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Machine-A sets sights on international expansion with first China-based store

By Rachel Douglass

10 Jun 2022


Image: Machine-A

Machine-A has announced the opening of a Shanghai store, its first international location set to open mid-2022 and launching together with Belgian label Raf Simons.

The British multi-brand retailer has set its sights on international expansion, starting with the 245 square metre store and shop-in-shop located in the Chinese city’s Jing’an District.

The store will be run independently by Machine-A owner Tomorrow London, a fashion business accelerator which took a majority stake in the business in 2020.

Machine-A’s founder and buying director, Stavros Karelis, said in a release that the new store will act as a hub for cultural and fashion exchange between London and Shanghai.

“For me, it’s almost a natural step for Machine-A to open the first international store of the UK in Shanghai,” he added. “I want it to be perceived as an appreciation of the support our Chinese audience has shown all these years.”

Image: Machine-A, Shanghai store

The retailer, which said it has long communicated with its Chinese customers through Wechat, Alipay and Red, will offer a refreshed brand list for its Shanghai location, mixing emerging names with established brands and revealed a plan to release a series of exclusive collaborations.

Karelis noted: “A beautiful part of co-existing in a market, especially with what we do, is about supporting emerging talents. The more retailers that we get behind an emerging brand, the more chances the brand has to become successful. I believe that there are great potential synergies with a lot of different places to do something truly special.”

In its first prominent collaboration and to celebrate the opening, