NOVOMANIA, THE TRADESHOW WHICH BRINGS INTERNATIONAL FASHION TO CHINA, HAD ITS START TODAY.
READ THIS INTERVIEW WITH GUILHERME FARIA, GENERAL MANAGER OF NOVOMANIA, CONDUCTED ON THE SHOW NOT ONLY TO GET AN IDEA ABOUT THE SHOW BUT ABOUT SHANGHAI AND ITS FASHION SCENE IN GENERAL.
What is special about Novomania?
We really understand the fashion market as Novo was a retailer and a distributer so we understand what the brands want and what the market wants. The joint venture with UBM brought in the exhibition side and this made it possible to create something special about the show.
We introduce new international concepts to the market. These don’t only have to come from the international market to China but can also origin from China. This country is starting to produce very interesting things, and it is just a matter of time until these creative Chinese brands go international.
What can European and US companies expect if they exhibit at Novomania?
Independently of how big you are in your own country, in China the amount of people who know you is limited. And if they don’t know and understand the concept of your brand, they will not buy your product. So you have to expose yourself and show your brand to the people. We are the only platform where you can do this.
For the Chinese customer, it is more about the image of a brand than about the product. What we offer, is a platform for brands to introduce their concept to the best in fashion of China.
Tell us a wisdom about the fashion business in China.
The most important thing is, that you don’t leave the market on its own. This market is too important for any CEO than to just find a distributor. This market can completely change the roots of any company.
You come here and you have to adapt. You don’t need to change your product completely but your communication has to be different.
If you come here, you come as a trial and error.
Tell us the best places in Shanghai for shopping for fashion.
There are many places. It really depends on what you want. A couple of streets are famous like Nan jing road where the big monobrand stores are. Even though there are many new developments there, it is still very much a shopping mall culture, which is fairly repetitive. Novomania plays a major role in innovating this, as we give new concepts and new ideas. This is very important for shopping malls, as the only way to differentiate themselves, is to open multibrand stores. With multibrand stores, each store will always be different as it pushes a different brand or concept. Of course, also the little streets in the French Concession are great and you can find multibrand stores there, which are small corner stores made with love.
What are the best multibrand-stores in China and the best e-retailing websites?
There are a handfull of good e-retailers in China.
The most important group to mention is Alibaba, which developed the tmall.com platform. Unless you are registered as the legitimate brand you can’t sell your product there. This platform almost covers half of the market.
However, there are also a lot of independent sites and flash sales. The price still plays a big role, which is why campaigns are very important to have online.
At present there are more mono- than multibrand stores in China. Do you expect that to change in the future, if so – when?
It already changed in Russia and in China it will change even faster. Already, the Chinese ultra high-net worth individuals are looking for alternative brands to the known luxury brands as people don’t want to be confused with the up and coming middle class, which already can afford those luxury brands. This bears the opportunity for multi brand stores to establish themselves with sophisticated and new labels.
What should I not miss to see or do in Shanghai, apart from Novomania, when I am visiting your fair?
You definitely will realize that Shanghai is a dynamic and top developed city. But you should leave Shanghai to understand what China is really about. Come with an open mind as brands can learn a lot from coming here and hopefully they can open their mind and learn that China works in a different way and will certainly not adapt.
Please name a few good restaurants and places to go out at night in Shanghai.
Shanghai grew such an important hub for international companies, that the foreigners who come here bring quality and lifestyle. Restaurants on The Bund like el Willy or Mr and Mrs Bund, which is a contemporary modern French place, are good.
Lost heaven is a must for Chinese food for foreigners. There is one on The Bund and one in the French Concession.
As for nightclubs M1nt, Bar Rouge or Unico are good to visit. But also don’t forget all the bars and the hotels on the Pudong side.
What is your goal with Novomania in the near future?
We want Novomania to be the reference for fashion in Asia.
And my personal one is that i want to help transform fashion in China.
As a retailer from outside China, is it worth coming to Novomania?
We show not only up and coming Chinese brands but labels from countries like Korea, Japan, Australia and Hongkong. These brands you wouldn’t see anywhere else in the world. There are so many nice things popping up in China. And we see many and talk to many of them.
The English metropolis of London is the first city to get the WeAr once-over as part of our new “City Check” series. We’ll be sharing our tips for the hottest restaurants, hotels, bars, and clubs.
Writer Samuel Johnson said: “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life.” This city is constantly reinventing itself; there is so much on offer, it’s simply not to be missed.
The concept store LN-CC comprises a bar, a sound space, a book shop, and of course the hippest collections from Ann Demeulemeester, Achilles Ion Gabriel, and Lanvin. Tucked away in the north-east corner of the city, the shop can be visited by appointment only.
Not far away, and also in East London, is the Goodhood Store, a boutique that specializes in trendy, independent labels from all over the world. Collections like Opening Ceremony, Australia’s Rittenhouse, Peter Jensen and APC Madras are on display in the stylish store, which has a womenswear emphasis. There are also several affordable, but undoubtedly cool accessory brands.
Around the corner, you can find Start Boutique. It has been there for years but is always a must if you’re in the neighborhood. Brands like Helmut Lang, Church’s, T by Alexander Wang, Paige, Kenzo, and Maison Martin Margiela, as well as the house collection Mr Start and Mr Start Woman can be found here.
