HONG KONG — When in Hong Kong, do as the New Yorkers do. Such was the theme as Coach celebrated the opening of its sprawling new flagship here. The store is a tribute to prewar Manhattan apartments and the parties that marked its opening maintained the motif.
On the eve of the opening last Thursday, celebrations started with a private dinner on the store's second level. Coach Inc. creative director Reed Krakoff and chairman and chief executive officer Lew Frankfort welcomed guests, including Lane Crawford president Jennifer Woo, Shanghai Tang designer Joanna Ooi and socialite Mira Yeh, who told Frankfort the limited edition ostrich Perry Pleats bag would be the store's bestseller.
In keeping with the New York theme, Krakoff asked celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito to create a special menu. The result, prepared by the chefs of Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, included pomegranate-lacquered squab and lavender crème brûlée.
On Friday, the celebrations were kicked up a notch as 900 guests descended on a specially built marquee in West Kowloon. The vast structure, covered in Coach's signature logo, was a black-and-white tribute to New York, with 25-foot-high walls crafted from enlarged photos of Manhattan, sleek black floors, modular furniture and four open bars.
Frankfort arrived with his wife, Bobby, and son Sam to find guests already crowding the stage to get a close-up view of singer John Mayer, who performed a 30-minute acoustic set to begin the evening. It was Mayer's first visit to Hong Kong. "Is this not the biggest party in Hong Kong this evening?" he asked. "Where are you all going after this? I'm taking you all out."
The dance troupe Jabbawockeez and DJ AM also performed.
The crowd, which danced for hours, included many of Asia's biggest stars, among them China's top models Du Juan and Shu Qi, actress Zhou Xun and Cantopop superstar Coco Lee.
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Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews