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BEIJING — Calvin Klein Collection brought models, bloggers and the Chinese fashion elite together in Beijing on Monday for a low-key evening to celebrate the brand’s spring collection in the world’s fastest-growing luxury market.
About 100 people were invited to the Long March Gallery, a contemporary art space in the capital’s converted factory district-turned-art-zone, 798. There, Chinese artist Zhan Wang’s new sculpture, an intriguing piece called “Form of the Formless,” was the centerpiece at a predinner cocktail event.
“It’s inspiring me to get creative with my Christmas decorations when I go home,” fashion blogger Hanneli Mustaparta said of the sculpture — liquid bits of silver that dashed around the room in different display cases.
Francisco Costa, women’s creative director for the label, was in town for the event and also to check out the company’s new men’s prototype store in Shenyang — a second-tier market in China’s northeast. Costa said he was impressed with both the indigenous design he saw and excited about the country’s ongoing emergent fashion culture.
“China is an extremely important market for us, not only in terms of consumers,” said Costa.
“What’s happening in Beijing is really incredible,” he added, referring to the city’s transformation in architecture, style and culture in recent years.
By next year, Calvin Klein expects China to unseat South Korea as its number-one market for underwear and jeans. The brand dressed models and other stars on hand including Zhang Zilin, Zhu Zhu, Du Juan, Shu Pei and the New Zealand-born singer Kimbra.
Twenty-two-year-old Kimbra, who rose to fame as a featured artist on Goyte’s multiplatinum selling song, “Somebody That I Used to Know,” serenaded the crowd with five songs before dessert. The meal was designed by famed New York chef Daniel Boulud, who runs a restaurant in Beijing.
“I love it,” said Kimbra, who got to spend a day walking around in the Chinese capital on this, her first visit. “I really like it. I always like to see the underground of the city and I was getting most inspired here by the street fashion.”