WWD.com/retail-news/trends-analysis/tapping-into-a-new-market-the-chinese-mega-rich-5539028January 20, 2012By Lara FarrarBEIJING — If you happen to be in Manhattan Wednesdayevening and are near the Empire State Building, you may noticethat sometime between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. the lights on top ofthe building will suddenly change to colors of very bright redand gold.The red and gold lighting is happening, in part, to celebrateChinese New Year, a weeklong holiday that begins Monday. Buteven more so, the Empire State Building will change colors inhonor of the 300 or so megarich Chinese who will be insidesipping expensive alcohol at a private gala on the building’s80th floor.No doubt there are countless increasingly rich Chinesetraveling overseas who book tours on cramped buses withpacked itineraries in New York and other cities around theworld. What makes this group different is who they are, howmuch they are worth, what they do and, in particular, what theywill be doing in the Big Apple from Sunday to Friday.RELATED STORY: Chinese Retailers Prepare for NewYear Holiday >>The tour, called Dragon Week NYC to coincide with the fact Empire State Buildingthat, according to Chinese astrology, 2012 is the Year of the Photo By Getty ImagesDragon, is organized by Affinity China, a start-up that billsitself as a “private network offering exclusive luxury lifestyleevents and unique travel opportunities” to its Chinesemembers, who can join the network by invitation only.
WWD.com/eye/lifestyle/bergdorf-goodman-designers-court-chinese-5572400January 26, 2012 Dragon Week Caters to Chinas Rich - Lifestyle - Eye - WWD.com http://www.wwd.com/eye/lifestyle/bergdorf-goodman-designers-court-ch...By Lara Farrar NEW YORK — It wasn’t that Dragon Week NYC did not go off as expected, but rather that those involved with the weeklong luxury trip for rich Chinese to Manhattan didn’t really seem to know exactly what to expect. “It was a learning experience for everyone,” said Christine Lu, a co-founder of Affinity China, the company that organized the trip, which began in New York on Sunday. “The story is not finished yet.” The tale of the excursion was that it was one filled with nothing short of impressive, exclusive events for those who signed up to take part in Dragon Week, named so due to the fact that 2012 is the Year of the Dragon according to Chinese astrology. Gilles Mendel gave guests a private tour of the J.Mendel atelier, while Montblanc invited Lang Lang, an internationally renowned pianist, for a private performance in the brand’s Madison Avenue boutique. Linda Fargo, the senior vice president of Bergdorf Goodman’s fashion office and store presentation, emceed a private fashion show at the store, which was followed by a cocktail party and dinner attended by designers including Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Naeem Khan, Zac Posen, Marchesa’s Georgina Chapman and Linda Fargo Keren Craig, VBH’s Bruce Hoeksema and Peter Som. Photo By Jenna Greene New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a brief appearance at the Empire State Building for a gala and lighting ceremonyLuo Zilin in the Bergdorf Goodman fashion show. in which the building’s top turned to hues of gold and orange toPhoto By Jenna Greene celebrate Chinese New Year. Yue-Sai Kan, a Chinese-American TV personality, and Luo Zilin, China’s entrant in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant, made frequent appearances throughout the week. Ralph Lauren, Piaget and Coach held private shopping events. Estée Lauder had a reception hosted by Aerin Lauder, the brand’s style and image director, at its world headquarters. Those were the main attractions. The side story of the week was that not that many Chinese actually showed up. Affinity China, Oscar de la Renta and Diane von Furstenberg which bills itself as a concierge service aimed at reaching a Photo By Jenna Greene growing demographic of a more affluent, culturally discerning group of Mainlanders traveling overseas, said 300 access cards were given out. While some events capped the number of people who could come, the average attendance numbered, at best, around 20, and, at times, fewer than a dozen. Many of those who attended already live in the U.S., are second-generation Chinese studying at American colleges or are not Chinese. Affinity China said more Mainland Chinese were slated to come but canceled at the last minute due to visa issues or because they preferred to stay home with their families over Chinese New Year. Dragon Week guests tour Estée Lauder’s office. The fact that not that many Mainland Chinese attended didn’t Photo By Jenna Greene
