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fashion-memopad

Memo Pad: J Brand Gets Social... Condé Nast Traveler Poaches Hanya Yanagihara...

Cult denim brand, J Brand, unveiled a redesigned Web site Tuesday that features more interactivity and social engagement tools.

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TYING THE CHINESE KNOT: XO Group, formerly known as The Knot Inc., is saying, “I do,” to China. The deepening commitment comes as more than 10 million couples head down the aisle, making China the world’s largest wedding market with annual sales of $62 billion. The Knot.com and Ijie.com, a Chinese resource for Western inspiration and local advice for weddings, relationships and pregnancy for Chinese consumers, have partnered with Sina Corp., an online media company, to launch a “Weddings” channel on Sina.com. Ijie.com will provide exclusive wedding and lifestyle content for “Weddings” on Sina.com. One of the top Chinese news and lifestyle portals, Sina.com has been compared with MSN.com and Yahoo.com, and receives 170 million daily unique visitors and 1.3 billion daily page views.

“One reason the Chinese market is so attractive to us is the amount of money people are spending on weddings,” said Carley Roney, co-founder of XO Group. “There is massive growth in the middle- and upper-middle classes.” Elements of Sina.com “Weddings” will include photos of bridal gowns, flowers, decorations and venues, free tools such as My Bride Avatar Builder and My Wedding Web site Builder, and local vendor listings. The Sina.com “Weddings” channel won’t have e-commerce, but Roney said Ijie.com next year will include a transactional component linked to the Sina.com portal. “Everyone has to look somewhere to grow market share,” Roney said. “Hawaii is trying to become a travel destination for Chinese brides. Fashion designers are looking at how to stand out in the Chinese market, where brides rent dresses.” TheKnot.com has a presence in Australia through a licensing agreement and is looking at India, “a powerful market in terms of wedding and lifestyle,” Roney said, “but China is where we’re really investing our money.”

— SHARON EDELSON

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