Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Flagship

In Taipei these days, the word “flagship” doesn’t refer to nautical adventures, but to high-level shopping. Fashion houses are busy erecting “flagship stores” all over the Taiwanese capital where they can shoppers to buy their brands in a sophisticated environment, and without the competition too close by.
LVMH’s Louis Vuitton is no stranger to flagship stores in Asia. The opening of its shop on Shanghai’s fashionable Nanjing West Road last year took on the aura of an international event, with even the Taiwanese media carrying reports for days on end. Having the outside decked out as a Louis Vuitton suitcase helped catch those lenses. Time’s latest special style supplement for Spring 2005 gave a similar star treatment to the Louis Vuitton store in Qingdao, the home of China’s most famous beer and of the sailing competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
And Taipei could be next. In Taiwan’s Chinese-language United Daily News, Yuan Ching reports on the temporary closure of the main Louis Vuitton store on Chungshan North Road, close to the Grand Formosa Regent Hotel, now a magnet for high-end brands like Loewe, Missoni, and recently, Chanel’s Black Pyramid I posted on just a while ago.
The store will close for up to year while it is expanded into three floors. Next year, the flagship store – you guessed it – will reopen and house more than just handbags. The French company will sell jewelry and glasses as well.
While works are in progress, dedicated LV fans will still go shopping at the company’s Taipei 101 outlet for leather and watches, and the Fuhsing shop for shoes and bags, and the Dunhua store for general products.
And this month, a temporary replacement for the Chungshan flagship store will be in business, selling the “Monograme Cerise” bags as well as engrave the Chinese character for wealth (“Fu”) on certain items as a special souvenir. To be continued.

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