In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of August 27-31:
Along with their incomes, the health consciousness of China’s middle class has shown a steady rise in recent years, with this consumer demographic placing a premium on their well-being in the face of high-profile food safety scandals. In the span of only a few years, middle-class Chinese have become some of the most active patrons of the country’s boutique supermarkets (formerly the reserve of the ultra-wealthy), and now spend heavily on nutritional supplements, bottled water, imported nuts and organic produce. Along with the luxury handbags and heaps of high-end apparel they bring back to China from overseas holidays, Chinese outbound tourists are often seen stocking up on everything from vitamins and protein powder to baby formula and diapers.
For brands that prematurely jumped into an underdeveloped China market, worked with the wrong local partners, or simply botched their initial forays into the country, the explosion in home-grown Chinese social media is offering a new lease on life for those brave (or well-capitalized) enough to try again. Unlike the digital landscape of five years ago, which at the time was led mostly by BBS and blogging platforms, the rise of a new ecosystem of social media platforms like like Sina Weibo, Youku and Jiepang has boosted the ease and dropped the cost with which brands can reach China’s emerging young consumer. Following its withdrawal from China five years ago, one brand that feels the Chinese shopper’s social media-led education has paved the way for a successful return is Paul Smith, which is slated to open its first mainland China flagship, a 5,000 square foot (465 square meter) “megastore” in Shanghai, this December.
Following the opening of the inaugural Beijing Sanlitun boutique in October 2011, Alexander McQueen – under the creative direction of Sarah Burton — is making a second foray into China with the launch of a womenswear store in Shanghai. Realized by architecture and interior design agency David Collins Studio, the 1,600-square-foot space offers a complete range of Alexander McQueen merchandise including runway pieces, ready-to-wear, and accessories including footwear, bags as well as an extensive collection of signature McQueen scarves.
Since the passing of the late Alexander McQueen in February 2010, Burton has taken the helm of the luxury fashion house, reinvigorating the label and guiding the brand in new directions.
With the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching — falling on September 30 this year — it’s about that time for people to start stocking up on mooncakes, the dense lotus seed paste-filled confections traditionally meted out to friends and family in elaborate packages. But as everybody from stalwart brands like Wing Wah to Starbucks and Haagen-Dazs puts out ever more expensive and lavish mooncakes, it’s refreshing to see Hong Kong’s Goods of Desire (G.O.D.) — one of our favorite local lifestyle brands — go against the grain with their new collection, which puts the “moon” in mooncakes.
While a number of Chinese companies and individual investors have purchased property in Bordeaux in recent years, an ambitious handful are starting to turn their attention to vineyards and chateaux in Burgundy.
By now, news of Chinese investments in French chateaux should come as no surprise, as China becomes an increasingly significant consumer of top-tier French wine exports. Intent on securing a steady supply of high-quality raw materials while boosting the legitimacy of their own wine-making businesses, Chinese wine manufacturers in particular have made great efforts to establish a presence in the French wine industry, most prominently in Bordeaux — where the majority of China’s current high-end imported wine is produced.