We know we've been hard on all of the luxury shops since they started popping up a couple of years ago. Call it jealousy. With our salaries we can only dream of owning the wares in some of these places. So, when we were invited to Lancel's press conference, we jumped at the chance. Throwing on our meager rags, we struck out for Yong Jin Lou (the only time we'd ever be able to enjoy food from there as it's 5,000 kuai a table). We were given a peek at the fall line of bags, luggage and accessories. Not bad, nor were the models. And the managing director of this region, St phane Lacroix, was on hand to give us a little inside info, promising us that the Hangzhou Lancel is the only one in China with the entire fall line. This is a special treat since most of the luxury shops in town rarely have the latest fashions. Apparently, it's pretty tough for them to move their stuff quickly through Hong Kong and onto the mainland. Lancel landed on the mainland twelve years ago with its flagship store in Shanghai. Since then, they've expanded to over fifty locations, reaching as far west as Urumqi. There was a store here a while ago, but there were distribution problems. And so it goes. Hopes are high with this new location in Hangzhou Tower. Not a bad choice since the da sha is the top grossing department store in the country. Lacroix explained that Lancel is trying to do things differently than other luxury retailers in town, which must be why they decided to invite the likes of us. It also explains the strategic placement of their store in Tower A instead of amongst the others luxury shops like Louis Vuitton, Versace, Cartier, et al in Tower B. With its presence in China, Lancel is trying to communicate the spirit of French (or the Parisian sense of living and enjoying life). We were assured that Lancel is here to stay this time, so if you want to get gay the French way, head to the Tower and check out the latest addition to Hangzhou's bourgeoning luxury industry. Now if we could only get some of these places to advertise with us, we might be able to afford that fabulous vintage beaded evening bag.
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