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Galia Lahav Opens its First Flagship Store in China!

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Last weekend, we celebrated the opening of our new Galia Lahav flagship store in Shanghai. Located in the Bund Financial Center, we are very proud of being the first international bridal store to open a flagship store in China.

Aside from carrying our beautiful bridal Couture and GALA collections, our Shanghai flagship store is the first of our stores to carry our luxury apparel collections!

On this occasion, our team in China gathered all their energy into building the biggest event Galia Lahav has ever made! From the fashion show on our store’s rooftop to the red carpet and exclusive after-party, the event welcomed top celebrities wearing our beautiful gowns. From Celina Jade to Lin Xinru, they were amazed by the Galia Lahav store and designs.

We interviewed our partner and Galia Lahav Shanghai/China Director, Sebastian Lee,  who shared insight on the store and opening event and gave his impressions of the project. As told by Sebastian:

Tell us a little bit about how the idea of opening a Galia Lahav Flagship in Shanghai started?

Over the recent years, Galia Lahav’s name has become more and more popular in China, with Chinese brides actively traveling internationally to find their dream Galia Lahav dresses. By having a Flagship store in China, we are able to provide direct service and the full Galia Lahav experience to brides in China and surrounding. Shanghai is known as the Fashion capital of China, so naturally, Shanghai was the selected city.

What was the vision behind this dream of yours? What were you looking to achieve?

Galia Lahav’s innovative design approach and ability in providing a complete Couture service and fit to a bride are unparallel. This service has long been enjoyed by brides all around the world, and our vision is to make this accessible to brides in China as well. Whilst there are many international designers in China, Galia Lahav is probably one of the very first in its category providing such complete Couture service to Chinese brides.

What was the concept behind the Galia Lahav Shanghai launch event?

We wanted the launch event to be spectacular and iconic. Knowing that this event is not only watched by the audience in China but also internationally, finding the perfect location was our topmost priority. The Skydeck at the BFC shopping mall provides the best view in Shanghai, and the beautiful colors of nightlights from the building skyline provides the perfect backdrop to our open-air fashion runway.

The event was full of A-list celebrities who wore GL! How did they respond to the Galia Lahav collections?

The celebrities who attended the event are key fashion icons in China, and the celebs love love love Galia Lahav’s creation. Many had their photos taken prior to the launch event,  and these photos are now trending all over Weibo and other social media platforms receiving astounding comments and reviews from fans and fashion critiques. We think this is the best compliment and a perfect testament to Galia Lahav’s design.

In what ways do you feel the Asian market is different than the western and where do you find similarities?

Looking, feeling and being beautiful on their wedding day is similar across western and Asian Brides, in fact, I think this is the similarity shared by all brides around the world. Traditionally, Chinese brides tend to opt for a larger volume skirts/ silhouettes,  with lots of embroideries and detailing as weddings in China tends to be at a much larger scale, where having 500-1000 guest is the nom. In recent years though we see more and more Chinese brides who are resonating more with the simpler, more chic, fitted, sexy yet elegant silhouettes which Galia Lahav is so renown for. The recent wedding of Gina Alice to Lang Lang wearing the iconic Thelma dress is the perfect example of this.

Whilst Western brides tend to just have 1 wedding dress for the entire duration of the wedding day, it is common and the nom for Chinese brides to be flaunting 4-6 different looks on the day. Therefore, having an array of style variety in the Flagship store is able to cater for some of the different looks.

What were your biggest challenges in executing such a huge project?

The Galia Lahav China project involves multiple parts, with the establishment of the Flagship store, and Back Office (supporting marketing and partnerships with local premium bridal retailers) being the main two parts.

Galia Lahav has so many years built a very healthy fan base internationally through various social media platforms, and we have to very quickly establish a strong brand’s presence within the local social platform and media outlets. We are fortunate enough however to be working closely with many top stylists in the country, where we see many A-listers wearing Galia Lahav pieces on the red carpet and significant events in China, pushing the Galia Lahav brand as the forefront in Fashion.

Can you tell us about the store’s location and why you chose it?

The Flagship store is located at the iconic Shanghai Bund, which is the most recognizable landmark of Shanghai (and China). The store is located at the entry to the Bund Financial Center shopping mall, facing the Shanghai Harbour and skyline. Galia Lahav Flagship Store is one of the largest tenancy in the BFC shopping center (spanning over 1000m2). Other major fashion brands include the largest Lanvin Flagship store, Dolce Gabbaba,Ferragamo,Marni,Moschino,Stella Mccartney, Jimmy Choo, and others.

“Located in the heart of the Bund, BFC and neighbor area Yu yuan combine the two different culture s of modern fashion art and Shanghai Chengxiang heritage giving a representativeness of the Great Yu yuan zone It forms a new concept of multiculturalism BFC plays the role of international rendezvous in the city and will lead the trend of Shanghai and Beyond”

What was the idea behind the store’s design and concept?

The concept for the Flagship store is to create a space that is modern, chic, yet luxury, whilst bringing together Galia Lahav’s DNA in the excellence of Craftsmanship, High Level of Detailing, and Customisation. This is reflected in the selection of our color pallets and materials used, as well as a selection of soft furnishing and furniture. Whilst the flagship store boasts an enormous display area for over 100 styles at any one time, equal attention and space allocation has been dedicated to 5 large styling room, where brides can enjoy total privacy with their entourage in an intimate environment.

What should our future brides expect when shopping at Galia Lahav Shanghai?

Brides will expect to see and try on some of the most beautiful creations of Galia Lahav! Whilst being styled by our highly expert team offering a world-class service. More importantly, it will be one of the most memorable and fun shopping days for brides, and we anticipate lots of happy moments and tears of joy from Brides finding their perfect dream dress.

What was the highlight of the night for you?

There are many highlights for us and the team during the launch event. I think my personal favorite is when Galia Lahav taking a photo, accompanied by 15 models, standing in front of the skyline of the bund. The excitement and happiness on Galia Lahav’s face in that capture is saying Galia Lahav is now officially in China.

Can you describe the Chinese bride to be? What characterizes her? What type of wedding gown is she looking for?

A Chinese Bride is beautiful on the inside and out, and is highly sophisticated. A Chinese bride respects the value from thousands of years of Chinese history and culture; yet appreciates the modern western influence of culture, art, and fashion. She is modern, confident, independent, and appreciates the expression of individualism and uniqueness. The perfect wedding gown for her will be one that represents all of the above, and above all, that makes her feel beautiful and truly unique.

In your opinion, why will the Chinese market love Galia Lahav? What makes the brand special in their eyes?

Galia Lahav is known as the leader and innovator in the world of fashion. She is one who leads and do not follow, often challenging the traditional, and is one who is daring to explore. Galia Lahav’s talent in designing, combined with the best atelier the world has to offer is the many reasons why Galia Lahav is so special not just within China, but around the world. Galia Lahav being one of the first brands offering unparalleled Couture service to the Chinese market is also very spectacular, considering the market’s craving demand and love for high-end, luxury and bespoke fashion.

Published by
Annaelle Beenstock image

Annaelle Beenstock | December 22, 2019

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