Uptown look has German accents

By Gan Tian
0 CommentsPrint E-mail China Daily, August 18, 2010
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Hong Kong entertainer Kelly Chen stalks out, strikes a pose and is immediately greeted by screams and flashing light bulbs.

This is German high-end fashion label Marc Cain's first show in the mainland and Kelly is here to lend her image to the brand.

"This label has some Germany characteristics - dark colors, slim cuts, furs and leathers. An uptown lady's look," Chen says back stage, still dressed in a leopard print overcoat and with her hair in a bun.

To the average Chinese fashionista, known designers are mainly Louis Vuitton and Dior from France, Prada and Fendi from Italy, Marc Jacobs from the United States. Few brand names are recognized from Germany, except perhaps Hugo Boss.

"We want to impress upon our customers that German designs are elegant, beautiful, and powerful," says Norbert Lock, the label's CEO.

Head designer Vita Karin Veit, who joined Marc Cain in 1975, says the brand's German spirit lies in its excellent quality, a reputation already established by German-made cars and heavy industries.

"(Even) the pirate products do not give me a headache as long as our products are successfully sold in the Chinese market and valued for their quality and style," Veit says.

Her designs for the next season are even more German with soft sorbet colors and luxurious materials elaborately crafted and combined with military elements exemplified by trench coats and caped parkas.

Marc Cain has opted for an unusual entry into the mainland market for its 2010 fall/winter collection.

It does not advertise nor open boutiques in luxury malls. Instead, it has chosen to work with top Hong Kong fashion designer William Tang.

Besides working in fashion, Tang is a marketing planner, a visual artist, a consultant as well as a writer, a DJ, and a VJ - multiple talents which have already earned him numerous faithful fans.

Marc Cain staffers approached him and he agreed to work with the label.

"It is a unique style for women between 30 and 50 years old. Their appreciation of fashion is not aggressive, nor fake, and they know how to express femininity at the proper occasions," he says after the show.

Wang Xiaoyuan, local fashion critics and fashion editor with Cosmopolitan China, says the label's cooperation with Tang is very interesting.

"Tang has many mainland fans. Many people like his unique taste, so they will become Marc Cain consumers upon his endorsement," she says.

Wang also feels that the decision to use Kelly Chen as the face of Marc Cain is a good choice as the actress has maintained a pristine reputation in the industry, which goes well with the brand's sophisticated upmarket image.

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