The China Edit | Taiwanese Shoemaker Takes on Paris, SuperGroup Expands, Lane Crawford’s Shanghai Flagship, Boost to Luxury Outlets

The China Edit is a weekly curation of the most important fashion business news and analysis from and about the world’s largest luxury market.

Ming Xi for Lane Crawford Spring/Summer 2013 | Source: Lane Crawford

Taiwanese Shoemaker Takes on Prada, LVMH in Paris Expansion” (Bloomberg)

Established in Taiwan in 1982, Stella has been making shoes for luxury brands such as LVMH’s Givenchy. The footwear maker doesn’t aim to compete with luxury clients like Givenchy, chief executive officer of the company’s women’s footwear and retail business division Stephen Chi said. After years of manufacturing for luxury brands, it wants to leverage the experience to design and produce shoes under its own brands, he said. ‘We are not Prada, Givenchy or Miu Miu,’ he said. ‘We just want to be the best brand possible in terms of quality and price.’”

Upbeat SuperGroup Plans International Expansion” (Financial Times)

SuperGroup will become the latest UK fashion group to launch online in China as the fashion retailer rolled out plans to increase the number of its international stores in Europe. Unlike Asos, which plans to open a distribution centre in China, SuperGroup will stock the country from the UK. Chief executive Julian Dunkerton said Chinese consumers will put up with longer delivery times for the sake of a wider range. ‘They will enjoy the extra [range], rather than worry about the waiting time.’”

Lane Crawford Reveals Details of Shanghai Flagship Opening” (Jing Daily)

“At 150,000 square feet, the Shanghai flagship will be the company’s largest store in China. The location will have four floors and more than 500 luxury brands for sale. For many international niche designers new to the China market, Lane Crawford is often one of the only—if not the only—location in the country where fashion-forward Chinese shoppers can purchase their styles. Young Asian-American designers Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung, and Thakoon are among the brands that will be available. Chinese designers will also have an important role in the store’s lineup. According to the release, the Shanghai Times Square store ‘will be the first Lane Crawford store to launch the womenswear collections of three emerging Chinese contemporary designers; Chictopia by Christine Lau, insh by Helen Lee, and Ms Min by Liu Min.’”

Chinese Shoppers Seek Prada Closer to Home” (Financial Times)

“Ironically, China’s economic slowdown and the government crackdown on corruption, which has hurt luxury good sales, could prove a further boost to the outlet business, retail analysts say. Beijing’s anti-corruption campaign, which has discouraged government officials from indulging in ostentatious luxury purchases, may be good news for outlets, he adds. ‘The austerity campaign will probably lead to an increase in inventories for luxury brands in China, and outlet malls are one of the few alternatives for those brands to dispose of excess inventory.’ Outlet malls are designed to appeal to lifestyle shoppers who want to spend the whole day at the mall, says Tao Zhen, head of the executive office at the new Wuxi outlets.”

Chinese Designers Making a Push into Paris” (Red Luxury)

“To lure Chinese buyers back to their roots, Shiatzy Chen holds shows in Paris. It has opened retail shops there, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, following the travel destinations of China’s wealthiest. Shiatzy Chen has been in China for thirty-five years. The secret to the brand’s success, according to Wang, is honoring Chinese traditions and designs. After Taiwan split from the Mainland during the civil war of the Forties, Wang said, tradition and culture was more closely guarded on the island. Astute designers have an advantage when they open up shops abroad, because they are more in-tune with the trends unfolding at home.  But they still lack the sales figures and popularity of bigger European brands abroad, according to new reports out of McKinsey.”