On Friday, April 27, luxury jeweler Harry Winston is set to open its largest global flagship in Shanghai, a sprawling 5,800 square meter space in the city’s plush Xintiandi neighborhood. Outfitted with two main halls and stocking fine jewelry, wedding jewelry and a range of watches, the store at 188 Tai Cang Road serves not only as brand’s first flagship in China, but a very lavish anchor for greater expansion efforts in the country. Currently, Harry Winston operates only two boutiques in China, one at the Peninsula in Beijing and another at Shanghai’s Peninsula Hotel, but starting with the new Xintiandi flagship, the jeweler plans to open several new locations in the country as part of its plan to open 50 new flagship stores worldwide by 2016.
While opening its largest store in the world in Shanghai should be buzz-worthy enough, Harry Winston will invite “Gossip Girl” stars Leighton Meester and Ed Westwick to cut the ribbon at the grand opening. Owing to the show’s massive popularity in China, word of Meester and Westwick’s planned appearance at the flagship event and photos of Meester with fans have torn through Weibo, indicating that the Chinese Twitter-like platform — and “Gossip Girl” tie-ins — may become even more of a linchpin of Harry Winston’s marketing strategy in China. We’ll have to wait and see whether Harry Winston links up in some way with China’s own version of “Gossip Girl,” which is expected to launch this November under the title “China Girl.”
Also in celebration of the new flagship opening, Harry Winston will show off its collaboration with the Chinese designer Judy Hua (previously on Jing Daily), an exhibition of 14 priceless pieces of diamond-studded jewelry paired with selections from Hua’s new collection. After the Shanghai grand opening, Hua’s designs will be shown on Harry Winston’s global tour at other flagships worldwide.