1/30/12 Luxury brands long to bond with China!s elite - FT.com Last updated: January 27, 2012 6:02 pm Luxury brands long to bond with China’s elite 1/30/12 Luxury brands long to bond with China!s elite - FT.com By Barney Jopson in New York Piaget, a watch brand, unveiled a $58,000 timepiece engraved with a gold dragon. Estée Diamond earrings glistened, stiletto heels tapped Lauder gave them a tour of its eponymous founder’s corner office and the first samples of and the sequins on a mermaid gown shimmered an expensive new eye balm. J Mendel, a fur coat maker, showed them its workshop. as Miss China sashayed down a New York catwalk, passing within a perfume waft of a According to provisional figures from the Chinese Tourism Academy, Chinese took 70m compatriot named Lina Li. overseas trips in 2011 and spent a total of $69bn, an increase of 25 per cent from the previous year. They are also increasingly discerning. Ms Li was among a group of wealthy Chinese who had paid for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of Even when luxury brands get the basics of hiring Mandarin speakers and accepting the western luxury at Bergdorf Goodman, a genteel China UnionPay credit card, Ms Lu says that misunderstandings with the wealthy can still picn department store for the affluently elegant, which arise. put on a fashion show in their honour this week. Western luxury retailers like to ingratiate themselves by building “unique relationships” that depend on employees learning about customers’ lives and anticipating their needs. “I liked it a lot. It was my first fashion show,” said an enthusiastic Ms Li. She glanced down at her sweater and jeans and added sheepishly: “I didn’t dress properly.” But Ms Lu says that China engenders a “natural distrust” of pushy sales associates and that many of the rich guard their privacy jealously. “We cater to a demographic that The co-founder of a Shanghai recruitment agency, Ms Li is the kind of person that doesn’t want you to know who they are.” Bergdorf Goodman and other luxury retailers want to meet. But if the feeling is mutual, so is a measure of puzzled incomprehension. Retailers can also make the error of judging people by appearances. “I remember one guy,” says Kaan Cedric Turk, US general manager for Zilli, a French clothes maker that Chinese shoppers have become a fixture of the luxury retail scene in the US and Europe, sells a $26,000 ostrich leather jacket. drawn by prices that can be up to 50 per cent lower than tax-elevated levels at home. But many upscale brands have yet to bond with the truly wealthy –China’s million “He came without speaking a word of English. Wearing sneakers and a raincoat … And he millionaires. spent an amount of money that was mind-boggling.” “It’s like they’re dancing with each other but sometimes going past each other,” says Bain & Co says that in 2010 one-quarter of the Rmb212bn that mainland Chinese spent on luxuries was outside the mainland, Hong Kong and Macau.Coach, the handbag brand, Christine Lu, co-founder and chief executive of Affinity China, a luxury club that says that at peak travel times Chinese tourists can account for 15-20 per cent of its sales organised the New York tour, named Dragon Week, to coincide with the lunar new year. in New York, Las Vegas and Hawaii. That is why several brands agreed to host some of the 80-plus Chinese participants, While ordinary Chinese overwhelmingly prefer group travel, research by the Hurun among them Mont Blanc, the pen maker, which squeezed aSteinway piano into a store for Report last year found that 80 per cent of the wealthy eschew it and its association with a recital by Lang Lang, the Chinese pianist. hurried bus tours. Dragon Week provides the opposite. “It’s kind of like a concierge service, offering themwww.ft.com/cms/s/0/b0e42a86-48ac-11e1-954a-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1kvbw7DQ3 1/3 access and experiences they can’t get otherwise,” says Renee Hartman of the China Luxury Network, part of Affinity China. Champagne is abundant and the guests – most of them under 50 and proficient in English
