PARIS — Chinese shoe brand Stella Luna opened its first store in Paris on Saturday, gaining a toehold for future European expansion.
The 870-square-foot shop is located at 181 Boulevard Saint-Germain, close to Berluti, Etro and Ralph Lauren’s boutiques.
The concept is in line with the brand’s other stores in Asia. “The concept is a contemporary museum with a little French touch to it,” Stephen Chi, chief executive officer and creative director of Stella Luna, said. “We believe shoes are like an art and should be presented like art pieces.”
Designed by the English architect Jamie Fobert, who conceived the new Versace boutique in New York’s SoHo district, the store has purple velvet chairs, original wood floors, molding on the ceiling and a VIP room.
Around 150 pairs of shoes are presented in the store. Ballerina flats retail at 235 euros, or $304 at current exchange, and a pair of slippers with studs is priced at 425 euros, or $550. “As we learn more about the Parisian market, we will have specific collections and probably a capsule collection,” Chi said.
The flagship marks the first step of the brand’s expansion into Europe. “Paris is the center of fashion,” said Chi. “You have to do this place right. If we can do a good job in Paris, we can do well everywhere else.”
In the next three to four years, Chi plans to open additional stores on the French capital’s Right Bank, as well as in London, Milan and possibly Venice. In the same time frame, the company is targeting distribution in around 20 doors in France in department stores such as Le Bon Marché, Printemps and Galeries Lafayette.
Stella Luna is part of Stella International Holdings Ltd., whose main business is contract manufacturing. It produces around 55 million pairs of shoes a year, according to Chi, with a client list including Prada and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
In 2006, the company started a retail division that today includes the Stella Luna brand, the junior shoe brand What For and the men’s shoe brand JKJY. According to Chi, there is no conflict of interest. “A lot of brands are asking for our support and guidance [to tap the Chinese market],” he said.
Chi said he expects the group to post sales of around $1.6 billion in 2012, with the retail division representing around $130 million. Chi said sales for the retail division have been growing at an average rate of 30 percent in 2011 and 2012, adding that he is projecting double-digit growth in 2013.
Today, Stella Luna counts around 220 doors in China and South East Asia and the Middle East, including a mix of flagships, stand-alone stores and department stores.
Stella Luna positions itself as an affordable luxury brand. “If you really look at competitors, they are either more expensive or mass market. There is nobody in between,” Chi noted. “Our main customers are affluent women of the age group between 30 and 35, with good taste.”
To bolster its launch in Paris, there will be an ad campaign with visuals created by Atelier Franck Durand and photographed by Giampaolo Sgura. It is set to hit key French weeklies and monthlies focusing on fashion issues, starting in February. He noted the brand is not targeting Chinese tourists visiting Paris. “They have plenty of stores back in China,” Chi noted.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)