For Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette’s Beijing opening on September 28, it teamed up with a Chinese designer for the first time ever to produce a special China-only collection entitled Simon Gao for Galeries Lafayette.
Beijing native Simon Gao has made a name for himself as a major force among up-and-coming young Chinese designers. The choice of the French retailer to collaborate with Gao shows its emphasis on localization, and the store will feature an area dedicated to Chinese designers called The Beijing Labo.
The promotional video for Gao’s line embedded above features (in order of their appearance) celebrity stylist Chen Xingru, fashion “it girl” Zhang Jiayi, model Shi Shi, public relations director Liu Jiani, fashion media pro Yang Diaohan, actress Zhang Jiani, and actress and singer Liu Yase expressing their support for Gao, as well as a short interview with Gao himself.
The new six-story, 47,000-square-foot Galeries Lafayette store is located at the junction of Xi’dan North Avenue and Lingjing Alley. The retailer certainly sees this as an important location—only its Paris flagship is larger. Galeries Lafayette opened in Beijing 15 years ago, but shut its doors only a year later due to disappointing sales. However, with many department stores such as Lane Crawford and 10 Corso Como expanding in both Beijing and Shanghai, it clearly sees now as the time to get back into China’s expanding retail market.