Hostem in Shoreditch is guaranteed to get the fashion-conscious man’s heart beating faster. In its hip East London interior the store holds styles from Rick Owens and Comme des Garçons, as well as handmade shoes from Sebastian Tarek. It is also worth paying a visit to the new womenswear section of this trend store.
Peruvian restaurant Coya is a culinary heaven, a high quality restaurant in a prime location on Piccadilly, with a traditional Latin American atmosphere. The who’s who of the fashion world, heads of state and typical London bankers can all be seen here, enjoying spicy beef and drinking cocktails – Pisco sours. In the bar on the first floor, live jazz-inspired music lures you to the dance floor.
Those who prefer cool to up-market should visit the “in” bar La Bodega Negra. Don’t be put off by the restaurant’s exterior, it’s not really a sex shop but a bar with a restaurant serving Mexican food. The mango and jalapeño scallops and the margaritas just have to be tried.
If you’re in search of an affordable yet centrally located and hip alternative, you can’t go wrong with Meat Liquor. Famous for its burgers, this restaurant is hidden away just off Oxford Street. A dome emblazoned with elaborate graffiti stretches over the dining area. It does get loud there, but it’s still the perfect place to see and be seen.
PUBS & BARS
Punchbowl, the pub that used to belong to Guy Ritchie, is still a top venue for the Mayfair rich and beautiful. But it also boasts the typical British pub atmosphere and serves good British fare.
If it happens not to be raining, Radio on the top floor of the ME Hotel is the one bar that allows you to admire London’s beautiful landmarks from above. During the day on Saturdays, there are parties with good lounge music and house music, where you can eat brunch but also dance the day away.
Drury Club in Covent Garden combines the style of the chic West End with the cool East End and is intended for those who would rather party than sleep. With good drinks, good music, and interior design that sets it apart from most other clubs, a good evening is guaranteed.
Check out Chakana, which opened its doors for the first time in November. Latin American-inspired, they play deep house music and offer a few of the most creative cocktails on the London club scene.
HOTELS & MORE
The ME Hotel is part of the Melia group and – thanks to its location in The Strand, directly opposite Somerset House – it is the ideal base for London Fashion Week. The rooms are stunning, and every evening there is a laser show in the pyramid-shaped lobby.
No doubt about it, 45 Park Lane, a Dorchester Hotel, has the biggest and most comfortable beds and rooms, all of which look out over Hyde Park (make sure to stay on the top floor so that you can get a glimpse of Hyde Park over the trees). Add to that Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, CUT, serving excellent mini burgers, and this hotel really is a “home away from home.”
The Edition Hotel in Fitzrovia is one of the newest arrivals on the hotel scene and its location, in close proximity to Soho with its night clubs, bars, and restaurants, is unbeatable. The hotel, which is part of the Marriott group, combines English elegance with modern flair. The Michelin starred restaurant and the bar are just as inviting as the tastefully furnished rooms. To top it all off, the penthouse suite has a 360° panorama view of London.
For the full London experience, be sure to go to Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge for a fashionista’s afternoon tea. Balenciaga’s black and white chocolate mousse dress on a walnut brownie would be enough to tempt even the strongest willed model to abandon their diet. Conveniently, the hotel is right by Harvey Nichols and Harrods, both of which are an integral part of any visit to London.
EVEN MORE TIPS
WeAr also recommends the department stores Selfridges and Liberty, as well as multi-label stores Dover Street Market, Wolf & Badger, Matches, and Folk. Other great bars include Mr Foggs, Sketch, Hoxton Pony, and Experimental Cocktail Club. Restaurants worthy of mention are Bunga Bunga, Death by Burrito, Burger & Lobster, Aqua at the Shard, and – for British food – Bumpkin Chelsea. When it comes to hotels, we also rate the Sanderson Hotel, The Connaught, Blakes Hotel, and The Ampersand. And as for clubs, try LouLou’s, Cuckoo, The Box, and Le Baron.
LN-CC: Late Night Chameleon Cafe
18 Shacklewell Lane
London E8 2EZ+44 (0)20 7275 7265
41-43 Redchurch Street, London, E2 7DJ, UK
41 Coronet St, London N1 6HD, United Kingdom
44 20 7729 3600
10 Berners St, City of Westminster, London W1T, United Kingdom
+44 20 7758 8393 www.edition-hotels.marriott.com
ME Hotel: Adresse: 336-337 Strand, City of Westminster, WC2R 1HA
Telefon:0808 234 1953
45 Park Lane: Adresse: 45 Park Ln, London W1K 1PN
Telefon:020 7493 4545
Meat Liquor: Adresse: 74 Welbeck St, London W1G 0BA
Telefon:020 7224 4239
The Berkeley: Adresse: Wilton Pl, Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7RL
Telefon:020 7235 6000
La Bodega Negra: Adresse: 16 Moor St, London, Greater London W1D 5NH
Telefon:020 7758 4100
Coya Adresse: 118 Piccadilly, Mayfair, London, Greater London W1J 7NW
Telefon:020 7042 7118
The Drury Club, 167 Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5PG T – 020 7831 9399
23 Orchard St, London W1H 6HL http://chakanaclub.com
Punchbowl 41 Farm Street London W1J 5RP +44 (0) 20 7493 6841