Brands Make Progress on ESG and Innovations at Fifth CIIE in China – WWD

SHANGHAI— As the world guesses when China might abandon its zero-COVID policy and open up to the world, the fifth edition of the China International Import Expo seemed to offer a ray of hope.

“Opening Up” was the theme of the fifth CIIE, an annual trade fair held in Shanghai from Nov. 5 to 10. During a televised opening speech last Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of keeping the domestic market open, which created a wave of enthusiasm among exhibitors.

“We yearn for a reconnection between China and the rest of the world, and we also need to reconnect with history, reconnect multiculturally, and above all reconnect with a new youth,” said Andrew Wu, LVMH group president for Greater China. , when opening. CIIE day.

“It is a very, very difficult year, but not only in China. We are happy to participate in the CIIE, which is a symbol of China’s opening-up policy. For this year’s CIIE, the Chinese President spoke about further opening up the Chinese market to the rest of the world, which will continue to benefit us all,” Wu added.

Participating in the show for the third time, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chose the theme “Reconnection” and designed a pavilion resembling a public square which presented the products or technological innovations of 14 flagship brands.

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Andrew Wu at the opening ceremony of the LVMH Pavilion

“We noticed that high-quality development was a priority during the report of the 20th Communist Party Congress, and that high-level openness and green consumption should be strengthened,” said Jinqing Cai, president of Kering Greater China. “This political support has given the Kering Group greater confidence and momentum to penetrate deeper into the Chinese market.

“The CIIE is the best platform to show the world what we are doing in the Chinese market,” Cai added. “Kering is honored to present the concepts, new products and designs of our brands. This is an opportunity to promote in-depth communication with our customers and our employees.

Kering took part for the fourth consecutive year. The Kering Pavilion, designed by architectural firm Gensler, featured a domed structure with sky blue ceilings, echoing the company’s “Blue Skies Forever” theme. Reflecting Kering’s focus on sustainability, the construction used rented modular elements that are designed to be reused. Kering brands, including Saint Laurent, Gucci, Balenciaga and Bottega Veneta, each showcased a key item from their latest collections.

CIIE Deputy Director Chenghai Sun and Jinqing Cai at the opening ceremony of the Kering Pavilion

Participating in the show for the third consecutive year, Richemont brought its 10 brands and presented the limited edition collections of Cartier, Mont Blanc and Vacheron Constantin.

“The Expo has always demonstrated China’s confidence and the ability to embrace the future, bringing together industry leaders from around the world to build a vision for tomorrow. We are privileged to be part of this vision, to work together for the future,” said Jialin Gu, Richemont Group General Manager for China.

The Richemont Pavilion at the CIIE

Demonstrating its commitment to the Chinese market, Sotheby’s returned to the CIIE with a stand five times larger than last year. As well as showcasing a wide range of masterpieces by artists including Mark Rothko, Edvard Munch and Daniel Richter, Sotheby’s has also revealed that its online marketplace, Buy Now, plans to launch in China next year. .

The auction house also presented its first piece of public art at the CIIE. Visitors are greeted by a larger-than-life sculpture by KAWS called “Share” at one of the exhibition hall entrances.

Christie’s also returned to the exhibition for the second consecutive year, bringing works by Yayoi Kusama, Marc Chagall and Matthew Wong.

Another highlight of the arts and culture section includes renowned Hong Kong artist and jewelry designer Wallace Chan’s exhibition, “Wallace Chan: Earthly‧Unearthly”. Featuring more than 150 jewelry designs with a total value of nearly 560 million renminbi, or $77.5 million, the exhibition is Chan’s largest solo exhibition in mainland China in recent history.

A brooch and sculpture titled “Stilled Life” by Wallace Chan

For apparel and sportswear brands, the message at this year’s CIIE was sustainability.

Canada Goose debuted at the CIIE under the theme “Live in the Open: Embracing China.” The brand announced plans to launch a China-specific corporate social responsibility program, the first outside of Canada. The program will focus on “exploring a sustainable model achieving harmony between man and nature with reputable institutions,” according to the brand.

Uniqlo’s 100% recycled polyester fleece made its debut at the brand’s 1,000 square meter LifePark pavilion this year. Uniqlo worked with local suppliers, including Cyclone Recycling and Shenghong, to develop a solution that turns plastic bottles into yarn and pieces of clothing.

“For nearly 30 years, Uniqlo has grown with China’s apparel industry, working with our production partners to deliver high-quality products to customers around the world,” said Jalin Wu, General Manager of Fast Retailing Group and Marketing Director of Uniqlo Greater China. . “We look forward to connecting with more customers in China and around the world to embark on the journey to new ways of living in the future.”

