The scale of Giorgio Armani’s ambitions in China is reflected in the size of his Hong Kong complex, Chater House. At 30,000 square feet, the store is second in size and scope only to his Milan flagship.

The opening of Chater House last November was only the latest of many signals that the luxury world’s next target is the world’s largest population. China and Russia — countries once associated with communism, the restraint of individualism and want of worldly goods — now are emerging as two of Italy’s most important new markets, thirsty for luxury, designer labels and the Western lifestyle.

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