Hong Kong fashion mecca Joyce will expand its boutiques to Shanghai and Beijing by 2007, according to managing director Adrienne Ma. Ma told Bloomberg News: “Greater China is definitely our focus, our direction, our strategy.”
Shanghainese style mavens will no doubt embrace Joyce, with its enviable stable of international brands such as Balenciaga, Chloé and Marc Jacobs and reputation for stocking the most exclusive styles. Joyce will be a power player in Shanghai, joining existing Hong Kong fashion icons IT and Lane Crawford. Ma acknowledges the difficulties she will face in tackling the Chinese market: “Our experience with Southeast Asian markets is that culturally they’re quite different from Greater China. Operating in those markets may be more difficult.” However, market indicators are positive — China has experienced 19 consecutive months of 10 percent growth or more in the retail sector. The government’s decision this year to scrap the local partnership requirement for foreign investment has resulted in a boom in overseas interest.
In other fashion-related news, Vogue China prepares to launch its long-awaited first issue next month, under the editorial direction of Angelica Cheung, formerly of Elle China. Condé Nast chairman Jonathan Newhouse attributes the delay to waiting for the Chinese market and its consumers to reach an appropriate level of development, and presumably appetite for branded luxury goods. Cheung adds: “The change of China’s fashion magazine industry came together with the development of luxury businesses.” Indeed, the decisions of designers such as Marc Jacobs and Giorgio Armani to set up shop in Shanghai must have been a significant confidence boost, as Condé Nast plans to publish several more Chinese titles in the next few years.
Word has it that Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen will be gracing Vogue China’s first cover, but Shanghaiist wonders whether a Chinese covergirl would be more appropriate, and iconic? Given Vogue‘s recent spate of celebrity covers, ingenue du jour Zhang Ziyi was surely considered, especially as she has already appeared in Vogue Taiwan and Vogue US. As for content and style, little is being revealed by Cheung, except a promise — that “China’s Vogue will be for Chinese readers“. Natch.
US Vogue‘s October 2004 issue featured a story on “Dressed To Shanghai”, which is worth a read for its insight on Shanghainese/Chinese style and consumer trends and predictions — 1, 2, 3, 4.
Photo of Angelica Cheung, editorial director of Vogue China, with designer Rick Owens, from Style.com.