Knowing that Shanghai and Beijing only house a small fraction of wealthy Chinese, luxury companies are gradually moving to lower tier cities, some of which have long been out of China’s fashion industry.
Harbin, the capital of Hei Long Jiang province located at the tip of northeast China, is the latest example. For years, foreign brands were hard to be spotted in the city and local fashionistas even have to go to forums to ask where to buy high street fashion brands such as Izzue.
But now, it is no longer the scene.
On June 18, Hermes opened a store in the downtown shopping mall Mai Kai Le, showing the local rich the latest design from Paris. Its neighbors include Louis Vuitton and Amarni, both of which came to the city after Mai Kai Le’s opening in mid 2009. Upcoming retailers will include Dior, Gucci and Versace, according to the shopping mall.
After 1949, the city started to focus on developing heavy industries, such as transportation, aircrafts and power plants. Only in recent years has the local government accelerated the urbanization of the city, trying to reproduce its former glamour.
photo credit : hermes, lin yang (wikipedia)