SHANGHAI — China launches a national ban on plastic bags on June 1, but that impending transition had nothing to do with Anya Hindmarch's recent visits to Shanghai and Beijing.
"Our timing had nothing to do with [the upcoming ban]. I came to see the country and the shops, and hold press conferences, but it has been lovely to get to know the customers here," explained the designer, best known for her I Am Not a Plastic Bag handbag phenomenon.
Hindmarch opened a store in Beijing in May 2007 and a second store in Shanghai two months ago. "It's gob smacking, the potential here," she enthused. "Shanghai will not replace, but will become as important as New York. The energy is just buzzing."
Hindmarch's new Shanghai boutique occupies 850 square feet in the prestigious Plaza 66 mall. Both the Shanghai and Beijing stores are franchises run by Hong Kong's Pedder Group. There are plans to open 15 stores worldwide this year, including new units in Moscow, London, Las Vegas and Saudi Arabia. The openings will complement an already extensive network of stores, stretching from Japan to Jakarta, Indonesia.
The designer was also in China to launch her latest Be a Bag collection with a cocktail party in Beijing's Shin Kong Place on May 13. First introduced in 2001, the line personalizes bags by emblazing customers' own photographs on them. There are also special celebrity editions, which serve as fund-raisers for various charities. In China, local stars Zhou Xun, Du Juan, Li Bingbing, Gao Yuanyuan, Pei Bei, Wendy Yip and Zhang Jingchu have participated in the project.
Hindmarch asserted that her brand's unique take on customization will set her apart in China's competitive retail market. "There has been a huge wave of brands coming into China, it is quite overwhelming. We have to spend some time letting the consumer get to know us," she remarked. "We've been working with Pedder for a few years, and previously had a minimal presence in China. The group makes a difference in raising awareness of brands. They are very good for much more niche brands, such as our [line that is] made to your specifications."
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)