BEIJING — Throngs of enthralled Beijingers gathered around a glittering replica of the Eiffel Tower Friday night in the center of the Chinese capital for a glimpse of the city’s latest shopping showpiece — Galeries Lafayette’s newly opened 350,000-square-foot department store.
Though the department store is new to many in China, the brand is well known to the country’s high-fashion set, many of whom have traveled to Paris for shopping sprees at its flagship. The Beijing store, the company’s 65th worldwide, will feature 500 shops-in-shop and is second in size only to the Paris one. A ring of police held onlookers in check, as executives spoke from the podium and watched a dynamic traditional Chinese dragon dance. Security did not seem to dampen enthusiasm.
“I visited the original in Paris last summer, and was very happy to know they were bringing this department store to Beijing,” said Li Tiancheng, a 23-year-old who waited with hundreds of others outside the mall as company executives and celebrities filed in for the opening. Li and her friends laughed about not needing to go to Paris to shop anymore. RELATED STORY: Galeries Lafayette Opens in Beijing >>
Still, prices in Beijing are apt to be higher than Paris, given duties and the general higher cost of clothing and luxury items in China. That fact did not deter the curiosity of hundreds who turned out for the six-story department store’s opening.
French actress Audrey Tautou headlined the roster of celebrities at the opening, along with Hong Kong actors Aaron Kwok, Chilam Cheung and Shawn Yue.
In addition to the wide range of shops, the store has nine Asian and French restaurants, and one item certain to appeal to the maturing tastes of Chinese elite shoppers: a Bordeaux wine library.
Nicolas Houzé, chief executive officer of Galeries Lafayette’s department store division, said the company is confident the development will succeed in China.
The opening comes after three years of work, he said, and “symbolizes the group’s international growth strategy. Building on our strong retail expertise and strengthened by our partnership with I.T Ltd., we are bringing to China the unique concept of the department store à la Française, in order to satisfy the needs and desires of Chinese customers.”
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye