Burberry Opens Shanghai Flagship with West End-esque Spectacle

Shanghai is the heart of everything that's über and cosmopolitan in China. 

From the iconic The Bund to the riverbank of Huangpu River and the coterie of towering futuristic architectural feats that dot the city, Shanghai is without a doubt, a vibrant urban tapestry that stands out from the rest of the country.

As one of the important financial and trade hubs of China, the escalating growth of wealth enjoyed by the residents and the rest of China has prompted the influx of international designer labels into the country with many flagship stores are opened in major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Case in point: Iconic British label Burberry recently opened its latest flagship store at the Kerry Centre. Offering full Burberry lines in store, from the runway Prorsum to the youth-oriented Brit and tailoring service, the store is set over three floors and inspired by its London global flagship store.

The concept was developed by its Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey and incorporates the amalgamation of two worlds – British craftsmanship and materials and dynamic digital approach. From the exterior, the store resembles a cube wrapped in Burberry’s iconic check print and is equipped with illuminated façade that gleams at night.

Inside, 40 over video screens provide an outstanding audiovisual experience while the floors are connected by a spiral flight of stairs. 

For the first time in China, the store too boasts the first store-in-store Burberry Beauty room, where fans of Burberry beauty and fragrances could indulge in myriad of colours and scents the brand has to offer.

To herald the opening of the store, Burberry brought in its inevitable spirit, creativity and heritage from London to Shanghai with a spectacular West End-like event. 

1500 guests were invited and flown in from all parts of the world and they include the current faces of Burberry advertising campaigns Jamie Campbell Bower, Suki Waterhouse, Malika Firth and Delevingne; as well as a retinue of Chinese celebrities such as Du Juan, Vicki Zhao, Guey Lun Mei, Xia Yu Ran, Angelababy, Carine Lau and Chen Kun just to list a few. 

Converging at a custom-built venue on the banks of the Huangpu River at the Shanghai Shipyard, the stage features handcrafted elements inspired by the 121 Regent Street global flagship store – originally one of the first cinemas site in London. 

As Shanghai is bathed in swathe of glorious glitter, guests mingled amidst the lush servings of refreshments before being treated to an immense journey of Burberry worlds of British-ness, heritage, music and fashion – all unified into a musical theatre filled with musicians, models and dancers that blur the physical distance between London and Shanghai through digital technology.

“We are very proud and honoured to be here in Shanghai. This is a hugely significant moment for the Burberry brand,” said Christopher Bailey.

“Tonight¹s event was a celebration of everything we stand for ­ our Britishness, our belief in creativity and innovation, and our authentic heritage. So many of these themes are shared with this incredible city. Shanghai is a place of such spirit and energy and it has truly inspired us.

“This evening's experience was a magical, immersive journey through our Burberry brand blurring the physical with the digital ­ it merged fashion, dance, with music, craftsmanship and artistry. It connected our worlds ­ from London to Shanghai,” he concluded.

The spectacle kicked off with a short film on the brand’s iconic trench coat before the space is transformed to reveal a magical scene of London’s Regent Street merged with Shanghai’s iconic skyline. The cinema screen rose; the velvet curtains parted to reveal George Ezra performing “Did You Hear the Rain?” live.

Following suit, dancers in Burberry trench coats and tailoring took the stage and performed a dance specially choreographed for the evening. a storm stirred to the ‘drip drip’ of a live percussion by British DJ Gary Powell, introducing the romantic melody of an umbrella waltz, followed by lightning and thunder. Ed Harcourt performed “You Can’t Stop The Rain” live, a globally exclusive track specially written for the event.

Next was a surreal beauty sequence that began with magic windows light up and silhouettes applying make-up – perhaps a teaser to the runway show with models dressed in the upcoming fall/winter 2014 ready-to-wear and accessories collection.

A live performance from British musician Ed Harcourt introduced the Burberry Bloomsbury girls including models Cara Delevingne, Suki Waterhouse and Qin Shu Pei. With hand-painted patterns filling the event space, followed by British musician Paloma Faith performing “Only Love Can Hurt Like This” live. The magical journey culminated in a finale with British model and actress Cara Delevingne flying above the audience.

With the advancement of technology these days, Burberry fans around the world were able to participate in the prestigious event that starts from London to Shanghai at all stages – before, during and after the event on Burberry social streams namely Sina Weibo, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Google+ and WeChat with exclusive responsive content.

Through collaboration with WeChat, a parallel event experience where before the event followers were able to interact with a series of London and Shanghai skylines by shaking, swiping or tapping their devices was created. 

The activity, which marked the second stage of Burberry innovative partnership with WeChat, purveys interactive 360-degrees panorama of the London and Shanghai set that could be brought to life using a newly developed tool.

Also in conjunction with the flagship opening celebration, Burberry has created a capsule collection called Burberry Kerry Centre collection that is comprised of curated pieces exclusive to the store. Actress Carine Lau was spotted wearing of the Burberry Kerry Centre creations on the red carpet that evening.   
Thus, if you are planning to visit Shanghai anytime soon, be sure to drop by Burberry Kerry Centre and grab those must-have pieces from the capsule collection before they disappear too soon! 

*Photos courtesy of Burberry

Burberry Kerry Centre - 1515 Nanjing Road West, Jing An District, Shanghai 200040 People’s Republic of China  


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