Week In Review: October 22-26, 2012

In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of October 22-26:

Accessible Luxury Brands Ride China’s Middle-Class Wave

Coach x Zhang Lan

As the battle rages on between high-end and high-street brands in mainland China and Hong Kong, one ongoing trend to watch is the success of so-called “accessible luxury” or “affordable luxury” brands in the market, those that span the bridge between luxury and masstige. This segment, maligned as it may be by China’s ultra-wealthy brand aficionado, is currently buzzing with the likes of Coach, Reiss, DKNY, Michael Kors, H&M’s more upscale sister brand Collection of Style (COS) — which will enter mainland China this fall – Paul Smith (which will open a new Shanghai flagship this December) and Karen Millen (which launched its first China flagship at Beijing’s Parkview Green earlier this month).

New Museum Construction In China: Too Much, Too Soon?

Shanghai's Power Station of Art opened earlier this month after less than a year of reconstruction and planning

The blistering pace of new museum construction in China, which has only intensified in recent years, has some asking whether the country’s new cultural venues are filling a long-ignored absence or are “too much, too soon.”

With Shanghai opening two massive new museums at the beginning of this month and Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel shortlisted to design a mammoth new building for Beijing’s National Art Museum of China, public museums — not to mention a slew of private museums, like the soon-to-open Long Art Museum in Shanghai — continue to proliferate.

To Play Ball In China, Mulberry Needs To Up Its Game

Mulberry saw initial success in China due to its popular Alexa bag

Much like larger British peer Burberry, whose recent slowdown sent shivers down the spine of the luxury sector, a profit warning posted this week by leather goods maker Mulberry has created a similar sensational buzz. Mulberry shares slid as much as 29 percent to 940 pence, the brand’s steepest decline since 1998.

While Mulberry blames a four percent decline in wholesale shipments and lower-than-expected international sales, especially in China, for its recent woes, this purveyor — which has taken great pains in recent years to position itself in the luxury segment — may have to look inwards for the real reason for its recent misfortunes. This is particularly true in regards to its scapegoating of the Asia market in general and China market in particular.

ASOS Hopes To Launch Chinese-Language Site “Within A Year”

ASOS will have to duke it out with dozens of local and international competitors in China

The battle for China’s burgeoning e-commerce devotee is set to get even more intense, as fast-growing British online fashion retailer ASOS plans to launch a Chinese-language site within the next 12 months.

Though the company already ships to China and has previously announced eventual aspirations of going local as part of its global expansion effort (chief executive Nick Robertson said back in June 2011, ”It is not a question of if but when”), this is the first time the company has laid out specifics, which also include a foray into Russia.

10 Minutes With…Fashion Fringe-Winning Designer Haizhen Wang

Winner of the prestigious 2012 Fashion Fringe and — like fellow designers Vega Zaishi Wang, Yang Du and Uma Wang – a graduate of Central Saint Martins, Dalian-born, London-based fashion designer Haizhen Wang recently invited Jing Daily contributor Alessa Beatriz to preview his newest collection and get up and personal with the designer himself.


Art & Design, Market Analysis