Fashion Is Alive
If at first you don’t succeed… wait 15 years and try again? Perhaps not the most common adage, but nonetheless the MO that renowned Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette is employing with regards to taking China. But though the previous GL outpost folded after just over a year, there are many indications the second coming will be more successful, not the least of which are the nation’s booming retail culture and burgeoning current-day market for all things contemporary European, from clothing, to food and beverage, to architecture.
Situated in the heart of Xicheng’s ultra-fashionable Xi’dan Street, the joint venture with Hong Kong fashion mega-distributor I.T sprawls over 6 floors and 47,000 sq m, and features glamorous, Euro-inflected design, including oak and marble floors, French moldings, and the original’s trademark glass dome, here recreated using LED lighting. Eschewing the saturated, predictable luxury-name line-up, the world’s second largest GL flagship instead focuses on both accessible and fashion-forward tenants from both overseas and at home. The Kooples, Maje, Simone Pérèle, Sisley and Saint Laurent Paris’ first Beijing store share pride of place with local heroes Simon Gao and Christopher Bu, and the cuisine offering is equally cosmopolitan, spanning regional Chinese eats, French wine bar La Bordeauxthèque, and even a branch of famed Paris café Angelina. They say, ‘fashion is alive!” We say, “touché!”