26 January 2010

Sarah Rutson, Fashion Director of Lane Crawford, Hong Kong

Rutson (who prefers not to reveal her age) is a Brit who's lived in Hong Kong for the past 15 years, and has been a noticeable figure on the fashion circuit - in her uniform of Lanvin and Azzedine Alaïa dresses and sky-high Louboutin heels - buying for Lane Crawford's four Hong Kong stores. But she says that the purchasing power of mainland China's new elite (according to a survey by the management consultants Bain & Company, China already buys 12 per cent of the world's luxury goods, and that figure is set to grow) has opened her eyes to the more voracious consumer. 'For our customers in Hong Kong the process of shopping is a slow one, it's an emotional thing. But in mainland China a customer will go straight in and pay in cash for a £3,000 dress in under eight minutes.'

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