (both locals and Mainlanders) becoming some of the world’s most aggressive bidders at sell-out auctions and filling up pricey wine vaults throughout the city.
Over the past year, Sotheby’s has held eight sold-out wine auctions in Hong Kong, with the most recent pulling in HK$65.5 million (US$8.5 million), comfortably ahead of its pre-sale estimate of HK$19.9 million.
A relatively strong yuan, duty free shopping and better selection are among the top reasons that visitors from mainland China give for their cross-border shopping sprees in Hong Kong. While Hong Kong retailers have welcomed these free-spenders with open arms — not surprising, considering the money they made from the record 662,248 mainland Chinese who traveled to the city during the recent “Golden Week” holiday — luxury brands, many of which have sunk millions into the mainland China market, would like to see Chinese shoppers spending locally. However, stemming this Hong Kong-bound tide has been anything but easy.
Earlier this year, Bain and Company’s Bruno Lannes and Xuan Wang commented on the complexity of this issue for major brands, noting that many luxury brands have essentially shifted their focus to second- and third-tier cities in the hopes of finding “captive” markets.
This week, the Wall Street Journal posted an interview with Cartier’s Nigel Luk, managing director of Far East operations.
Reflecting on Cartier’s 40 years in the Hong Kong market, and growing presence in mainland China, Luk points out many attributes unique to Chinese consumers — a focus on iconic products, a cool reception to overt Orientalism by foreign luxury brands, and a love of traditionally Asian materials, such as jade.
Over the weekend in Beijing, Estée Lauder celebrated the unveiling of the new Pure Color Metamorphosis make-up series, a limited edition series designed to appeal to the modern Chinese woman. Arriving on the red carpet at Ch’ianmen 23, honored guests of the night included Estée Lauder executives Jane Hertzmark Hudis and Aerin Lauder; Creative Makeup Director, Tom Pecheux; and Taiwanese male supermodel, Gao Xiang. The night culminated in a make-up show, with an array of Chinese supermodels wearing looks from Derek Lam’s 2011 Spring show and make-up from the Pure Color Metamorphosis line.
The event marks Liu Wen’s official debut as Estée Lauder’s new global spokeswoman, following the company’s initial announcement in April.
Last week, New York’s China Institute hosted a discussion by Senior Lecturer Ben Wang and a performance of classical vignettes by Yang Yu Bao, the “Singing Delivery Man,” the subject of a recent profile by the New York Daily News. The lecture and performance was inspired by an image in the China Institute’s current Chinese woodcut exhibit as well as the institute’s sponsorship of Peking Opera star Mei Lanfang’s New York tour in 1930. Ben Wang began by describing how he first heard Peking Opera in the form of one of Mei’s records and grew to love it.
After briefly discussing the history of Peking Opera, Wang introduced Yang Yu Bao, a performer that Wang considers one of the best he’s ever seen.