Prada navigates difficult COVID curbs to carry Beijing present

BEIJING/SHANGHAI, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Prada on Friday turned the primary main luxurious home to host a present in China this 12 months, navigating strict COVID curbs to ship fashions down a catwalk in a historic Beijing mansion lodge, a transfer geared toward underscoring its dedication to the market.

Livestreamed on a number of on-line platforms together with Weibo, greater than 400 celebrities and prospects attended the occasion held by the Italian group within the Prince Jun’s Mansion Lodge, the place it showcased its women and men’s fall and winter collections.

Reveals in Chinese language cities by world luxurious giants, from Prada to LVMH’s (LVMH.PA) Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, was a well-known sight and continued even in 2020 and 2021 after China curbed the unfold of the virus comparatively rapidly because of robust border curbs.

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However a lot has modified in 2022 with China’s continued insistence on a “dynamic zero COVID” coverage that makes use of harsh measures to chop any virus transmission chain, at the same time as the remainder of the world opens up within the face of infectious Omicron variants.

Because the begin of the 12 months, a number of cities together with China’s business capital of Shanghai have undergone draconian lockdowns and far of the nation’s inhabitants is now required to bear common COVID-19 testing. These measures have bred uncertainty that has hit each the financial system and shopper confidence.

With a purpose to attend Prada’s occasion, friends needed to present proof of a unfavorable COVID-19 check taken inside 48 hours and masks had been obligatory for all attendees indoors besides the fashions stomping alongside the catwalk.

These flying in from different Chinese language cities additionally needed to adjust to Beijing’s testing necessities for home vacationers.

“[This event] is a key assertion for the model, particularly on this second the place first mover benefit shall be seen as extra highly effective and important than earlier than,” mentioned Kim Leitzes, APAC managing director of information supplier Launchmetrics.

Prada declined requests to be interviewed for this story.

The model has seen important enchancment in its China enterprise in recent times, lowering its reliance on wholesale and driving extra gross sales by way of its personal shops and web site, the place gadgets usually tend to be bought at full value.

It has additionally attracted a brand new era of Chinese language customers with the appointment of celebrity Cai Xukun as a star ambassador in 2019.

“I am very excited to be right here tonight,” mentioned one of many Friday present attendees, Chen Zaozao, who works at an public sale home in Beijing. “I used to have many alternatives to attend trend occasions earlier than nevertheless it has develop into uncommon lately.”

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Reporting by Sophie Yu and Casey Corridor; Enhancing by Christina Fincher

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Ideas.

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