China's economy is going from strength to strength and so too is the growth in the fashion industry. The Fashion house, Chloé, has for the first time introduced one of their chief designers, Clare Waight Keller to Mainland China and Geoffroy de la Bourdonnaye, Chloé's chief executive officer in a bid to raise awareness of the brand.
Waight Keller landed in Beijing on Wednesday 19th, to present some of the strongest pieces from the spring 2015 collection. The audience was filled with hundred of local consumers.
The trip was Waight Keller's first trip to mainland China. It was also the first time Chloé had held an event there since 2011 when they presented a collection in Shanghai to celebrate the fifth anniversary in the China Market. Waight Keller was there to not only present the collection but also open the 10th boutique in Mainland China, which is made up of 1,600 square foot space located in the high end shopping mall, Shin Kong Place located in central Beijing.
Speaking of how travel inspire's her, Waight Keller told WWD, “I always find it interesting to absorb things from new cities,” Waight Keller said. “The light is always different. You can visit different art and cultural sites — all of this plays into all of the things you collect in your head. Sometimes, it is a color or collage or use of color I have seen with something else that you would normally not see back in Europe. But quite often, it is the light that makes the biggest difference.”
The edit Waight Keller chose to show for the event which was held in a museum-esque venue located in the Greco- Romansque building. She described the pieces in the presentation as the "strongest" looks of the spring-summer collection and modeled by all Chinese models. The show lasted six minutes and was followed by a dinner hosted by editor of Vogue China, Angelica Cheung. The event was attended by several Chinese celebrities and models including actresses, Yuanyuan Gao, (The Blind Detective) and Zhang Zilin (Badges of Fury).
Speaking about China's market, Waight Keller told WWD, “China has become so much more international now. What sells here sells well in Europe and America. But what they really react to here is that luxury really needs to say luxury. Something ultracasual at a super high price, I think that is difficult to understand in this environment here. When you come as a luxury brand, Chinese consumers want to see the quality. They want to see the beauty. They want to see something that really speaks to them and makes them feel chic and luxurious.”
Discussing Waight Keller's influence on the Chloé brand, de la Bourdonnaye said “Since Clare arrived, she has really rejuvenated the brand and made Chloé even more modern, and that has translated into fantastic momentum in China,” .
There was a crackdown on not allowing government officials and business associates to bribe one another with gifts earlier this year. The impact of this hit a lot of luxury brands however, de la Bourdonnaye said this had not effected the brand and that the "The number of Chinese clients who have been embracing Chloé has been booming.”
The biggest challenge that Chloé face going forward is finding the right locations to open stores. Therefore instead of concerning themselves with store expansion they will focus on making their current boutiques better fit their customers needs, and when suitable real estate becomes available, will then consider expanding their store numbers.
de la Bourdonnaye said, “We are not a brand that screams,” continuing, “We don’t want to be ostentatious. It is more about details and proximity to clients. The awareness of Chloé is increasing, but it is still low compared to the big brands. We are working at our own pace.”
Despite the market still not being quite as strong as Japan which is still the most booming Asia market, China is fast catching up. De la Bourdonnaye wouldn't disclose sales figures for Chloé in China but he did say that the Chinese consumer buying the brand are “probably the number-one consumers worldwide.”