HOME MAGAZINE NEWS FEATURE SCENE Search Haute Living Los Angeles Jan/Feb 2012Chinese Tourists Receive Luxury Treatment During Dragon WeekNYCby Anna Dysinger MOST POPULAR Dwyane Wades BIG Surprise at W SoB... Like 21 20 comment(s)A group of wealthy Chinese is receiving luxury treatment during Dragon Week NYC, complete with privatefashion shows and designer mingling. The weeklong tour is organized by A!nity China, a private networkthat connects invited members with luxury lifestyle events and unique travel opportunities.Approximately 70 tourists—both from China and the United States—are taking part in Dragon Week NYC.The tour began Sunday evening when participants attended a cocktail party at Yue-Sai Kan’s townhouse inSutton Square. Notable attendees included Bill Brobston, Victor Luis, Bruce Hoeksema and Luo Zilin, who Haute Event: Karina Smirnoffcompeted for China in the 2011 Miss Universe pageant. Celebr...Monday morning, the group received a private tour of J. Mendel’s atelier by Gilles Mendel, followed by a Like 9 8 comment(s)performance by Chinese pianist Lang Lang in Montblanc on Madison Ave. Tuesday, Bergdorf Goodmanhosted a fashion show, emceed by Linda Fargo. The show featured spring/summer 2012 collections fromdesigners such as Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Louboutin and Givenchy. Following the show was a cocktailparty and dinner, attended by Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Naeem Khan, Georgina Chapman,Keren Craig and Zac Posen.Like Haute Living New York? Join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @HauteLivingNY. Want Haute Celebrate Chinese New Year
Dragon Week Gives China’s World Travelers A Taste Of Manha... http://www.jing 1. Email Your email address Sign up Monday January 30th 2012 Read in Chinese FRONT PAGE LUXURY CULTURE search Dragon Week Gives China’s World Tra Manhattan High Life Friday, January 27th, 2012 in Event / Luxury / Services / Tourism / Trends Share Visitors Took Part In Events At Bergdorf Goodman, Em Ralph Lauren, Montblanc1 of 5
Dragon Week Gives China’s World Travelers A Taste Of Manha... http://www.jingdaily.com/en/luxury/dragon-week-gives-chinas... 1. Email Your email address Sign up Monday January 30th 2012 Read in Chinese FRONT PAGE LUXURY CULTURE search Dragon Week Gives China’s World Travelers A Taste Of Manhattan High Life Friday, January 27th, 2012 in Event / Luxury / Services / Tourism / Trends Share Visitors Took Part In Events At Bergdorf Goodman, Empire State Building, Ralph Lauren, Montblanc1 of 5 1/30/12 11:41 AM
2/2/12 Haute Event: Chinese New Year Celebration with Montblanc and Lang Lang | HaHaute Event: Chinese New Year Celebratio!n with Montblanc and : NATIONAL CHANGE MARKETLang Langby Wael Alexander Davis HOME MAGAZINE N MOST POPULAR Haute Event: Chinese New Year Celebratio!n with Mon Lang Lang by Wael Alexander Davis Celebrate Chinese New Year with the... Like 4 comment(s) Marilyn Monroe Portrait Made from 6... Like 4 comment(s)To celebrate the launch of Dragon Week, a series of exclusive events in New York organized by themembership-based network Affinity China and the China Luxury Network started off with a bang withChina’s most famous classical pianist, Lang Lang. Lang Lang gave a moving private performance at theMontblanc flagship store on Madison Avenue. The night begin with a short speech given by Lang Lang toparty attendees including Montblanc North America CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz, Yue-Sai Kan and dozens of Perfect Pink Party Held Atother people. Lang currently serves as the chairman of the Montblanc Culture Foundation and the brand’s Mar-a-...ambassador of culture, using his position to spark a greater interest in classical music. Lang Lang wasgracious enough to answer few questions exclusively for Haute Living.
For media inquiries, please contact Lin@affinitychina.com