The China Edit | Sham Kar Wai, Lane Crawford Shanghai, Galeries Lafayette Beijing, Alibaba’s ‘E-Conomy’

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.

Inside Lane Crawford's Shanghai flagship | Source: Lane Crawford

Sham Kar Wai on China’s Changing Fashion Landscape” (The Business of Fashion)

Sham Kar Wai: ‘I think there is still a strong demand for the high-end. When a country becomes wealthy, people are always looking for luxury, because it shows your status and what level you have achieved. But some of the young people are beginning to crave something different, usually within the contemporary realm. And those that are familiar with luxury goods now want highly unique brands.’”

Lane Crawford Taps Into Chinese Lifestyle” (The Wall Street Journal)

Andrew Keith: ‘We’ve seen strong growth in our women’s fashion. Our home and lifestyle areas are growing quickly. And we’re seeing great growth opportunities in men’s—not just in designer fashion but in lifestyle accessories. In Shanghai we’re breaking down the traditional department-store walls. Home and lifestyle accessories will be merchandised throughout the store. The concept behind that is that’s the way our customers are shopping. They’re not necessarily coming for one item.’”

Galeries Lafayette Beijing Store Skirts China Anti-Corruption Crackdown” (Reuters)

“France’s Galeries Lafayette has unveiled a swish department store in Beijing housing brands it says will lure fashionistas, foregoing names like Cartier that have found themselves associated with China’s crackdown on graft. At the store’s official inauguration in the downtown Xidan district, the upscale retailer said on Friday it’s chasing a new breed of fashion-obsessed customers in China, rather than luxury goods fans. Three years in the making, at a cost of 42 million euros ($57 million), the store is Galeries Lafayette’s second-biggest after its Paris flagship. The retailer is returning to China 15 years after shuttering a store that was open for only a year. Lesser-known but trendy Paris labels like The Kooples and Maje are for sale in the six-floor building, while luxury names like Richemont’s Cartier, LVMH’s Louis Vuitton and Chanel are absent.”

Alibaba to Transform China’s ‘E-Conomy’ with $500 Billion Marketplace” (Reuters)

“With an extra $15 billion or so in its pocket from a likely IPO, Alibaba and partners such as delivery service firms and life insurers will pump cash into revamping China’s fragile supply chains and big new data centers to process reams of consumer information. While Alibaba sees itself as a catalyst for change, its plans also lay the groundwork for retail rivals to chip away at its business further down the line. By encouraging retailers to be more Internet-savvy, and by building the networks to distribute goods nationwide, Alibaba is showing bricks and mortar rivals how to grow online without depending on its sites.”