French affordable luxury brand ba&sh Asia’s first stores have opened – in Hong Kong.
Building on the brand’s strong success in Europe, the Parisian fashion house is now focused on international expansion, with Asia a core focus. The brand, described as “feminine, joyful chic” is now available in three boutiques of prime shopping Hong Kong shopping destinations: IFC mall in Central, Times Square in Causeway Bay and Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui. The brand has also opened an online store in the territory.
McKinsey Consulting estimates the current size of China’s middle class at around 225 million households – compared with just 5 million in 2000 – an exploding growth rate which is fuelling fast-growing demand for affordable luxury.
By the end of 2017, ba&sh Asia plans to have six stores in key strategic locations across China’s tier one cities. Flagship stores will open in fashion destinations in Beijing and Shanghai.
Barbara Boccara and Sharon Krief, two childhood friends, created ba&sh out of a shared love for fashion, (the name is taken from the first two letters of their first names).
“Their idea was to bring their dream wardrobe to life, so that they could share it with other women. A little more than 10 years later, their designs can be found in more than 400 points-of-sale worldwide, 90 of them in France and including flagship stores in London, Madrid and Berlin,” the company says in a statement.
“Theirs is truly a brand made by women for women so that Barbara and Sharon’s unique vision of creating timeless, wearable and, above all, chic designs has remained core to ba&sh’s DNA.”
The brand received a huge boost after LVMH-backed private equity fund L Catterton acquired a 50 per cent stake in the business in 2015, which has enabled its international growth.
For Greater China, ba&sh has entered into a management service partnership with ImagineX Group, the brand distribution arm of The Lane Crawford Joyce Group, in order to leverage their local fashion retail, marketing expertise and operational efficiency.
Private party launches brand
To celebrate the brand’s arrival in Asia, Barbara Boccara & Sharon Krief hosted an intimate private party to introduce Hong Kong’s leading fashionistas to the world of ba&sh earlier this month. The two founders previewed their latest collection,which is distinctly Parisian, as it combines an expression of freedom with an easy, joyful elegance.
Ba&sh’s Co-CEOs are Dan Arrouas, a long-term shareholder and one of the brand’s founders alongside Barbara and Sharon and Pierre-Arnaud Grenade. Pierre-Arnaud has enjoyed a lengthy history in retail including a stint as CEO of lingerie brand Princesse tam.tam, a Fast Retailing group company. He joined in 2015.
“We are delighted to bring our brand to Asia to meet the needs of women looking for clothes that are as singular as they are,” said Pierre-Arnaud. “The ba&sh world does offer refreshing authenticity, which stands out from so many brands. Barbara and Sharon’s clarity of vision and insight into what women want remains right at the heart of our company.
Ba&sh’s Asia CEO Isolde Andouard says the brand’s take on relaxed Parisian style cuts across countries and borders.
“We make our clothes for today’s woman who doesn’t want to look overdressed or look like everyone else, and we’re sure that our brand’s strong sense of individuality will appeal to this new generation of fashionable women in Hong Kong and indeed across Asia.”