ASIAN BEAT

ESCADA EXPANSION: Escada has opened a 2,500-square-foot store in the sleek KLCC building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Escada recently assumed control of its Malaysian business from Asian retailer Dickson Concepts, which still controls the Escada name in Hong Kong.
A spokeswoman for Escada in Kuala Lumpur said there were no plans to expand in Malaysia. “We’ve invested a lot of money into this, and want to concentrate on it for the time being,” she said.

GIVENCHY GROWS: Givenchy plans to open its first flagship in Hong Kong to house its men’s and women’s collections. The store will come under the aegis of high-end fashion retailer Swank Shop, which operates boutiques, including Sonia Rykiel and Valentino, in Hong Kong and China.
The 2,000-square-foot boutique will open in the upscale Prince’s Building, in Hong Kong’s busy Central District.

MIXING THE MIX: Retail emporiums in Hong Kong are changing the mixes of their beauty departments.
Fashion doyenne Joyce Ma, who runs the tony Joyce Boutiques, has elected to bring in more niche brands such as Chantecaille and Nuxe to occupy space on beauty floors. And Seibu has opted to go Japanese, introducing cult favorites such as Ipsa and RMK Rumiko, while Lane Crawford has taken on the MAC brand, has the exclusive rights to Creme de la Mer and will also bring in Bobbi Brown cosmetics.

HERMES OVERSEAS: The Hermes Awards will be in conjunction with Hong Kong Polytechnic. Students in graphic arts, fashion and photography will compete to participate in a cultural exchange program in Paris at the house of Hermes next year.
Hermes also announced the opening of an Hermes complex in Tokyo, planned for the end of 2000. The 14-story edifice, will house a boutique, museum, exhibition hall and large repairs section. It will be in the center of Tokyo’s prime Ginza district, and will be modeled along Hermes buildings in Paris and New York.

FAIR BEATER: Asia’s premier fabric fair, Interstoff Asia, announced record-breaking attendance figures for the trade event, which ended Oct. 22 in Hong Kong.
More than 13,000 buyers from 94 countries visited the fair, organized by Messe Frankfurt. The turnout represented a 20 percent increase over attendance of 1998, and drew an unprecedented number of countries, such as Bulgaria, Turkmenistan, Laos and Iceland. There was also an 11 percent increase in exhibitors.
Highlights included a Royal College of Art fashion show, and trend predictions by fabric experts from Milan, Paris, Tokyo and New York.

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