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Californian hip brand Shanghai bound

A hip Californian fashion chain is headed for China with plans for 30 stores.

American Rag Cie has just two stores in the US, but its founder Mark Werts’ selection of unique and exclusive merchandise from around the world has gained a cult following and a growing store network in Asia.

Now it has signed a joint venture with a Chinese investor which will see its first store open in Shanghai, most likely in the first half of next year with 29 more to follow in an unspecified time frame.

Mark Werts has previously said in media interviews in the US he is keen to pursue opportunities in emerging markets that are gaining strength, rather, it seems, than rolling out a store network in the US.

American Rag Cie US

  • Inside an American Rag Cie store in California.

The Shanghai foray follows the opening of a store in Bangkok’s Central World mall earlier this year and a licensing deal which saw two stores open in Turkey, branded Industrie Denim, a standalone brand with stores in Arizona and San Francisco. It has 14 stores in Japan.

American Rag Cie in Bangkok stocks a range of mens and women’s fashion, bags, jewellery and accessories, from brands including Shades of Grey by Micah Cohen, Apolis, Black Fleece, Kill City and PRPS, alongside its own brand Fadeless.

American Rag was founded in San Francisco in 1984, initially gaining a reputation for unusual merchandising, music, homewares and introducing new brands into the US market.

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