[CHRONICLE] These Chinese cities that luxury brands are snapping up: Chengdu (Part 3/3)

After introducing you to Shenzhen and Sanya, it’s now time to travel to the heart of Sichuan, where luxury boutique openings are multiplying at a frenetic pace: the Louis Vuitton flagship store, the new Hermès boutique, the AMI café éphémère and the Gucci Ancora pop-up.


The city of Chengdu is the perfect example of this rediscovery of Chinese territory. It is the capital of Sichuan, a region historically considered a land of plenty in local culture. Its history dates back over 2,300 years, with the first human traces dating back as far as 4,000 years ago. The city has grown steadily to become China’s fashion capital.


When I first set foot in Chengdu a few weeks ago, I was struck by this active consumption of luxury. The Sichuan heritage, the omnipresent panda symbol, the development of fashion subcultures and the avant-garde vision of luxury are the most striking features.


Anaïs Bournonville, founder of the Reverse Group, an international agency specializing in marketing and strategy for China, takes us on a journey to the heart of the new habits observed in the Middle Kingdom.


The epicenter of trends and avant-garde fashion


With a population of 21.19 million at the last census in 2021, Chengdu has joined the ranks of New Tier 1 cities, meeting all the criteria expected of such a ranking: a large population, a relatively high standard of living, modern transport infrastructure, local wealth and business opportunities.


This dynamism has been clearly announced by the Chinese authorities, who have set a provincial growth target of 6.5% for 2022, higher than the national forecast of 5.5%. Luxury and fashion brands seized the opportunity and discovered a dynamic city, cradle of all trends.


When Chengdu is mentioned, it is often described as the fashion capital of China. Of course, Shanghai still occupies a special place, with its high concentration of fashion and luxury brands. However, Chengdu has become the epicenter of ephemeral stores and life-size consumer experiences.


© Shu Qian/Unsplash


On the streets, streetwear, sportswear, cleanfit and dopamine are all part of everyday life. We’re even witnessing the birth of subcultures like skateboarding and golf. At the entrance to Taikoo Li, the nerve center of luxury consumption in Chengdu, a skate park popular with locals sees a mix of increasingly creative styles. Next door, an art center and a live show complete the setting.


It’s here that luxury brands have decided to set up shop. Between Louis Vuitton, Dior, Celine, AMI, Tesla, Li-Ning and On Cloud, you can see ultra-luxury rubbing shoulders with streetwear brands. Styles merge for a shopping trend totally reinvented by new luxury consumers.


New openings and investments in Chengdu


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Featured Photo: © Fay Lee/Unsplash

Picture of Anais Bournonville
Anais Bournonville
Anaïs Bournonville is the founder of Reverse Group, the global agency specializing in marketing and strategy for China. She explores Chinese culture and consumer trends through the prism of design, fashion, and luxury. She puts her on-the-ground insights and social listening in China at the service of Luxus+.

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