LONDON — In a grand gesture to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of China and France, Cartier will mount a major exhibition in November hosted by Shanghai Museum.
The brand launched its first Shanghai exhibition in 2004 with the Shanghai Museum, one of China’s most prominent cultural institutions that sits right next to the Shanghai Municipal Government.
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For the new showcase 20 years later, the brand said it will be “a groundbreaking dialogue between French and Chinese culture, art and beauty with a fresh perspective.”
With the temporary title “Cartier, Magician of Beauty,” the exhibit, which will center around more than 3,500 pieces of rare gems in the Cartier Collection, will be the third major showcase of the brand’s history since China reopened to the world after pandemic lockdowns ended at the beginning of 2023.
Last March, the brand worked with the Hong Kong Palace Museum in the West Kowloon Cultural District to host the “Cartier and Women” exhibition. The event saw Michelle Yeoh returning to Hong Kong for the first time after becoming the first Asian to win an Academy Award for best actress and joining decades-old friends Carina Lau, Pansy Ho and Brigitte Lin at the opening night. It helped the Hong Kong and Macao regions reach triple-digit increases for Cartier parent Compagnie Financière Richemont in the first quarter of 2023.
In October, Cartier doubled down on China with an event at the Juyongguan Great Wall to celebrate its Le Voyage Recommencé exhibition at Beijing’s Prince Jun’s Mansion, which helped Richemont log a 25 percent uptick in mainland China in the third fiscal quarter, which runs from October through December.
After a high jewelry showcase featuring top models Wang Wenqin, Pei Bei, Zhao Lei and Jin Dachuan on the red-carpeted Great Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the last major fashion event was hosted by Fendi in 2007, guests including brand ambassadors Gong Li, Lily Collins and Jackson Wang, as well as local celebrities Song Jia, Li Xian, Bai Jingting, Peter Chan and Guo Jingjing, enjoyed a music performance by musician Chang Shilei and famed Hong Kong singer Karen Mok during a gala dinner.
Cartier has forged strong ties with modern China since 1996. The brand hosted its very first exhibition “Le Pot Doré” at the Gate of Supreme Harmony in the Forbidden City that year, and opened its first fine jewelry boutique in The Peninsula Beijing a year after.
Cartier operates 47 stores in Mainland China. In Shanghai, the brand occupies prominent locations at Plaza 66, Grand Gateway 66, IFC, Taikoo Li Qiantan and K11.
Shanghai continues to be a hot spot for global brands to do events in China this year as there are fewer regulations in terms of hosting events there compared to China’s political center Beijing.
Louis Vuitton will present the women’s pre-fall 2024 collection on April 18 under the moniker “Louis Vuitton Voyager Shows” at the Long Museum West Bund, whose imposing, futuristic architecture is of the ilk Nicolas Ghesquière treasures for his fashion spectacles. It’s understood that Hermès will also stage a show in the same month in Shanghai.
On the exhibition front, Loewe is curating “Crafted World,” an immersive exhibition about the luxury brand slated to open at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on March 22.
“Gabrielle Chanel. Fashion Manifesto,” the major retrospective about the life of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, founder of the Parisian couture house, will travel to Shanghai’s Power Station of Art this summer as it continues its international tour after debuting at the Palais Galliera in Paris in 2020.
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