HONG KONG — G-Star Raw commercial director Camiel Slaats said the Dutch denim brand has seen 20 percent compounded annual sales growth in China since it entered the market in 1996, as the company opened its second flagship in the city.
"Our growth has been very healthy from start to now," Slaats said. "We are adding five to 15 shop-in-shops and monobrand stores per year, and we are now in all the main cities. "The Chinese consumer is getting more fashion-conscious, and there is a bigger group of Chinese consumers who are looking at fashion and denim products."
G-Star currently has about 200 outlets in the country. Its next flagship opening will be in Shanghai in October. Slaats said G-Star had opened five to 15 points of sales per year in China since it entered the country and that its target was to do the same every year for at least the next five years.
The executive declined to state the sales volume for last year but denim sales remain low compared to other apparel categories in China. According to the China National Commercial Information Centre, denim wear made up just 1.2 percent of the total sales volume of all apparel types in the first half of last year.
Slaats, however, was confident in demand for denim in the country. "There are many more people in China trying on denim products every year, and they become loyal," he said.
The Amsterdam-based brand, which has over 6,000 points of sales in 70 countries, unveiled Tuesday the 5,651-square-foot, two-floor flagship in the popular shopping district of Causeway Bay as part of its global expansion plans. It is G-Star's second store in the city, after the first opened last year.
Performers in denim-blue costumes leapt through a Chinese dragon dance to usher in the opening before a curtain dropped to reveal a piece of six-story steel cladding on the store's outer wall bearing G-Star's name. The ceremony drew crowds, temporarily disrupting traffic.
Musician Skylar Grey, Australian actor Gracie Otto and model Alexandra Agoston were a few of the VIP guests who mingled inside the spacious gray-and-white interior.
Slaats said Hong Kong was a multicultural hub that would provide G-Star with exposure to the Mainland Chinese, European and American tourists who came, as well as local residents.
G-Star joins other foreign fashion brands like Forever 21 and Jack Wills which are paying top dollar for an eye-catching street-level presence in the city, which real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis said in November was the world's second-most expensive location for shop rents.
Slaats said the rent was "premium, but therefore we get a premium product."
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast