Chanel Cruise Redux, Partying for George, Axel Arigato’s China Push – WWD

NEW HORIZONS: Chanel plans to stage its first major event in China since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, with a repeat showing of its cruise 2024 collection scheduled to be held in Shenzhen on Nov. 2.

“As China’s capital of design, innovation and high technology, this destination, open to the world, creation and the future, is the latest of the many stopovers made by the Chanel cruise collection,” the French luxury brand said in a statement on Thursday.

Located on the Pearl River Delta bordering Hong Kong, Shenzhen has grown in the course of several decades from a fishing village into the capital of China’s Silicon Valley, with a population of 13 million.

It ranked at number eight worldwide in the list of cities with the most billionaires published by Forbes in April, just behind Mumbai and ahead of Singapore, making it a magnet for luxury brands seeking to expand their retail network.  

Chanel opened its first boutique in Shenzhen in December 2021 in the Nanshan District, home to some of China’s largest technology companies. The house has 15 boutiques in China, in addition to two stores dedicated to shoes, one of which opened at the SKP mall in Beijing in March.

This will be its first major event in mainland China since the “Mademoiselle Privé” exhibition in Shanghai in 2019. Prior to that, Chanel staged a replica of its 2016 Métiers d’Art show in Beijing in 2016, as well as a repeat show of the cruise 2018 collection in Chengdu in 2017.

The cruise 2024 line was presented in Los Angeles on May 9 with a show at Paramount Studios attended by celebrities including Margot Robbie, Kristen Stewart and Elle Fanning.

With waves of tense lockdowns and rounds of crackdowns on the tech, real estate and entertainment sectors in 2022, China’s personal luxury sales contracted for the first time in five years, according to Bain & Co. It expects the country to return to 2021 sales levels between the first and second half of 2023. — JOELLE DIDERICH

ALL ABOUT GEORGE: Emma Raducanu, Will Poulter and Arsema Thomas of “Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story” were some of the famous faces at the private preview party of the reopening of London members club George.

Raducanu, who is a global ambassador for Dior, was dressed entirely in black, and carried a black Dior Vibe Hobo bag, while one of her hands was bandaged.

“It is safe to say the last 10 months have been difficult as I dealt with a recurring injury on a bone of both hands,” the tennis star said on Instagram.

“It pains me that I’ll miss the summer events,” she concluded.

Arsema Thomas

Arsema Thomas at George Club.

Rowben Lantion

Also recovering from an injury was Poulter, who arrived in crutches wearing a monochromatic brown suit. Poulter recently starred in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3,” the final installment of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” trilogy.

It seems tone-on-tone looks also a recurring theme of the night — designer Charlie Casely-Hayford of Casely-Hayford wore a sharp navy suit. 

Guests were entertained by Kelis, who performed her hit songs from the 2000s, including “Milkshake” and “Trick Me.” She wore a glittering black gown that matched her eye shadow.

Kelis performing at the George Club.

Kelis performing at the George Club.

Rowben Lantion

George Club, which has the largest outdoor terrace in Mayfair, closed last year to undergo refurbishments and to extend its existing space.

The club will be open to members from June; meanwhile on the club’s website applications for memberships have commenced.

Richard Caring, owner of the club, designed the space and his wife, Patricia, spearheaded the project. The velvet interiors includes a large collection of works by British artist David Hockney, such as the “Afternoon Swimming,” which hangs in the club’s entrance.

Other pieces include the “Olympic Games Munich,” “Van Gogh Chair (White),” and “Tyler Dining Room, From Moving Focus.”

Richard and Patricia Caring

Richard and Patricia Caring

German Larkin

The refurbished club features a new private dining room that will seat 16 guests with more Hockneys hanging on the wall.

The aim for the Carings with George was to build a home away from home. The couple’s portfolio also includes Annabel’s, Harry’s Bar and Mark’s Club.

In September 2022, Annabel’s unveiled an elaborate display to celebrate World Amazon Day in partnership with The Lost Explorer Mezcal.

This has become an ongoing tradition at Annabel’s, where each year the club unveils a new facade to highlight the importance of Amazon conservation efforts and how its rapid destruction is impacting the global ecosystem. — VIOLET GOLDSTONE AND HIKMAT MOHAMMED

CHINA LOVE: Swedish sneaker brand Axel Arigato has drum-rolled its China expansion ambition with the new campaign “From Shanghai With Love.”

Shot by the Shanghai-based photographer Rusty Nero, the campaign features members of the brand’s local community living their lives while sporting new season items.

Nick, Pierhei, and their pet dog shot in Wulumuqi Road, Shanghai

Nick, Pierhei and their pet dog shot in Wulumuqi Road, Shanghai.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

The campaign features Nick, Pierhei and their pet dog. The young couple, who are starting their family in downtown Shanghai, posed in front of a local grocery on Wulumuqi Road.

It also features Weilai and his mother Qin. They share a mutual love of life and fashion. Qin wore a black and white varsity jacket, while Weilai wore a pair of the brand’s Area Lo sneakers for the shoot.

Weilai and his mother Qin shot shot in Wuyuan Road.

Weilai and his mother Qin shot shot in Wuyuan Road.

Courtesy of Axel Arigato

Yebi is the third member of the campaign, a voguing dancer with eye-popping fuchsia hair. He used the backdrop of Shanghai as his stage for the visuals as he stood on the Yan’an crossing downtown.

As the third installment of Axel Arigato’s city-focused campaign after London and Paris, “From Shanghai With Love” is “an opportunity for us to celebrate the people in this amazing city, and our commitment to expand our global community even further,” according to Albin Johansson, chief executive officer at Axel Arigato.

He added that “as China becomes a key focus for Axel Arigato’s continued expansion in 2023-24, our community continues to be our main point of focus — as it has been in Paris, London and beyond.”

The brand entered the Chinese market last summer with the opening of its online flagship on Tmall. It’s also stocked at wholesale partners such as Net-a-porter China, Assemble by Reel, Full Moon, Luxemporium and Harvey Nichols Hong Kong. DFS in Hainan and Macau will begin to carry the brand from the fall 2023 season as well.

It’s understood that Axel Arigato is exploring options to further expand in the Chinese market, such as entering direct physical retail or onboarding with more wholesale partners.

The brand operates physical retail locations in London and Bicester, England; Paris; Stockholm; Copenhagen; Gothenburg, Sweden; Berlin; Munich, Hamburg, and Dubai. — TIANWEI ZHANG

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