Financial Times : Luxury brands long to bond with China’s elite

Diamond earrings glistened, stiletto heels tapped and the sequins on a mermaid gown shimmered as Miss China sashayed down a New York catwalk, passing within a perfume waft of a compatriot named Lina Li. Ms Li was among a group of wealthy Chinese who had paid for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of western luxury at Bergdorf Goodman, a genteel department store for the affluently elegant, which put on a fashion show in their honour this week. “I liked it a lot. It was my first fashion show,” said an enthusiastic Ms Li. She glanced down at her sweater and jeans and added sheepishly: “I didn’t dress properly.” The co-founder of a Shanghai recruitment agency, Ms Li is the kind of person that Bergdorf Goodman and other luxury retailers want to meet. But if the feeling is mutual, so is a measure of puzzled incomprehension.

Luxury brands long to bond with China’s elite - Financial Times