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A GRAND TOUR: Adrian Cheng, executive director of Chow Tai Fook Jewelry Group Ltd. and founder of the K11 art and commerce project, has designs on Europe. The Hong Kong-based scion of one of Asia’s biggest business dynasties is in London this week talking to fashion and luxury brands about one of his latest projects, a retail, commercial, and contemporary art space that will open in Shanghai next year. The new space will be part of Cheng’s wide-ranging K11 initiative, which showcases and promotes contemporary art, and often sells it alongside fashion and luxury goods. The first K11 art mall opened in 2009 in Hong Kong.
Cheng told WWD he’s meeting with brands including Vivienne Westwood and Burberry. “I’m talking to the brands about doing collaborations in a holistic environment,” he said over a glass of sparkling water at London’s Bulgari hotel. The new K11 space — which will also include an urban farm — will be on Huaihai Road, Shanghai’s Bond Street. Going forward, Cheng said he plans to open 14 K11 spaces in 10 Chinese cities over the next 5-7 years. He’s also meeting with representatives from the Royal Academy of Arts, Tate, and Central Saint Martins to talk about collaborating with K11.
London isn’t the only European city on his radar: During Paris Fashion Week next March, Cheng plans to open a K11 pop-up space featuring art shows, fashion designers, and performance artists. He plans to bring about 20 of Chow Tai Fook’s high net worth customers — men and women who have spent at least 1 million renminbi, or $160,000 on a single piece of jewelry — with him to Paris for the event.
Cheng is also eyeing possible retail openings in Paris and London for the family jewelry company. “We’re open to the idea, and stores here would help both with brand building and sales. It’s just a question of finding the right locations. In Paris, we would have to be in Place Vendôme or on Rue St. Honoré, and in London it would have to be Bond Street,” he said.