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.
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)