While China’s stodgy bureaucrats were prevented from holding banquets and downing baijiu this year, the country’s celebrities and luxury brands still had free reign to celebrate in high style. From exhibits to store openings to anniversaries, 2013 was a year full of glamorous, star-studded events for luxury brands in China. Although there were many, Jing Daily has narrowed down the top 10 of the year, which are listed below. Be sure to let us know your favorite events of the year in the comments or on social media, and check out our full year-end coverage here.
1. Lane Crawford’s Shanghai opening
The Hong Kong luxury retailer opened a massive 150,000-square-foot store in Shanghai this October, and made sure to throw a party to match with a red carpet event featuring celebrities such as actress Carina Lau, actress Maggie Cheung, supermodel Du Juan, as well as 3,000 guests, live performances, specialty cocktails, and “vigilante judges” providing “Fair and Honest Appraisals of Your Appearance.”
2. Louis Vuitton’s Beijing opening
To celebrate its July store opening at Shin Kong Place, the luxe label invited a plethora of China’s top stars, including actress Fan Bingbing, pop star Li Zhiting, models Du Juan and Liu Wen, and actress Carina Lau to show up clad head-to-toe in LV. From the looks of the stars’ handbags, the brand was clearly promoting its logo-free styles in response to the decline in popularity of logos in 2013.
3. Chanel’s Little Black Jacket Shanghai and Beijing openings
To celebrate the exhibit that made Jing Daily’s list of the top five luxury exhibits of the year, Chanel threw glamorous parties in both Beijing and Shanghai this June. Attendees in Shanghai included Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, Chinese musician Li Yuchun, Chinese model Sui He, and South Korean actress Song Hye-kyo, while Beijing featured actress and singer Zhou Xun, French actress Virginie Ledoyen, Chinese model Sun Feifei, and fashion blogger and stylist Han Huohuo.
4. Galeries Lafayette’s Beijing opening
A sparkling Eiffel Tower replica was the centerpiece of the French department store’s celebrity-filled Beijing flagship opening in October. The 350,000-square-foot space is the retailer’s second-largest location in the world after its Paris store. Hundreds of onlookers gathered at the event to get a glimpse of celebrities including French actress Audrey Tatou and Hong Kong actors Aaron Kwok, Chilam Cheung, and Shawn Yue.
5. Tiffany’s Brilliant Legacy celebration
Rounding out the year of luxury celebrations was the jeweler’s December unveiling of its new Beijing exhibit featuring the iconic yellow Tiffany Diamond. Celebrities such as Carina Lau gathered at a black tie dinner party, and were entertained by renowned composer Tan Dun of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
6. Porsche’s 50th anniversary party in Beijing
The luxury automaker took over the Imperial Ancestral Temple just outside the Forbidden City in Beijing for one night in October to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its 911 model. While hosting a fancy dinner, the company treated guests to a spectacular animation projected on the front of the temple.
7. Stella McCartney’s Shanghai extravaganza
The highlight of the designer’s whirlwind four-day tour of China this May was her Shanghai dinner and variety show, which was attended by Chinese celebrities and complete with jazz orchestras, ballroom dancers, acrobats, and opera singers.
8. Burberry’s Art of the Trench opening
Held at the fashion house’s brand-new store in K11 Art Mall, the British label gathered celebrities and performers for a celebration of its high-tech Art of the Trench exhibit, which, like Chanel’s Little Black Jacket show, also made our list of the top five exhibits of the year.
9. Lacoste’s Beijing anniversary party
The brand’s luxe 80th anniversary celebration at the 798 Art District this October clearly showed off its efforts to project both French heritage and an upscale image. Birthday “gifts” included a crocodile skin Hermès bag, brooches from Boucheron, a silver Christofle golf club, a travel bag from Goyard, a notebook and pens from S.T. Dupont, a crystal Baccarat vase, and a set of ceramic golf tees from Bernardaud.
10. Bulgari’s Shanghai opening
After the opening of LVMH’s brand new L’Avenue luxury mall by Shanghai’s Hongqiao Park in June, individual brands within the mall had the opportunity to celebrate their store openings. One of the highlights was jewelry brand Bulgari’s glamorous cocktail party featuring Oscar-nominated actress Jessica Chastain, 300 guests, and 200 members of the media.
We tried to narrow it down to just 10, but we can’t fail to mention two additional epic events: Perrier’s pop art anniversary party in Shanghai, which came complete with bottle gowns and green men, and Hublot’s Kobe Bryant dinner in Beijing, which likely scored some major points with VIP clients thanks to the popularity of basketball in China.