LET’S MAKE A DEAL: On Monday, Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com staged its first major London fashion event, with a runway show of men’s and women’s wear featuring brands Eve de Cina, By Creations, Kevin Kelly, X. Lando and Ne Tiger.
The show, which was off-schedule, took place at the Institute of Directors (IoD) in St. James’s, and was broadcast live to an audience of 1 million viewers on the JD.com site. The aim was to familiarize British buyers and press with some of the labels.
The chairman of the IoD is Lady Barbara Judge, a U.K. business ambassador and a founding member of the U.K.-China Business Leaders Club. She’s also a great proponent of Britain’s doing business with China.
“There is immense opportunity for the U.K. to boost its business links with China, especially in this post-Brexit era,” she said.
The 200-odd guests included the heads of the brands, Chinese media, British buyers and even the perfumer Jo Malone, who has traveled to China as part of the GREAT Britain campaign, which promotes trade abroad.
Xia Hua, the chairwoman of Eve Group, which owns Eve de Cina, Kevin Kelly and other brands, said Monday was the first time she saw her brands on the London stage.
“I wanted this to be an east-west experience,” she said after the show, adding that she was also interested in exposing her brands to British retailers. “But it’s all online as well — one million people were watching this show and can buy what they saw online,” she added.
Eve Group has five brands: Eve de Uomo, Eve de Cina, Notting Hill, Kevin Kelly, and Jaques Pritt. It operates more than 500 stores and Xia is currently an agent for more than 10 international brands.
Malone said she attended the show to support her close friend Xia, whom she met in China. “I want these beautiful pieces – I would even wear one of the men’s silk suits,” she said.
The brands showed off a host of delicately embroidered looks for men and women, including silk dresses with high collars and elbow length sleeves; sleek men’s suits, some of them made in Italy; and dramatic, jewel-encrusted designs.