Céline showing in China

Céline is set to put on its first ever runway show in China later this week.

The luxury label, helmed by creative director Phoebe Philo, will host the event in the country’s main art district in Beijing on Thursday. This will mark a rare exhibition outside of Paris, France, where the brand unveils its new collections during both Fashion Weeks each year.

The show will celebrate Céline’s sales tripling globally and how its presence has become bigger in China. Chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti names the country as one of the brand’s five most-important markets.

“It’s a way to respond to a customer that’s been evolving and growing,” he told WWD about the China market. “A few years back they were just approaching the market, and now they are the real experts.

“We have grown fairly rapidly, and we now cover the most important cities.”

Céline boasts 20 stores in China, a number which Marco revealed won’t be going up any time soon. Rather than opening new shops, there will be focus on renovating the current spaces in the more popular locations.

Although the amount of stores has dropped since Marco joined the company, going from 135 worldwide to 90, he insists it isn’t a bad thing. He believes Céline opened too many venues in China too quickly and he wants to focus on the more loyal customers.

“The educated classes are moving status, now they are researching what suits them,” he said. “Even in China, you don’t need to please everybody… Real values are what it’s going back to.”

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