After a trip to Beijing to meet with potential distributors, French designer Catherine Malandrino is the latest in a series of retail-savvy pioneers to set her sights on China's expanding luxury market.
Malandrino told WWD her first trip to mainland China (she'd been to Hong Kong several times) was a revelation for its juxtaposition of traditional and modern design, and the contrast of its style-savvy consumers to America's more frugal shoppers.
You can't really imagine what is going on there, especially coming from America, where women are very price conscious, focused on sales and finding off-price merchandise. There, the customer is totally into luxury and designers. They understand the brands, style and fashion.
The designer's musings on the fashion world's potential distribution channels in China fall quckly on the heels of a profile of Diane von Furstenberg's recent trip, as well as Anna Wintour's announcement that she'd like to expand the Vogue Fashion Fund to the country.