Women’s Wear Daily
04.16.2014
financial
financial

Rowley Opens in Hong Kong

Now that the Cynthia Rowley store has opened in Hong Kong, the company is on the move to strengthen its retail presence elsewhere in Asia.

financial/news
The interior of Cynthia Rowley’s new store

The interior of Cynthia Rowley’s new store.

Photo By WWD ARCHIVE

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Now that the Cynthia Rowley store has opened in Hong Kong, the company is on the move to strengthen its retail presence elsewhere in Asia.

The designer's newly opened 1,200-square-foot store — her first in Greater China — is on Cleveland Street in Causeway Bay's Fashion Walk area. Calvin Klein, agnès b. and Vivienne Westwood are among the other nearby stores.

The sleek and mirrored space features a range of Rowley products, including ready-to-wear, handbags, eyewear, shoes, belts and legwear, as well as books and dishes. There are curved alcoves to give shoppers more of a boutique-type setting in what is a fairly substantial space for Asia.

The store was opened in conjunction with Golife, which distributes Rowley in Hong Kong and Mainland China, and also distributes Anya Hindmarch and Paule Ka there.

Through Golife, Rowley will open a shop in Beijing later this summer in the China Central Mall at China Central Place and another in Shanghai. Rowley plans to touch down in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai in October for a flurry of media and consumer events. "In Beijing and Shanghai, there is a real opportunity for luxury brands like ours that are accessible," said Peter Arnold, president of Cynthia Rowley.

Having visited Hong Kong and Mainland China many times, Rowley said she feels she has a strong connection. "If there is one city I could live in besides New York, I think it would be Hong Kong. So much has changed everywhere you go — you can feel the excitement in the air. I was in Hong Kong in May 2006, when Bank of China had its initial public offering. It galvanized the city. But despite the new capitalist energy that permeates everything, there is still a reverence for the old-world culture."

The company has 50 points of sale in Japan, including a flagship in Tokyo through its partner Itochu Fashion System Co. Ltd. In the past year, three Cynthia Rowley stores have bowed in Taiwan and a fourth is planned there for later this month. To date, about 20 percent of the business is done in Japan and Taiwan, with considerable growth expected in those markets, as well as Hong Kong and Mainland China in coming years, Arnold said. South Korea is another country the company is eyeing for expansion.
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