Wang Yibo, William Chan drive buzz for Chanel’s Cruise 2024 showcase in Shenzhen

Chanel today showcased its Cruise 2024 collection in Shenzhen, following a four-year break from presenting its runway in the mainland. Chinese stars, including actor Wang Yibo and singer William Chan, flooded the FROW to watch the widely anticipated, star-studded affair.

After debuting the collection in Los Angeles on May 9, hosting a replica runway in China’s tech hub seems like an unlikely choice. But for the French luxury giant, it was a calculated move.

“As China’s capital of design, innovation, and high technology, this destination, open to the world, creation, and the future, is the latest of many stopovers made by the Chanel cruise collection,” the maison said in a statement.

Inspired by Los Angeles, the collection is an “ode to the City of Angels.” The Chanel-clad basketball-like court, complete with the monolithic scoreboard that debuted in LA, was once again present. Models strutted through the setting sporting 1980s-era leg warmers, floaty kaftans, and pastel co-ords.

Chanel presented an LA-inspired collection in Shenzhen on November 2. Photo: Xiaohongshu

Netizens were quick to react on Xiaohongshu and Weibo. “After the passing of Karl Lagerfeld, Chanel’s venue design has lost its uniqueness. It’s too ordinary now!” one user penned. “There really is no sincerity; at least they could have unveiled something new,” another netizen wrote.

But it was the attendance of celebrities that drove the most conversation. Local KOLs such as Wang Yibo, Liu Wen, Zhou Xun, Jing Boran, Liu Shishi, and Xin Zhilei were the center of focus for online observers, demonstrating once again their colossal cultural pull across China.

Wang Yibo’s post about the Chanel Cruise 2024 show received 4.8 million likes on Weibo. Photo: Wang Yibo’s Weibo

Chanel has grappled with mixed reviews from fashion critics since appointing Virginie Viard as creative director in 2019. But even criticism and a global slowdown in demand for luxury goods haven’t stopped sales from skyrocketing. In the fiscal year ending December 31, Chanel’s revenue climbed 17 percent year on year to $17.2 billion, propelled by record-high sales in 2022.

The house also recently bumped up its prices by 6 percent to 8 percent across the Asia-Pacific region, citing exchange rate fluctuations.