Creative Director Hedi Slimane’s First Step In A New Direction
Already with a notable presence in multibrand stores and malls across Shanghai, Hong Kong, Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Harbin, and Wuhan, today French luxury fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, led by creative director Hedi Slimane, launched the brand’s first ready-to-wear Saint Laurent Paris boutique at Shanghai’s Réel Department Store. Taking up 3,200 square feet, Saint Laurent Paris Shanghai is part one of a rollout of boutiques set to open in the months ahead in Berlin and Paris.
Largely monochrome and clad in black and white marble, raw concrete, gold, silver, and mirrored glass, the space references the French Art Deco and Union des Artistes Modernes (French Union of Modern Artists) movements with 1930s-inspired displays and furnishings — a totally new store concept reflecting Slimane’s intention to catapult the brand in a new direction.
But a new store opening, in itself, isn’t really news. The important aspect of this story is Shanghai being chosen as the first location for Saint Laurent Paris, beating out the likes of Tokyo, London or New York and leading the way for the brand in advance of its later European openings. Though the torrid growth rates seen in China’s high-end fashion market over the past three years have slowed, Shanghai and China at large remain key markets for luxury brands looking to the country for continued growth and expansion.
Considering the store’s less than one day old, it’s too early to make grand predictions, but we’re largely optimistic about the future of Saint Laurent Paris in Shanghai. With a more subtle logo, we anticipate Shanghai’s more sophisticated shoppers will give the brand a warm reception as their tastes stray from the usual logo-heavy eyesores. Factor in the long-time love affair that many of China’s luxury consumers have had with all things French, and the flagship seems that much more promising.
For now, the boutique will stock products designed by Slimane’s predecessor, Stefano Pilati, while Slimane’s new collections are expected to hit shelves in January 2013.
Saint Laurent Paris
Réel Department Store
1600 Nanjing Xi Lu, Shanghai