U.S. multi-brand fashion house The Webster is collaborating with luxury department store Lane Crawford to shower Greater China with Miami vibes in time for summer.
A cocktail event in Shanghai on Friday celebrated the launch of The Webster’s pop-up shop at Lane Crawford, offering VIP guests the chance to peruse a curated selection of South Beach-inspired fashion and lifestyle offerings. The vibrant pop-up features a tropical art deco inspired beach club installation, including neon signs, straw beach huts, oversized brightly colored palm trees and inflatable flamingos—the symbol of The Webster brand.
Founded in 2009, The Webster boutique is a multi-brand fashion house with five locations in the United States, including stores in Miami, Houston, and Orange County. Founder and CEO French-born Laure Heriard Dubreuil told Jing Daily, “The fascination with Miami comes from a time when I was visiting New York for a previous job at Yves Saint Laurent. It was horrible weather, New York was cold, and there was all that slushy snow outside. Some friends invited me to Art Basel in Miami and I decided to go. From the moment I got there I was struck by the colors, the art deco, and the life of the place.
“But I realized pretty soon that I had nothing to wear! That was where the inspiration came from.”
The Webster collection will be available in Lane Crawford stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing through early summer. The worldwide exclusive collection has invited over 20 brands, including Bonpoint, Coach, Ground Zero, Paco Rabanne, Rosie Assoulin, Tortoise, and Thom Browne, to offer their take on the energy of Miami.
Marking mainland China and Hong Kong as the first set of global locations after the United States, The Webster boutique is betting on the collection’s universal appeal to draw in the Chinese consumer. “Miami beach colors and the beauty of it all, I don’t know one person who doesn’t like it,” explains Heriard-Dubreuil. “The collection hasn’t really been curated specifically for the Chinese market, but we believe it to be accessible to everyone.”
Heriard-Dubreuil, who studied Mandarin at a university in China before moving to the States to pursue fashion, saw China as the ideal next step for the brand. “We’ve always found our collections are popular with the Chinese market, especially with opening our store in Orange County and the large Chinese population there,” she said. “We have a very big, growing Chinese customer and clientele, so now seemed like the right time to try something in China.”
By collaborating with established Chinese department store Lane Crawford, Heriard-Dubreuil hopes to see an even smoother transition into the Chinese market. “We’ve chosen to bring a lot of brands that Lane Crawford were already carrying, so the Chinese consumer are already aware of the brands,” she said. “The Chinese public are already accustomed to these brands, but the Miami style presents a new sense of having fun, color, and freshness.”
With the pop-up shops only open until early summer, Heriard-Dubreuil explained that it might be the start of more things to come for the boutique in China. “We really hope to continue launching our collection in China, but who knows in what exact direction that will take. I’d certainly like to work with some Chinese designers and I really think our Chinese clients, particularly in Orange County, would like being able to relate to those brands.”
The boutique brings with it what the CEO describes as “360 degrees of lifestyle” with womenswear, menswear, shoes, accessories, and home and lifestyle products including quirky deckchairs, pool-side inflatables, and children’s lunchboxes. Hoping to be a hit with the modern Chinese consumer, The Webster looks set to test the waters in the Chinese market this summer before the possibility of a more permanent endeavor.