World’s first? Mugler opens store in Shanghai

French fashion house Mugler has recently opened its first store in China, in the form of a clothing and fragrance boutique in Réel Department Store on Nanjing West Road in Jing’an, Shanghai. Incidentally, since the closure of its Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré flagship store, this is the world’s only Mugler retail location with all categories of merchandise available for purchase. Although it is not a permanent address, neither is it a pop-up, with its year-long lease.

The shop was designed by Mugler Creative Director Casey Cadwallader and British architect Sophia Hicks. The shop will stock its SS 2024 collection and perfumes. The design shows the brand’s sustainable and avant-garde ethos with its recyclable materials. Mugler held a party in Shanghai to celebrate the opening, with Cadwallader and celebrities such as Chinese singer-songwriter Li Yuchun (Chris Lee) and Japanese-American singer and model Mika Hashizume.

The topic “Mugler first store in China” (#mugler中国首店#) received a modest 337,000 views on Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent. However, the post about Li at the opening gained 69,000 in reposts alone. Similarly, on the lifestyle social platform Xiaohongshu, the post on Mugler’s official account regarding the new store received 229 likes, while the post of Li with Cadwallader gained 2,607 likes. Star power has been prominient on both platform, but the celebrity share the brand’s coolness and can help reach its target audience.

The opening of its brick-and-mortar location means the once niche designer brand is now facing a broader audience. The L’Oréal Group-owned Maison’s Q1 2024 sales in North Asia dropped 1.1% year-on-year (YoY) to 2.72 billion EUR (2.96 billion USD), while increasing 6.2% YoY in China. Opening the first store in Shanghai, therefore, means not only is the brand continuing to bank on the market’s growth but also recognises the growing diversity of its audiences in the country.


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