The Webster launches pop-up on St John in China
The US multi-brand fashion house The Webster is working with the luxury department store Lane Crawford to shower Greater China with St John flair in time for summer.
A cocktail event in Shanghai on Friday celebrated the launch of The Webster’s pop-up shop in Lane Crawford and gave VIP guests the opportunity to read a curated selection of South Beach-inspired fashion and lifestyle offerings. The lively pop-up shows a tropical Art Deco-inspired beach club installation with neon signs, thatched beach huts, oversized, colorful palm trees and inflatable flamingos – the symbol of the The Webster brand.
Founded in 2009, Webster Boutique is a multi-brand fashion house with five locations in the United States, including stores in St John, Houston and Orange County. French-born founder and CEO Laure Heriard Dubreuil told Jing Daily: “The fascination with St John stems from a time when I was visiting New York for a previous job at Yves Saint Laurent. The weather was terrible, New York was cold, and outside was all this slushy snow. Some friends invited me to Art Basel in St John and I decided to go. From the moment I got there I was struck by the colors, the art deco and the life of the place.
“But I realized pretty quickly that I had nothing to wear! That is where inspiration came from. “
The Webster collection will be available in Lane Crawford stores in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing through early summer. The globally exclusive collection has invited over 20 brands including Bonpoint, Coach, Ground Zero, Paco Rabanne, Rosie Assoulin, Tortoise and Thom Browne to harness the energy of St John.
The Webster boutique marks mainland China and Hong Kong as the first locations in the world after the US and relies on the universal appeal of the collection to attract the Chinese consumer. “St John Beach’s colors and the beauty of everything, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like it,” explains Heriard-Dubreuil. “The collection has not been specially curated for the Chinese market, but we believe it will be accessible to everyone.”
Heriard-Dubreuil, who studied Mandarin at a university in China before moving to the US to devote himself to fashion, saw China as the ideal next step for the brand. “We have always found our collections to be popular in the Chinese market, especially with the opening of our Orange County store and the large Chinese population there,” she said. “We have a very large, growing Chinese clientele, so now seemed like the right time to try something in China.”
By working with the established Chinese department store Lane Crawford, Heriard-Dubreuil hopes for an even smoother transition to the Chinese market. “We decided to bring a lot of brands that Lane Crawford already carried so that Chinese consumers are already familiar with the brands,” she said. “The Chinese public is already used to these brands, but the St John style brings a new sense of fun, color and freshness.”
With the pop-up shops only open until early summer, Heriard-Dubreuil stated that this could be the start of more things for the boutique in China. “We very much hope that we can continue to launch our collection in China, but who knows exactly where this will go. I would certainly love to work with some Chinese designers, and I really think our Chinese customers, especially in Orange County, would like to be able to relate to these brands. “
The boutique brings what the CEO calls a “360-degree lifestyle” with women’s clothing, men’s clothing, shoes, accessories, as well as household and lifestyle products such as bizarre deck chairs, inflatables by the pool and lunch boxes for children. Hoping to be a hit with the modern Chinese consumer, The Webster will be testing the water in the Chinese market this summer before the opportunity for a more permanent venture arises.