Putting China first, Designers out at Ferré, Gap’s overseas push, Bulgari sales sparkle, Fashion theatre

China First: Coaxing or Kowtowing? (Luxury Society)
“Last Wednesday, Burberry joined the ranks of such other megabrands in this quest to show China not only that they mean business but that they are putting the country first… Offering a technologically enhanced ‘debut’ geared toward China’s youth is also a strategic one, considering that 73% of luxury buyers in China are under the age of 45.”

Aquilano and Rimondi out at Gianfranco Ferré (Fashion Etc)
“When questioned about the designers’ fates at the label’s Fall 2011 show in February, Paris Group’s Abdulkader Sankari and his son Ahmed are said to have cut Aquilano and Rimondi loose in the face of weak sales figures. ‘Sales didn’t go well at all and the designers have already left.’”

Gap plans overseas push, expansion of Old Navy (Bloomberg)
“Gap is consolidating international operations to accelerate growth overseas and plans to open its first Old Navy stores abroad, in Japan by 2012… The goal is for international and online sales to make up 30 percent of its total by 2013, up from 22 percent in 2010 and 14 percent in 2006.”

Bulgari Sales Sparkle, Up 27.5% Led by China (Forbes)
“The general recovery of the economic context, together with an extremely competitive offer in all product categories, very impactful communication initiatives and a constant improvement of the shopping experience had a very positive influence on the turnover, with a significant contribution from both the directly owned stores and the wholesale channel.”

Spring Theater of the Absurd (On the Runway)
“In the last year, the energy has come from outside of the fashion world… while the few truly brilliant ideas are coming from hard-thinking insiders… As someone on the blog suggested this week, in reference to the thread about fashion TV, it is more and more about popular taste.”