A trip to Lane Crawford used to mean simply walking through as a shortcut between the two sides of Pacific Place shopping mall. The aging department store stood out as direction-less and a poor use of prime retail space. In a dramatic turnaround, Lane Crawford has been transformed into one of the top players in fashion not just in Hong Kong, but in greater China. How did it all happen?
Starting in 2004, Lane Crawford closed its stagnant Queens Road Central location and opened a massive branch that anchored the new IFC shopping mall. Utilizing a modern retail design philosophy and ample amounts of art, the location was a harbinger of things to come. Filled with mobiles dangling from the ceiling, no one else in Hong Kong has such a contemporary, fashion-focused retail space.[photopress:Lane_Crawford_IFC_Hong_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image]
Shortly afterwards came the re-vamp of the Pacific Place location which cemented the company’s new image. Holding a series of events featuring avant-garde designers and making use of the large window displays, Lane Crawford got word out fast about its youthful new persona.[photopress:LaneCrawford_ChristmasRocks.jpg,full,pp_image]
The company did not stop there. While Hong Kong is a fully developed market, China continues to offer huge growth and a vast population of consumers. It makes sense that the company set its sights on the Mainland market next.
In late October 2007, Lane Crawford opened what is arguably the most significant new addition to China’s fashion landscape. Their new branch in Seasons Place in Beijing is not a store, it’s a destination. The decor and presentation echo the fashionable qualities of the merchandise on sale inside. In essence, Lane Crawford doesn’t sell clothes, they sell a lifestyle.
The latest maneuver of the company takes place back in Hong Kong and is devoted to home furnishings. Taking up what was once the food court at Pacific Place, the sprawling new home store works as the equally fashionable counterpart to the apparel collections offered in Lane Crawford. This is not a case of a clothing retailer branching out, but actually a return to the company’s roots. Lane Crawford was once advertised as selling everything from “a pin to an anchor”.
The firm of Yabu Pushelberg, who are responsible for high-profile projects including the redesign of Tiffany’s New York flagship store, as well as the Four Seasons hotel in Tokyo, were brought in to design the space. Fashionable consumers looking to furnish their digs in equally haute garb will find a meandering space packed with a presorted array of trappings from top designers.[photopress:Lane_Crawford_fashion_Kong.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Lane_Crawford_Pacific_Place.jpg,full,pp_image] [photopress:Lane_Crawford_fashion_Hong.jpg,full,pp_image]
The aggressive expansion continues with a branch opening in Macau.
Lane Crawford recently commissioned a short film for their Spring / Summer 2008 campaign featuring well known figures in contemporary China such as Maggie Cheung, Du Juan, Tan Yuan Yuan, Liu Ye and Huang Jue. As if to announce their intentions for regional prominence, the opening title says simply “Lane Crawford China.”
Here’s the behind-the-scenes edit of the video:
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