It’s been a mere two weeks since Liu Wen dazzled her social media followers and Vogue’s best-dressed list jury in a sheer bodice and denim Off-White gown at the Met Gala, and Off-White founder Virgil Abloh has already treated Chinese zealots to a new flagship store in Shanghai. The space, called “Structurally Sound” and located in Shanghai’s Reel Department Store in Jingan, features the latest men’s and women’s clothing collections from Abloh, Kanye West’s creative director, alongside his freshly debuted array of colorful, cage-like furniture.
Off-White also opened its second store in Hong Kong, at 9 Queen’s Road Central, along with an exclusive capsule launch featuring black and white hoodies, t-shirts, accessories, and leather bags displaying an interpretation of the brand’s logo. The designer currently has two other mainland China locations, including one in Shanghai’s I.T. department store and one in Beijing’s Galeries Lafayette. Abloh also has several other shops across Asia, but soon plans on expanding Off-White’s presence in Europe and the United States, including new locations in New York and Paris, according to WWD.
Abloh told WWD that his flagship launch in Greater China and Liu Wen’s Met Gala outfit were more coincidental than planned. “It happened organically,” he said. “She approached me, and her team had thought of what she wanted to wear. We had a synergy in terms of taste.” Liu Wen told The Cut she never wore denim to the Met Gala before, but her bold move seemed to sit well with Chinese critics.
The expansion of the Milan-based label is yet another sign that luxury streetwear is hitting it off with the China millennial market, one that clamored for streetwear collaborations between KAWS and Uniqlo and is now thirsty for the likes of Supreme. China’s trendy, affluent youth, who tend to have more disposable income compared to their Western counterparts, are also more likely to pay those controversial high prices (a t-shirt runs for nearly US$300) to run with the cool kids.