Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Special Report issue 09/08/2009

BEIJING — Aiming for a fusion of Chinese art, design and international fashion, Fashion’s Night Out will take over four of Beijing’s toniest shopping malls, which will host a flurry of parties, art exhibits and 100 celebrity appearances.

The four malls are home to the Beijing locations of some of the world’s top luxury brands. From the stalwart China World Trade Center shops to the recently opened Yintai “Park Life” Shopping Center in the Beijing Park Hyatt complex, the celebration will keep most shops open Thursday until 11 p.m. or midnight.

This story first appeared in the September 8, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Participation depends on the individual retailer, but organizers say many of the hundreds of participating brands will offer discounts and parties with possible celebrity sightings of big-name Chinese stars. Shops at the Peninsula Hotel and the Seasons Place mall will also take part in the evening of fashion-focused celebrations. Organizers said they chose the four most important shopping locations along Chang’an Avenue, the heart of Beijing.

A few examples of events set for Beijing: At the China World Mall, custom-made art from nine well-known Chinese artists will go on display. At Lane Crawford in the Seasons Place, staff will raffle prizes all night, and patrons will have a chance to be entered into a travel sweepstakes contest.

In addition to parties and potential discounts, the malls will feature art and creative window-dressing by local designers and some Chinese art and native-inspired design projects. Ethnic Chinese designers Phillip Lim, Anna Sui, Alexander Wang and Jason Wu have created a series of limited edition reusable handbags, available to a select number of shoppers at each participating location. Proceeds from the bags will be donated to an environmental protection fund in China, according to Vogue.

“The purpose of this global event is to remind us that fashion is only one part of life,” Angelica Cheung, Vogue China’s editor in chief, said. “At the same time, it also indicates a favorable shopping environment for all of us — whatever way you look at it, the event benefits each and every one of us.”

The event will likely fit well with other recent efforts across China to encourage consumers to spend more in the face of reduced economic growth. China, smacked by the global financial crisis last fall but still growing strong economically, is aiming to increase domestic consumption to help make up for its slumping export industry.

Fashion’s Night Out is timed as Beijing’s mall culture seems to be taking root, and retail sales, according to official data, appear relatively strong. This year, the government has reported steady increases in retail sales across China.

But organizers say the event is not just aimed at straight consumption. Cheung said the Beijing event and its elements of Chinese design will help bring modern and traditional Chinese style to more of today’s consumers. Event locations will feature specially created fashion displays and designs.

Across the Taiwan Straits in Taipei, events in several locations will focus on raising money for charities working with victims of Taiwan’s devastating typhoon and mud slides on Aug. 8. Charity auctions and other events will branch out from Taipei 101 and a host of other department stores.

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