Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Gucci Killers

Shanghai Tang has learned from its past mistakes--and now it's gunning to become China's first great luxury brand. Forget about cheap socks and DVD players. This is the next battlefield for global competition.

It's 10 till 10:00 on a dark night in a 1,300-year-old Confucian temple in Shanghai, and if the weather is any indication, Confucius is ticked. October is traditionally a dry month in this part of eastern China. Indeed, yesterday was sunny, and tomorrow is predicted to be glorious. But a steady rain has been falling since late afternoon and shows no signs of letting up. Journalists from three continents, local bigwigs, style-obsessed Chuppies, and even three athletes from China's 2002 World Cup soccer team--certified national heroes--are huddled under umbrellas in the wings, drinking champagne, waiting for a fashion show to begin.


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