Victoria's Secret angels pose in front of the Shanghai skyline.
SHANGHAI - Since March, Shanghai's Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau has seized and destroyed 400 imported shipments of "unqualified clothing" valued at more than $30 million.When contact by WWD, the bureau confirmed the seizures, but declined to disclose the brands involved. In a statement, the bureau said: "Unqualified items mainly related to color fastness, pH, excessive formaldehyde, etc., many of [the brands] are familiar [and] well-known brands."State media outlets have been more forthcoming with naming the brands allegedly involved, with a China Central Television program on Sunday reporting five batches of Ralph Lauren products were found to have excessive pH levels and did not meet Chinese safety standards for children's clothing, while Victoria's Secret products were said to have been destroyed due to inappropriately high amounts of formaldehyde.In a written statement to WWD, Ralph Lauren said, "Ralph Lauren Corporation takes these matters very seriously and is committed to ensuring that our products meet the highest in quality standards. We are taking action including removing products from distribution and further investigating this isolated incident."Victoria's Secret did not comment on the veracity of the allegations when contacted by WWD.RELATED: Victoria's Secret Details Next Fashion Show in Shanghai >> The release of this information coincides with China's national "product safety" month, which was instituted by the central government after public outrage over tainted food products, toys and more. Though these tainted products were largely produced domestically, rather than imported from overseas, safety standards for products across the board have been dramatically tightened over the past two years.[caption id="attachment_10982700" align="alignnone" width="1024"] A screenshot shows Victoria's Secret fashion show tickets for sale on Taobao.[/caption]This adverse publicity in China comes at a time of high scrutiny for Victoria's Secret, following the opening of the brand's four-story flagship here earlier in the year and the announcement that its annual fashion show would be held in Shanghai on November 28.The invitation-only show has already seen black market tickets advertised on Taobao, China's largest B2C e-commerce platform, for a starting price of 90,000 yuan, or about $13,700.RELATED: All About Estelle Chen: Victoria's Secret Newcomer >> China’s female lingerie market is lucrative, with a retail value of $25 billion in 2017 - double that of the United States - expected to grow to $33 billion by 2020, according to data from Euromonitor. It is also, however, highly fragmented with no major brands commanding more than 5 percent of market share.Despite long avoiding the turmoil that has impacted the retail market at large, Victoria's Secret owner L Brands increasingly needs the power of China's rising middle class consumers, with company profits last year slipping 7.5 percent to $1.16 billion.Local authorities in China have long seized foreign products claiming they were "unsafe" for various reasons, but often to signal to consumers that they should be buying local brands. In the past designer labels such as Giorgio Armani have been seized by China local authorities over allegations they contained "unsafe" levels of formaldehyde or other chemicals, only to later have those products return to store shelves.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty