Welcoming Spring

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An incredible installation from Ryan Carter. Here is the press release:

Spring is the season of new life, of seeds bursting open beneath the ground to grow into gorgeous flowers or delicious vegetables, of a fresh energy that heightens the senses and excites the heart. At Four Seasons Hotel Beijing guests will find the ultimate spring art installation that captures the essence of spring, specially timed to coincide with the equinox, when the Earth’s axis tips from one season to the next.

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The HUB: March 12 and 13

The HUB Hong Kong will have its forth edition on March 12 and 13. Register here.

Time: 11am to 7pm
Address: D2 Place, 9 Cheung Yee Street, Lai Chi Kok, Kowloon. Hong Kong – it’s right by the D2 exit of at the Lai Chi Kok MTR station
Brands: Check here for a partial listing

The HUB blog also looks in-depth at some of the brands and multi-brand stores that will be attending.

Going Dutch

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The split will go three ways between furniture, decor, and footwear.  Coming up on March three is a new pop up at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing.   Dutch shoe brand O’Quirey has teamed up with Ubi Gallery and Studio Henny van Nistelrooy to present a sampling of Dutch design today.  The opening event will be high profile with quite an impressive list of magazines attending – everything from Robb Report to Esquire – as well as TV stations CCTV and Phoenix.  Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, H.E. Mr. Aart Jacobi will also make an appearance.

The image that will probably stick in everybody’s mind is that of the series of specially commissioned paintings that put bold O’Quirey shoes into familiar works of Van Gogh.

Here is more in Chinese on their wechat platform and you can click more to see the press release.

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Erdos Prints

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Erdos – usually quite a dowdy sort of label the one sees in those older luxury malls that appeal to an older, less sophisticated demographic and in second-tier cities –  has really changed its image quite a bit.  They have been using foreign designers and hypermodel Liu Wen as a brand face, so things are coming along quite a bit.  The prints for this Spring’s collection were especially compelling as you can see in these images.

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Harrod & Ji Pop-up

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Harrod & Ji (instagram here), the newest multi-brand boutique to open in Beijing specializing in heels and bags, is now presenting a pop-up shop at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. Designers featured include Ruthie Davis, Chrissie Morris, Crisian M London, Thale Blanc, Andrea Mabiani, Oscar Tiye, Maison Duposh and Henri Lepore Dezert. Check out more pictures of the pop-up and the special sales event that they did in the tea garden of the hotel.

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Mark Werts on Showroom Shanghai

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Mark Werts, the founder of American Rag Cie, one of the most interesting multi-brand retailers in the world, founded in Los Angeles in 1984, visited Shanghai recently and attended Showroom Shanghai (时堂), a rising trade fair in that city. Stylites works quite a bit with The HUB, a Hong Kong-based trade fair, but there are several events somewhat like this rising in the region to try to capture the boom in local designers, the rise of multi-brand stores, and the increasing appetite of local customers for small and medium sized foreign brands. Another interesting fair in Shanghai that is also gaining in strength is On Time, organized by Thomas Thompson and others.

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On Pop-ups at the Four Seasons

Sanjiv Hulugalle has done more than most hotel general managers to make sure the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing stands out in a crowded luxury landscape, as this Jing Daily article reports. “I’ve been across the globe. In reality, there is a consistency based on people wanting great service and experiences. In China you are seeing a surge of travelers and at a scale that’s unique to the rest of the world; you have people who want to experience things for the first time, but you also have people who have traveled a lot globally and want a luxury experience in their own country.” Discussing the pop-up shops, Sanjiv continues: “The idea for pop-ups started small. Now people are lining up to get a slot. It’s not a huge revenue generator. It creates a buzz. This place is packed compared to six to eight months ago.” When asked to comment on whether a pop-up shop concept would be considered off-brand for a luxury property the General Manger believes, “When you talk from a brand positioning perspective, we as a hotel are very much based around creating experiences for our guests, not only personalized, but unique, that the guest may not have the opportunity to experience anywhere else in the world.”

Juma Studio @ FSBJ

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‘Journey’ by Juma Studio opens at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing next week.

For the last few months we have been working on a program of pop-up shops at the hotel that I believe has the potential to remake the retail landscape here in China.

With space at shopping centers in China’s top cities difficult to come by for multi-brand stores and smaller designers and traffic far too low on streets, luxury hotels are an interesting alternative for independent players. A regular flow of high-end customers, premium locations, a tendency on the Mainland toward very large lobbies and the need of these hotels for fresh content all combine to offer a very attractive environment for independent players in fashion. These types of shopping experiences have been seen at hotels in the West but they are more important in China, given the size and speed of development of the market. Niche retailers like Wuhao or a small, start-up, brand like Juma can get their foothold in this market via this kind of event.

Here’s an interesting article from the Jing Daily on the subject.

Click below to see some of the rudimentary mood boards that I created.

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Lady Liaoliao

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Lady Liaoliao is a rising fashion blogger on wechat, though she describes herself more as the head of a media company, which doubtless reflects greater ambitions.  The wechat ID of her official account is liaoliaofashion.