What is the economic capital of China

Why the luxury fashion houses have their eye on the West Bund Art Center in Shanghai

The corona crisis began in China, and economic recovery for the big fashion and luxury companies is also beginning there. The reason is very simple: the economy in China is already recovering, even if the reality is not the same everywhere in the country. Beijing, for example, is still struggling, but Hong Kong has shown encouraging signs of a revitalized economy early on, albeit accompanied by an extremely tense social and political climate. Some luxury houses there already recorded a sales increase of 22 percent in May. China, being the first to be hit, is also the first to contain the epidemic, giving it an economic edge.

Chinese consumers do not seem to have lost their appetite for fashion and luxury. And because they cannot satisfy this appetite abroad, they now buy locally. In addition, young Chinese consumers who are innovative are very willing to shop online. There is no reluctance to shop online, as in Europe, in China, where under 30s make up almost half of the consumers.

Luxury companies want to benefit from this Chinese boom more than ever. According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the Chinese market will be worth around 162 billion euros by 2025 and account for 41 percent of the industry's total revenue, while at the same time contributing to nearly three-quarters of global growth. And since Chinese consumers can no longer travel to Europe or the United States, it will be the local stores that they will visit. Between Beijing, which is only slowly awakening, and Hong Kong, which is politically highly sensitive, Shanghai - China's economic capital - seems to be a natural choice for all major events.

One of the most important cultural places in Asia

None of the luxury groups can escape this: From 9 to 13 September this year, Richemont will be presenting the new products from its A-brands in West for the first time in its history through the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, which organizes the Watches & Wonders trade fair Bund Art Center in Shanghai, including the brands Lange & Söhne, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, IWC Schaffhausen, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Purnell, Roger Dubuis and Vacheron Constantin.

LVMH is also looking for new points of contact: On August 6, the Louis Vuitton men's fashion show for S / S 2021 will be shown in Shanghai. This show is heralded by the fashion house as "the best path to a new way of doing business". Christian Dior also has his eye on China. The House of Paris announces that the exhibition "Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" will be on view from July 28th to October 4th at the Long Museum West Bund. 250 haute couture dresses will be presented, accompanied by illustrations by René Gruau, Christian Bérard and works by renowned Chinese artists.

In the same place, Chanel presented the Mademoiselle Privé exhibition last year. This is no coincidence: it is a huge exhibition hall that is located in the south of the city on the bank of the river and is very easily accessible. This hall, the main hall of which was used as a hangar at the former Longhua Airport, was renovated by the Xuhui District Government following the 2010 World Exhibition. Today it is one of the most attractive places for contemporary art in the city and aims to become one of the most important cultural hotspots in Asia. This ambition, which is being confirmed by luxury brands, is set to become a reality very soon.

This article was previously published on FashionUnited.uk. Translation and editing: Barbara Russ

Image: Christian Dior