TAIPEI — Burberry on Thursday marked the official opening of its newest store here with the launch of Burberry World Live, a multimedia extravaganza inspired by London’s unpredictable weather.
The event also marked chief creative officer Christopher Bailey’s first visit to Taiwan.
Covered in the company’s signature checks, the 14,800-square-foot flagship located at the base of the iconic Taipei 101 tower is the brand’s largest in the region. While Burberry is already sold in 20 locations in Taiwan, this is the country’s first flagship. In addition to carrying accessories and the Burberry Prorsum, Burberry London, Burberry Brit and Burberry Sport collections, it is also the first to offer Burberry Beauty’s range of shadows, powders, lipsticks and fragrances.
Burberry installed large LED flat screens throughout the store as part of its Retail Theatre concept. The installation includes a swipe-able look book of the upcoming fall season as well as two custom-built 27-by-15-foot screens located above the store’s two front entrances, which offer shoppers a look into the Burberry universe with content streamed from its London headquarters. VIC, or Very Important Customer, rooms provide shoppers intimate spaces to explore burberry.com and shop straight from the runway. The interactive touch screen can be controlled from any iPhone or iPod Touch via an app that can be downloaded at the store.
The company created 101 alligator leather iPhone slip cases, available in six colors, that will be sold exclusively at the store.
Bailey, who developed the store’s design, has been credited with helping bring the 156-year-old heritage brand into the digital age, allowing fans to connect and communicate with the company through various social platforms, including Facebook, where they have more than 210,000 Taiwanese followers. The company also opened a local Twitter account last month.
“I think that customers look at you on all platforms,” Bailey said. “It’s not just about the shop anymore. They look at you in the magazines. They look at your windows. They look at you online. They look at you on blogs. They look at you on Facebook. They look at you on Twitter. The customer has a 360-degree view of the brand.”
In addition to the local market, luxury brands like Burberry have also benefited from a surge of tourists from Mainland China. Last year, 1.8 million Mainland Chinese arrived in Taiwan, a 9.4 percent increase from the year before, generating about $1.1 trillion new Taiwan dollars, or $38.1 billion, in revenue for the island, according to the Taiwan Tourism Bureau.
In an effort to boost cross-strait tourism, qualified residents from Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen were allowed individual travel to Taiwan for the first time last June. Beginning April 28, that ability will extend to residents from six more cities on the Mainland, including second-tier cities such as Chongqing and Guangzhou, with four others to be added before the end of the year. With the daily visitor quota from China also doubling from 500 to 1,000, the Taiwan Tourism Bureau estimates about two million Mainland visitors will come to Taiwan this year. Most of them will pass through the fourth floor of Taipei 101, which leads up to the ticket counter for the observatory.
“The fourth floor used to be a restaurant dining section,” said Michael Liu, spokesman for Taipei Financial Center Corp., the owner of Taipei 101. “Now, within a year, you see all these megaflagships. This is what we think will increase revenue from local consumers as well as visitors from other countries.”
Going big seems to be the trend as evidenced by Burberry’s neighbors. Last month, Dior opened its largest flagship in the world next door and Louis Vuitton is expected to do the same next week, with Prada and Miu Miu scheduled to follow in June.
Although it rained all day, the weather seemed to be on Bailey’s side. Guests, including Taiwanese singer and actress Jolin Tsai, who was Bailey’s co-host for the evening, as well as actor Daniel Henney and Jessica Jung of Korean pop group Girls’ Generation, were greeted by checkered umbrellas as they made their way into the specially constructed venue for the evening’s events. Inside, a shower of crystals in the center of the room lifted to reveal British musician Tom Odell seated before a grand piano surrounded by violinists as he performed. An eight-part film, directed by Bailey, followed. The panoramic videos were projected onto the interior screen walls of the space and synced to a soundtrack backed by lights and streams of metallic confetti. When the digital storm subsided, DJ Tom Price kept the party going.
“A brand is so much more than products. A brand needs to resonate,” Bailey said. “Experiences are something that are as relevant to the brand as a shoe or a bag or a coat. People need to feel it and they need to feel a part of it. “
Burberry World Live will go on tour later this year with installments in London, Hong Kong and Chicago.
“[Taipei] feels like a city that is moving,” he said. “You kind of feel like, in this city, someone sprinkled seeds a couple of years ago and all of a sudden they’re starting to flower.”
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)