The China Edit | Wedding Industry Grows, Lackluster Hong Kong, Versace Hotel Macau, Belle Buys Baroque Japan

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.

The Landmark luxury mall in Hong Kong | Source: Flickr

Those Big Fat Chinese Weddings” (Bloomberg Businessweek)

“Galatea, which takes its name from an ancient Greek myth, is one of numerous bridal shops launched recently in China’s capital, catering to a fast-growing bridal industry—estimated at $57 billion by the China Wedding Industry Development Report—that now mixes Western precedents and local characteristics … China’s modern wedding industry is roughly a decade and half old. While their parents tended to get married in simple ceremonies, today’s urban 20-somethings and early 30-somethings—the first to come of age after the enactment of the one-child policy—are accustomed to being the center of family attention and have high expectations.”

For Rich Mainlanders, Hong Kong Loses Luxury Luster” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Mainland Chinese passport holders account for 78% of all visitors to Hong Kong, and they have an outsize presence on the city’s shopping scene. The sheer number of Chinese visitors is huge: Last year saw 34.9 million arrivals from China, equal to about five times’ Hong Kong’s population. But while mainlanders continue to arrive in the city in droves – more than 3.7 million entered the territory in July, up 15.7% from a year before – they seem to be spending less than they used to, and veering away from big-ticket items in particular, according to Hong Kong government figures released on Monday.”

Macau’s Newest Bid to Court Rich Chinese: Hotel by Versace” (The Wall Street Journal)

“Rich Chinese who live and breathe luxury will soon be able to sleep in it too. New details about a Macau casino company’s plan to erect an opulent hotel designed by Italian fashion house Versace emerged at a Thursday news conference in the world’s gambling capital: the hotel tower will include about 270 rooms, a spa, indoor and outdoor pools and dining and retail space, SJM Holdings Ltd. and Gianni Versace SpA said. For Versace’s part, the company hopes the deal will give its brand more visibility among wealthy Chinese customers as it plans a public share offering in the next three to five years, said Chief Executive Gian Giacomo Ferraris. Versace’s stores in the US$38 billion gambling market are already among its best-performing retail outlets in the world.”

Belle Buys Stake in Baroque Japan, Aims to Create Fashion Empire Across Asia” (JapanConsuming)

“Baroque Japan’s largest shareholder, CLSA, has sold its stake in the major Japanese womenswear retailer (which has hundreds of stores throughout Japan, Hong Kong and mainland China) to CDH Investments and Chinese footwear retailer Belle International. CDH has taken a 23 percent stake and Belle 31.96 percent, the latter at a cost of ¥9 billion (about $90 million). CDH has been a shareholder of Belle since it began retailing in 2004 and is very much being led by Belle in this deal, which aims to use Baroque to develop a major apparel and accessories businesses in China. Baroque currently operates just 20 stores in China and nine in Hong Kong all under the Moussy brand. By tying up with a powerful Chinese partner, Baroque hopes to grow into a major Asian-wide apparel, accessories and footwear retailer.”