Week In Review: February 28 - March 4

    In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of February 28 - March 4.
    Jing DailyAuthor
      Published   in Fashion

    Jing Daily’s Top Posts for the Week#

    In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of February 28-March 4:

    No Logo
    No Logo

    Revisiting The Prospects For “No Logo” Luxury In China

    Are wealthy Chinese shoppers starting to forego Louis Vuitton and Gucci for lesser-known, less ostentatious brands? That was the contention of Richemont Group CEO Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye last week in Shanghai, where Richemont-owned Chloe held its Fifth Anniversary runway show, the company’s largest China event to date. Speaking to the AFP, de la Bourdonnaye said that while “China has been very fast at picking up the most well-known brands,” China’s more sophisticated consumers are “now looking for the brands that are not necessarily on the top of the radar screen. They’re looking for new interesting brands that bring something that other brands don’t bring.” Looking to bring low-key luxury to more of the country’s emerging second-tier cities, Chloe will open four new boutiques in China over the course of this year, adding to the 10 it currently operates, with stores planned for cities like Nanjing and Xi’an.

    But is “no logo” luxury really set to take off in status-obsessed China?
    Gao Minglu
    Gao Minglu

    Q&A: Gao Minglu, Curator Of MINDSPACE – Maximalism In Contrasts

    Curated by art critic and professor Gao Minglu, the group exhibition “MINDSPACE – Maximalism in Contrasts” is on view right now at the Frick University Gallery at the University of Pittsburgh. Featuring the work of contemporary Chinese artists Zhu Jinshi, Zhang Yu, Lei Hong and He Xiangyu, this exhibition explores Maximalism, a philosophy behind Chinese abstract art that places importance on the spiritual experience of the artist in the process of creation. Overthrowing assumptions about the meaning of art, Maximalism sees the meaning of art as transcending language and stemming from the dialogue between the artist and the material object, while often responding to and critiquing the rapidly changing material world.

    “MINDSPACE – Maximalism in Contrasts” first debuted last year at Contrasts Gallery in Shanghai, and will travel to Dallas, New York, and Los Angeles after it closes in Pittsburgh on March 18.
    Wang Jianlin (王建林)
    Wang Jianlin (王建林)

    China’s High Luxury Tax Under Fire

    China’s high luxury tax, which imposes a premium on imported high-end goods of up to 30 percent, is a hot topic in the Chinese-language media, and has only become more talked-about since the finding last fall by Bain & Company that over 50 percent of luxury purchases by Chinese shoppers in 2010 were made overseas. With Chinese shoppers looking for any way to sidestep the stiff luxury tax, whether through online shopping or trips to duty-free havens, the Chinese government has imposed tough retroactive taxes on purchases made in Hong Kong or Macau by mainland tourists via tougher enforcement of so-called “Rule 54.” However, Beijing isn’t the only one with a vested interest in getting Chinese shoppers to spend closer to home. In recent years, as foreign luxury brands have invested millions into their China operations only to see stores function more as showrooms than points of purchase, they’ve tried to fight consumer resistance to the luxury tax by releasing “China-only” limited edition collections to entice potential shoppers to stay local.

    This week, under the backdrop of Beijing’s annual National People’s Congress (两会), a new opponent to China’s luxury tax has emerged: Wang Jianlin (王建林), chairman of the Dalian Wanda Group.

    After Vineyard Acquisitions In France And Chile, Chinese Winemakers Targeting Italy, Australia, US, South Africa

    Following the Chinese state-owned conglomerate COFCO’s recent purchase of a 49-acre château in Bordeaux and takeover of the Chilean winery Biscottes, it appears that China’s thirst for wine has pushed its “big three” winemakers far beyond their country’s borders. Though domestically grown grapes account for the majority of wine sold by the COFCO-owned Great Wall and its main competitors Dynasty and Changyu, the stated ambitions of these wineries (which make up more than 90 percent of the Chinese wine market) to move up the value chain and potentially into international markets has seen them scouring the world’s best wine-growing regions looking for bargains.

    While the relative cheapness of land in places like Bordeaux or Chile is certainly a factor in the decision by Chinese companies to branch into uncertain lands, there are two arguably more important selling points: the quality of the land and the PR value. Though the quality of made-in-China wine, particularly from smaller independent wineries like Grace, is gradually increasing, once Chinese wineries get past a certain price point, most domestic consumers will simply pass it over for a similarly priced imported brand.
    M3 "Frosted Edition"
    M3 "Frosted Edition"

    BMW Unveils China Edition “Frosted” M3 Coupe: Only 40 Up For Grabs

    With a decidedly more sinister look than last year’s ferocious M3 Tiger, BMW’s newest limited edition M3 Coupe is set to arrive in China just in time for spring. Sporting a unique matte paint job, only 40 “Frosted Edition” M3s will be available in China, 20 in black and 20 in gray. Bolstered by the success of the China-only M3 Tiger, all 30 of which sold out instantly last September, as well as the popularity of the “M Legend Experience Day” event held in four cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu) last December, it was likely an easy choice for BMW to introduce its “Frosted Edition” M3 to one of the company’s most important markets.

    Despite their hefty price tag of 1.2 million yuan (US$187,000), expect these all-black (or all-gray) cars to be snapped up almost as quickly as they arrive in the country.
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