BEIJING — Medium Rare, a Hong Kong-based multibrand store, has ventured into Mainland China, opening a store in this city’s trendy Sanlitun Village shopping complex.
The shop is an offshoot of the Medium Rare store in Hong Kong’s Causeway Bay, which last year marked its 15th anniversary. The Beijing store, which opened last month, emphasizes men’s apparel and dark and earth-toned colors. What sets it apart from other stores in the area is that Medium Rare offers a relatively small assortment of 15 brands, with a heavy emphasis on Japanese labels such as Viridi-Anne, Individual Sentiments and Siva.
The new store, at 2,000 square feet, is more than twice the size of the Hong Kong location, said director Eddie Tso. Even so, he explained that he has no interest in competing with large multibrand retailers, like Lane Crawford or Joyce, that carry hundreds of designers in their Beijing stores.
“I would rather stay small,” Tso said, explaining that he doesn’t want to carry more than 20 designers. “I’m not aiming for the whole market.”
Tso, who developed an interest in Gothic fashion and music during his high school days, said his customers are not as focused on short-term trends and big-name brands as they are on high-quality fabric and workmanship.
In fact, the vibrant arts and music scene is part of what brought the 43-year-old to the capital from his hometown of Hong Kong. He had spent time in the city’s 798 arts district and got to know some of the artists who worked there.
“They said that even though a lot of them don’t care about their image, if they had the choice, they would rather buy stuff like this,” he said.
Even if Medium Rare isn’t focused on growing large, it is facing some threats from the larger retailers, who dominate much of the Chinese market and often nab designers as exclusives.
Nevertheless, Tso notes he hopes to open three more Medium Rare stores in China, although he hasn’t determined the locations.
The Beijing store, just upstairs from Alexander McQueen, has an industrial feel, with concrete walls, exposed lightbulbs on the ceiling and well-spaced racks of apparel along one wall.
A smattering of designers from Europe and the U.S., including Lost & Found, Obscur and InAisce, break up the heavily Japanese lineup of brands. The shop has yet to carry any Chinese designers but Tso said he is open to the idea further down the line.
“I need to watch a brand for a period of time to see the consistency of it,” he said, worried that a designer will change too radically from season to season. “To us, it’s a way of living.”
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)