Stella McCartney: High-Profile Events Underscore Brand’s China Ambitions

Four-Day Tour Amps New Stores in Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong

Tan Yuan, Stella McCartney, and Bonnie Chen. (Women's Wear Daily)

Tan Yuan, Stella McCartney, and Bonnie Chen at the designer’s Shanghai black-tie event. (Women’s Wear Daily)

This week, British fashion designer Stella McCartney wraps up a four-day event-filled Asia visit as she expands her label’s presence in China. With her brand’s number of store locations on the mainland and Hong Kong slated to double, she hopes to attract Chinese clients with a series of high-profile events emphasizing brand heritage and a VIP mentality that have been popular strategies for an increasing number of luxury brands in China.

Her China visit started out with a party celebrating the opening of her first Beijing store, which included an English pub-style set up that gave attendees a sense of the brand’s British origins. In Shanghai, the designer held a spectacular dinner and variety show complete with jazz orchestras, ballroom dancers, acrobats, and opera singers. The black-tie event was held at Shanghai’s Astor House Hotel and featured a dance routine by some of China’s most famous models wearing her designs in lieu of a traditional runway show. She will soon be opening her second boutique in Shanghai.

These events are similar to other brands’ increasing efforts to convey company heritage and deliver “special” experiences to Chinese customers. “People come here and they show collections in conventional ways, and we really wanted to bring the collection to life in a different way here,” she told Women’s Wear Daily. The trip will conclude with a runway show in Hong Kong, where she also plans to open a second store location.

The designer also recognizes Chinese consumers’ increasing focus on sophistication rather than on log0-heavy designs. According to Frederick Lukoff, president and chief executive officer of the company, China is “ready” for her label because “the Chinese consumer is gaining in sophistication at an unbelievable pace and that a brand like ours can succeed in China.”

Chinese model Tian Yuan at McCartney's Shanghai event. (Women's Wear Daily)

Chinese model Tian Yuan at McCartney’s Shanghai event. (Women’s Wear Daily)

Dancers at McCartney's Shanghai event. (Women's Wear Daily)

Dancers at McCartney’s Shanghai event. (Women’s Wear Daily)

An English pub-style setup at McCartney's new Beijing store conveys a sense of brand heritage. (Women's Wear Daily)

An English pub-style setup at McCartney’s new Beijing store conveys a sense of brand heritage. (Women’s Wear Daily)

 

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