Balmain has tapped a seasoned executive to lead its expansion in Greater China.
Lily Liu will join the French fashion house on Nov. 12 as president, Greater China, a new role.
Liu was most recently Versace’s vice president for China. She joins Balmain with 25 years of experience working with European luxury brands in the Chinese market, including Bottega Veneta, Lanvin and Christian Dior, according to the house.
Jean-Jacques Guével, chief executive officer of Balmain, said the brand has enjoyed “strong growth” in China. It recently opened a directly operated boutique in the MixC mall in Shenzhen, having previously been present only at multi-brand stores in the southeastern city.
The brand is preparing to open a directly operated boutique at the IFS mall in Chengdu; another inside the Haitang Bay Mall on Hainan island, which will be operated by CDFG, and a boutique in Chongqing with a franchise partner, all before January.
China is Balmain’s second-largest retail market after the U.S. and has been the fastest-growing nation for the last two years, according to the company.
“As Balmain continues its expansion in the region, we are confident that Ms. Liu will help guide both the house and its growing team, as we all work to fully realize Balmain’s outstanding potential and build upon Olivier Rousteing’s unique vision for this historic house,” Guével added in an internal announcement shared exclusively with WWD.
The French house recently marked Rousteing’s 10-year anniversary at Balmain with a blowout fashion show and music festival during Paris Fashion Week. The fashion house has multiplied in size sevenfold over the last decade as the French designer added pre-collections, men’s wear and accessories — along with heat and cultural currency.