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Bling in the dark
Publication Date : 07-10-2012
Shanghai embraces Anna Wintour's Fashion Night Out for a second year.
The global late-night shopping event, Fashion's Night Out, hit Shanghai on Sept. 7, drawing thousands of shoppers out for a sleepless night. The event also marked the start of a month-long shopping festival in the city.
Along with 18 other cities around the world including Paris, London and Milan, Shanghai has been taken over for a second year in a row by the annual shopping extravaganza, initiated by world style guru Anna Wintour in 2009.
A total of 14 popular shopping destinations in the city - and over a hundred brands, both international and domestic - signed up for the event, offering discounts, giveaways, exclusive designs and, most importantly, late-night open hours.
A galaxy of A-list celebrities and fashion models joined the shoppers for the carnival night.
Major brands like Chanel and Lanvin introduced limited-edition T-shirts and bags for the first time for the event. A double-decker bus runs between different venues during the festival, ferrying fashionistas and shoppers.
"Last year, daily sales went up by 30 per cent on the night," says Angelica Cheung, editor-in-chief of Chinese Vogue magazine, the co-organiser of the event.
"It proves the power of shopping, and we want to celebrate it and make it fun," she adds.
But for Cheung and her Vogue team, the evening means more about brand building for Chinese designers than racking up sales.
"As a fashion magazine, we always see our role as an ambassador for promoting, or saving the industry," says Cheung. "That's why Ms Wintour initiated the shopping festival to restore customer confidence and boost the economy in times of recession in 2009."
"While in Shanghai, a city that is enjoying a two-digit growth rate in retail sales every year, the problem is more about the lonely Chinese-born designs," she says.
"It usually takes quite a long time for customers to take a fancy to a brand," concurs Li Hongyan, the founder of Chinese fashion brand Helen Lee. "The event provides a good platform for us to make a step closer to our customers by telling what we are like."