Is there no better time to be voyaging in Beijing? We think not. The fashion pioneers at Maison Martin Margiela took their cues from the original trailblazer Marco Polo, venturing East to plant their flag in the burgeoning Asian luxury market. Located in a plum spot in the upper-crust Chaoyang district, the second flagship boasts the same whitewashed, mirrored interior as other Margiela stores around the world, but at three stories and 540 square feet, it’s the largest to date. And the brand’s hospitality has proven wildly successful with its new clientele so far. The outlet not only stocks Margiela’s complete range of womenswear, menswear, and home furnishings, but completes the retail experience with a metallic slide that links the top floor to the shop’s entrance on Sanlitun Road.
Margiela wasn’t the only one making waves in China this month. Vivienne Westwood, who staged her first Asia show in conjunction with Shanghai Fashion Week several weeks ago, also launched a store in Beijing’s Chaoyang earlier this year. The famously candid designer, however, seemed less than enthusiastic about the country’s fervid consumer habits. “I tell people not to buy clothes for six months…Young people nowadays are succumbing to fads and the latest things. They are being brainwashed completely,” she was quoted as saying. “I actually don’t know that much [about China]…I have never really taken that much interest.” Hello, kitty.