The Uniqlo pavilion

Nike’s 600 square meter showroom showcased new products such as the Nike ISPA Link Axis designed for easy disassembly. The American sportswear giant has revealed that the brand’s “Nike Reuse A Shoe” initiative has recycled more than 25,000 pairs of sneakers since its launch in China two months ago.

“This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Nike brand, and this time we came to the exhibition with the theme ‘Innovation is never over’, we want to use the spirit of innovation to expand the definition to play sports and help create a better future for sports,” said Dong Wei, Nike Global Vice President and General Manager of Nike Greater China.

Nike Booth at the CIIE

Beauty brands have focused on showcasing technological innovations and personalized product offerings.

L’Oréal highlighted 225 flagship products and unveiled three new technologies this year. YSL Scent-sation, a multi-sensor headset that tracks the wearer’s emotional responses to scents, can recommend scents based on machine learning algorithms. Lancôme’s Dual-LED Youth Care, a beauty device that combines amber and infrared LED lights, can precisely distribute serums upon application. Colorsonic, a home hair coloring device, allows users to design hair color accurately in 20 minutes.

L’Oréal also revealed that Skinceuticals DOSE, a machine that creates personalized serums, will debut in the Chinese market shortly. The personalized service will benefit from Shanghai Pudong New Area Cosmetics Industry Innovation and Development Regulations, which were finalized in July and allow personalized cosmetics in Shanghai.

“This year is special. It marks a new development journey for China, it is the fifth anniversary of the CIIE, as well as the 25th anniversary of L’Oréal China,” said Fabrice Megarbane, President of L’Oréal’s North Asia Zone and General Manager of L’Oréal China. “As the rotating chairman of the CIIE Enterprise Alliance and one of the largest exhibitors, we have always recognized the CIIE as a new platform with a great ripple effect, as we continue to offer diversified products and services. to satisfy the beauty aspirations of people in China.”

Another beauty giant, Estée Lauder, built the first carbon-neutral pavilion in the consumer goods showroom, a “wooden palace” made of recyclable wood fiber, wood and steel. The company showcased 15 brands and brought back the Vapometer Moisture Loss Tester and Moisture Meter SC Moisture Content Tester for its interactive space. Beauty-lovers formed long lines outside, hoping to secure a seat to enter the pavilion and receive generous samples of Estée Lauder brands.

Estée Lauder also announced that its global R&D center, located in Shanghai, will officially go live in December. The center will develop products better suited to Chinese and Asian skin.

Shiseido introduced a dual flag system this year. The Shiso Pavilion showcased Shiseido’s innovations and milestones in China over the past four decades.

The Shisai pavilion showcased recent advances in skin research, including Digital Skin technology to combat sagging skin issues, Injectionless HA Skin Booster technology that facilitates optimal absorption of hyaluronic acid, and Liquiform, a sustainable packaging solution that combines the steps of forming and filling bottles in one step.

Shiseido’s Shisai Pavilion

More than 40 new products from 22 Shiseido brands debuted at the expo, including Sidekick, a skincare brand aimed at young Asian men, and a prototype of Ipsa Me Ultimate E, a lotion with custom formulas .

“As we move towards our vision of becoming the world’s leading skincare beauty company by 2030, we cannot achieve this without further expanding our business in the Chinese market,” said Masahiko Uotani, Global Managing Director of Shiseido. “It will also enable us to achieve our corporate mission, ‘Beauty Innovations for a Better World’.”

As the third-largest beauty company in Japan, Kosé showcased its flagship brands, including Sekkisei, Decorté, Infinity, Albion and Jill Stuart, under the theme “Diverse in Beauty”. Fans of Japanese figure skating idol Yuzuru Hanyu lined up for a chance to see a pair of skates signed by the star and leave a voicemail message for Hanyu during an installation inside the stand.

“Kose has been cultivating the Chinese market for 34 years since 1988. Last year, we debuted at the CIIE under the theme ‘Creating Beauty in a Sustainable World.’ This year, we continue under this theme to deliver the unique goodness and beauty of Kosé,” said Kosé President Yasuhiro Miyata.

Due to strict COVID-19 restrictions that required all visitors to be fully vaccinated and show proof of valid 24-hour COVID tests, this year’s show was less crowded than previous editions.

The CIIE also required all attendees to wear N95 masks and banned all attendees who have undergone “static management” or temporary lockdown at home in designated risk areas, in the past ten days from attending. at the fair.

The show attracted over 2,000 exhibitors from over 100 countries. A total of 284 Fortune Global 500 companies attended this year’s show, up from 281 last year.

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