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.”
There'll be no rest for those headed to Europe for men's, as Paris just closed the gap with Milan. According to a provisional calendar released by the Chambre Syndicale, Paris Men's Week will now open a day earlier on January 16. See new highlights on the official lineup on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
BREAKING: Jonathan Saunders is leaving @DVF. The designer has resigned from his position as chief creative officer of Diane von Furstenberg, the company said in a statement on Friday. At the time of his hire, von Furstenberg said Saunders’ arrival symbolized and facilitated her stepping back from the day-to-day duties that occupy the work of a full-time creative director. The British designer joined DVF in May 2016 and was in charge of all product categories. #wwdnews
For @versace_official’s spring ad campaign, the brand emphasized the archival prints from the spring tribute collection dedicated to the late Gianni Versace. Closing out the show were five of Gianni’s favorite models: Cindy, Naomi, Carla, Helena, and Claudia. Bowing on December 18, the new campaign is yet another tribute to supermodel-dom as the images by Steven Meisel are fronted by @iamnaomicampbell, @cturlington, @gisele and more. #wwdfashion
Four-time Oscar-nominated actress Annette Bening has been waiting 20 years to play Gloria Graham in "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool," which will be released on December 29. The movie about Graham – a Hollywood star known for her controversial relationship with a younger Englishman named Peter Turner – is based off a memoir Turned wrote. "She felt vulnerable to him, because she loved him, she really did love him. And anyone that we really truly are in love with, we re vulnerable to in a very deep way," said Bening. Read our full interview with the modern icon of an actress on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @ninebagatelles; Styled by @cristinaehrlich)
The crisp white button down: a staple that can be dressed up or down and accessorized throughout the decades. Here, on a Art Basel-goer in 2017 on the left and on the iconic Audrey Hepburn in “Roman Holiday” in 1953 on the right. #tbt #wwdfashion (📷: Andrew Morales)
Known for her work with @victoriassecret, 25-year-old model @georgiafowler is raising her profile in Hollywood. Fowler stars in @vincecamuto’s holiday campaign, which launched in partnership with “Pitch Perfect 3.” “Almost every shoot with Vince Camuto, I’ve had to face a fear…It was definitely a challenge. I’m so grateful for it, though. I’ve always wanted to be a pop star, so that was the perfect chance,” Fowler said. Head to WWD.com to read about Fowler’s experience modeling, including at the #VSFashionShow, and her relationship with Nick Jonas. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
EXCLUSIVE: Huda Kattan just became the first beauty influencer to land a major beauty deal. Kattan's business, @hudabeauty, has received a minority investment from private equity firm TSG Consumer Partners. The brand, which industry sources say is on track to do $200 million in retail sales for 2017, will receive support on product, retail and geographic expansion through the deal. Get all the details on the deal and read @_a_collins' interview with Kattan on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Peruvian model @juanaburga_official – who is known for walking the runways of @rodarte, @viviennewestwood and @torybuch – is making the move to the big screen with drama “Los Últimos.” The film premiered in Argentina in November and arrives in the U.S. and Europe in 2018. On making the switch from modeling to acting, Burga told WWD: “It’s a completely different thing – a lot of people think it’s similar or try to connect things, especially like getting used to the camera or being looked at all the time or playing these different characrers, but film is a completely different story.” #wwdeye (📷: @jgreenery)
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)