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."
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“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