Fashion influencer and former Bergdorf Goodman fashion director Nick Wooster was recently in China to promote the launch of his Lardini capsule collection at luxury men’s boutique Strasburgo, first in Beijing’s Parkview Green and then in Shanghai’s Yifeng Galleria. WWD spoke to Wooster at the store in Shanghai as he prepared for a day of meet-and-greets and personalized style consultations.
This story first appeared in the May 27, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Were you aware of your prominence in Chinese social media?
Only insofar as when I was at the airport, Tiananmen Square, in the Forbidden City on the street and people recognized me and asked to take my photo. And I’ve been told that there is a name for me. It’s something to the effect of “fashion uncle.” I’m not quite sure how I feel about that, but I’m going to assume it’s a good thing.
It was your first time in Beijing. Any highlights?
The history, and the scale. I also went to this amazing restaurant called The Temple, which was one of the most unbelievable meals I’ve ever had. Just super beautiful, super well done, super glamorous.
You’ve been to Shanghai once before. Did you see or try anything new this time?
Not yet. I’m a terrible guest in a host country because I am so particular about the food. I grew up in Kansas. I like steak. I’m embarrassed, really. I wish I were as adventurous with food as I am with clothes, but sadly, I am not.
What are your impressions of the local fashion scene?
I’ve had the good fortune to have pretty much been around the world, and the surprise that I have for everyone is — it’s kind of the same. What I got to see in Beijing were three major tourist destinations, but in terms of being in Parkview Green in Beijing versus being here in Shanghai, the customers do seem to have the same style as I’ve seen elsewhere.
Did you see any discernible trends or patterns, particularly in men’s fashion?
The street style guys here look exactly like they would look in Tokyo, London, Brooklyn. They all have the same kind of sneakers, the same kind of backpacks, the same kind of outerwear. That was sort of an eye-opener.
Which piece in your collection might do especially well here?
The sneakers, because I think sneakers are universal, and it’s also the most accessible. Everybody can pretty much have a piece of the sneaker pie.