Karen Millen has made its debut in the Chinese market with the opening of its first store in Beijing.
Located at the Parkview Green Mall in the Chaoyang District of Beijing, the store is divided into distinct apparel, footwear, and accessories areas, allowing customers to “build their complete look” with the Autumn Winter 2012 collections.
A second store is planned in Shanghai next year, along with a local language transactional website.
Karen Millen MD Gemma Metheringham is confident the brand will be embraced by mainland Chinese as it is in Hong Kong where it has been performing strongly for the past two years.
“The launch of our Beijing store marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Karen Millen’s phenomenal international growth story,” said Metheringham.
“Asia is fast becoming the most important market in the world for luxury and designer fashion. We’re a leader in our existing markets in design-led luxury at affordable prices and we’re delighted to give Chinese women access to the brand for the first time,” she added.
The brand, which specialises in coats and evening wear, is positioned as affordable luxury, bridging the gap between high street and high-end fashions.
“We have all watched the phenomenal success of luxury brands in China and, equally, there is a lot of talk about the growth of the entry-price-point fashion brands,” Metheringham said.
“The bridge market is definitely beneath its potential at the moment,” she said
Karen Millen’s China expansion will be carried out through a mix of company-owned and franchised stores.
Aurora Fashions-owned Karen Millen said further stores will be opened in Asian countries including Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Currently, the brand has 350 stores and concessions worlwide.