Tai-tais flock to brand name pub crawl - and some free gifts
The increased foot traffic around Central on Tuesday night was due to the Festival Colbert. It's a loose collection of all the French luxury labels - supposedly representing craftsmanship, luxury and all that bull - and the idea was to open each of the shops late for a kind of high-end pub crawl. Each of the 15 brand names was paired with either a champagne house or a liquor and drinks were served free as guests browsed, ideally shopping their way into a stupor.
The concept is great but the advanced promotion was somewhat lacking as most people just hung around the Landmark atrium with its Dior, LV and Celine flagship outlets. The more creative labels actually had interesting stuff to keep guests inside their store.
Cartier had animators do portraits, while Celine did one better, hiring two French artists to create a provocative video and a one of a kind fetish accessory that combines a whip, a spoon and a shoehorn. Another brand that attracted a large crowd was Bucheron.
Despite requiring a walk to the Mandarin Oriental, they wisely hired the sister team of Reyna Harilela and Shirley Hiranand who kept the jewellery shop humming as waves of tai-tais and society acquaintances kept the shop packed. It didn't hurt that they had parting gifts.
The festival continues at each store until Sunday but, sorry, without free booze.