“I don’t want to be away from the kids for more than four days,” said the designer, who has two young children at home in London. The rule means McCartney has to pack a lot into any overseas trip. That was certainly the case when she arrived here for an event-filled visit that included parties, fashion shows, trunk shows, press junkets and the Asian launch of her skin care line, Care by Stella McCartney.
Last week, McCartney’s company unveiled a deal with Lane Crawford Joyce Group that will lead to 10 freestanding Stella McCartney stores in the region. The first will open next year, most likely on Hong Kong Island.Executives from McCartney’s company, along with representatives from Lane Crawford, scouted prospective retail locations during the designer’s visit.
“Stella is a special brand so we want to find a location that’s right. If we find a place where we have other brands, then it’s good synergy, but it’s important to treat Stella separately,” said Angela Cheng, who works in LCJG’s distribution arm as brand manager for Stella McCartney. Cheng said there are plans to open stores in Hong Kong (where there will be two); Taiwan; Jakarta, Indonesia; Singapore; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Macao, and Mainland China, starting with Shanghai and rolling out to Beijing.
McCartney said her tight schedule didn’t allow her to investigate too much of Hong Kong’s retail scene, but what she had seen made an impact. “I have been very impressed,” said McCartney. “I didn’t have any expectations coming here — it’s best to go to a new city without expectations — but the retail spaces here are so tasteful and they really have the best brands. I’m quite proud to be present here. It makes me feel grown-up, actually.”
Grown-up she might be, but McCartney is still youthful enough to enjoy a good party. Lane Crawford hosted a huge bash on the top floor and roof of an old warehouse building in the fishing village of Aberdeen, importing a rock band, DJ and break-dancers for the occasion. Each room featured different light displays, including Chinese lanterns on the roof, LCD displays in the disco and dangling lightbulbs in the billiards room, where models wore a limited edition T-shirt McCartney designed exclusively for the Hong Kong Lane Crawford. There are only 200 of the oversize pink shirts, which are nearly sold out.
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A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"