There’s no doubt that hosting a special exhibit can help a brand develop a more sophisticated image, enhance its artistic credibility, and educate consumers about its history. In 2013, luxury brands flocked to China to host a wide range of exhibits in retail stores, at art museums, and even in structures built specifically for the occasion. We’ve been keeping track of them all year, so look below for our list of the top five:
1. BMW’s Experience Center, Shanghai
The only non-fashion item on the list is actually a branded museum rather than an exhibit. Taking up a spot near the China Art Palace (formerly known as the Shanghai World Expo China Pavilion), the brand’s futuristic “Experience Center” showcases new and old BMW models, technological advances, and the company’s CSR initiatives in an aesthetically appealing space. In addition, the center holds cultural events such as its “Murakami Art Salon.” According to the company, the center is the “first step in China in BMW’s ‘Future Retail’ plan, a new marketing concept announced by the BMW Group last year.”
2. Chanel’s Little Black Jacket, Shanghai and Beijing
This summer’s Shanghai and Beijing openings of the Chanel Little Black Jacket exhibit were truly global affairs which highlighted China’s spot on the global fashion stage. With both Chinese and foreign celebrities such as Tilda Swinton, Li Yuchun, and Zhou Xun in attendance, the events made China a major stop for a worldwide exhibit showcasing Karl Lagerfeld’s photography of celebrities wearing the iconic Chanel piece.
3. Burberry’s Art Of The Trench, Shanghai
Merging a high-tech digital campaign with an in-store exhibit, Burberry’s Art of the Trench photography exhibit focused on showcasing local talent. The exhibit featured 50 Shanghai celebrities, including locally, nationally, and internationally famous figures wearing the iconic piece in images captured by photographer Trunk Xu. The traveling global campaign is tailored to each individual location it which it appears, and encouraged fans to participate by submitting their own trench self-portraits as well as unlocking exclusive content on WeChat.
4. Fendi’s Un Art Autre, Beijing
In contrast to other brands’ traveling global exhibitions, Fendi’s auspicious 88th anniversary exhibit in Beijing is all about China. While 88 may not be a typical number to celebrate in the West, Fendi was savvy enough to recognize the significance of the number eight in Chinese culture. Its special Un Art Autre exhibit that opened in October was housed in an eight-shaped structure, and highlighted the brand’s heritage and history.
5. Esprit Dior, Shanghai
After somewhat of a false start at Beijing’s National Museum in 2012, Dior was finally able to unveil its Esprit Dior exhibit in Shanghai this fall. Housed at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai, the exhibit elevates Dior’s pieces as works of art. This year, the brand’s Lady Dior as Seen by exhibit also landed in Hong Kong, after previously appearing in Beijing and Shanghai over the years.