Calling China “exciting” and “sophisticated”, Dior is looking to wow the Chinese with its artsy heritage.
“There’s an energy here that reminds me of New York in the seventies,” said Dior president and chief executive officer Sidney Toledano. Chinese customers are “excited, positive.”
“The market is sophisticated,” he said. The Chinese “have this curiosity — they want to learn.”
On Thursday, Dior celebrated the grand opening of its new 8,611-square-foot Beijing flagship at Shin Kong Place. The store opening coincided with the opening of the “Lady Dior As Seen By” traveling exhibit, a one-month display of artwork based on the iconic quilted Dior handbag at the Huamao Plaza outside Shin Kong Place.
The company threw a lavish dinner under a giant tent and a runway show of the spring-summer collection for celebrity guests including Chinese actress Maggie Cheung. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman Bernard Arnault flew in for the event.
The new Beijing flagship is as much art gallery as shop. It showcases a series of specially commissioned artworks mixed with displays of Dior’s womenswear, handbags, shoes, accessories, and watches. Selections for the shop reflect Chinese shoppers’ fondness for the ready-to-wear collection, bags, and watches.
Aware of the importance of the menswear market, Dior has committed a large space in the Beijing store for the menswear boutique — a first for Dior in China. Soon, Dior will expand the menswear space at its Shanghai Plaza 66 store.
Designed to resemble the architectural style of Dior Homme boutiques in Paris, Milan, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and New York, the men’s boutique is outfitted with black and white mirrors and LED monitors showing short films by Dior Homme’s creative director Kris Van Assche.
The temporary “Lady Dior As Seen By” exhibit is a collection of nearly 60 photographs, sculptures, and multi-media works based on the history of the Lady Dior handbag collection, which was launched in 1995.
A number of famous artists created tributes to the Lady Dior. A four-way film room at the center of the exhibit displays a series of promotional short films for the bag featuring French actress Marion Cotillard.
photo credit: sin chi yin