The China Edit | Whistles to Launch with Lane Crawford, Fast Retailing, Chinese Tourists Embrace Lower-Cost Luxury, Chanel Ousts Vuitton

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.

Whistles Autumn/Winter 2013 | Source: Whistles

Whistles to Launch in China in Partnership with Lane Crawford” (The Business of Fashion)

“Three existing Lane Crawford stores in Hong Kong and the newly-opened Shanghai store will carry a selection of 60-odd pieces from Whistles’ premium range, Limited Edition, as well as best-selling items from its core collection, such as cashmere knitwear and silk dresses… ‘The Chinese market is increasingly sophisticated and is actually developing faster than any other market in terms of their fashion appreciation,’ chief executive Jane Shepherdson told BoF. ‘There is a whole new generation of young, middle-class Chinese women who have got a bit of money who don’t necessarily buy into everything [from] luxury brands, but who want to shop the contemporary European brands that are providing well-designed quality fashions at a price that they can afford.’”

Fast Retailing Brings Brands to China” (Women’s Wear Daily)

“Japan’s Fast Retailing Co., Ltd. is continuing to expand its international presence — and not just for its core Uniqlo brand. The company said Monday it will open outposts for several of its secondary brands within its new Uniqlo Shanghai flagship, set to open this fall. More specifically, the more than 86,000-square-foot multi-brand complex will house outposts of its budget-orientated apparel brand GU, French fashion brand Comptoir des Cotonniers, lingerie brand Princesse tam.tam and casual wear label PLST, an offshoot of Theory. These stores will mark the mainland China debut for all of these brands.”

Chinese Tourists Embrace Lower-Cost Luxury” (The Wall Street Journal)

“There’s the first wave of Chinese travelers who are rich and they do have the capacity to go to expensive stores, flagship stores, department stores and buy several pieces at full price. Now, more normal Chinese people — they are younger, they are more aspirational, they can’t really afford to buy them at full price, yet they are willing to buy at discount stores, which make them a better bargain compared to prices in China… And there is a second factor as well, the slowing Chinese economy. People are more compelled to seek bargains and value and we see that inside China at online stores.”

Chanel Ousts Louis Vuitton as Most-searched Lux Brand in China” (The Financial Times)

“According to David Sadigh, chief executive of the DLG, Chanel’s dominance can be attributed to the fact it has a major presence not only in leather goods (bags make up almost 88% of fashion searches; by contrast, shoes are only 2.2% and apparel is 2.9%), but in perfume – where it occupies both the second and third most-searched spots (Dior’s J’Adore comes in first) – beauty (it’s number four), and watches (its J12 is the fourth most-searched-for model). “When you can stretch a brand across different luxury segments whilst keeping the brand consistent, you can create a higher level of desirability, such as Chanel has been able to do,” said Mr Sadigh. Vuitton, of course, does not do beauty or fragrance, and has only recently gotten into jewellery.”

China Tourists to Fuel Taiwan Retail Property Boom, Cushman Says” (Bloomberg)

“Prime shop rents in Taipei may grow as much as 15 percent in the next two years on expansion by global retailers seeking to tap an increase in mainland Chinese tourists, according to Cushman & Wakefield Inc…. The number of mainland tourists to Taiwan grew 23 percent to 2 million last year from 1.63 million in 2010, after the island in 2011 allowed individual travellers from the mainland for the first time in more than six decades. President Ma Ying-jeou, who took office in May 2008, has focused on improving cross-strait ties through economic links, abandoning his predecessor’s pro-independence stance.”