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Inner circle of luxury

Updated: 2013-07-29 07:21
By Tiffany Tan ( China Daily)

Inner circle of luxury

Louis Vuitton's first women's store in Beijing at the Shin Kong Place offers clothing, as well as handbags, shoes, luggage and accessories. Provided to China Daily

Changing standards of living means new levels of demand for luxury, as Tiffany Tan reports.

Inner circle of luxury

Luminaries light up LV opening

A couple of hours before the end of the workday Friday, a young woman could be seen darting in and out of the dressing room at a Louis Vuitton store in Beijing. She put on a lacy black cocktail dress and matching peep-toe high heels, then presented the ensemble to a man relaxing on one of the store's plush sofas.

Outside the store's glass doors, a crowd began to form around the installed velvet ropes, waiting for some of China's biggest movie stars to walk down the red carpet and grace the opening of Louis Vuitton's first women's store in Beijing.

Inner circle of luxury

From left: Philippe Fortunato, actress Sun Li, CEO of Louis Vuitton Michael Burke and actor Wu Xiubo at the store opening. Zhang Wei / China Daily

Two decades after entering the Chinese market, the French fashion brand has become one of the country's most sought-after names in luxury. Now, its most pressing challenge is to maintain the image of exclusivity - built from its beginnings as a trunk maker to European royalty - even as it continues to push for bigger sales in China.

Louis Vuitton's new women's store at the Shin Kong Place in Beijing, with sections dedicated to luggage, handbags, clothing, shoes and accessories, is seen as a way to highlight among Chinese consumers the brand's heritage of exclusivity. The Chinese are now the world's top luxury spenders, making one out of every four luxury purchases globally, according to a report by consulting firm Bain & Company.

"With this new store we would like to take a step further and provide adapted shopping experience and service for our sophisticated clientele," Philippe Fortunato, president of Louis Vuitton China, says in a statement.

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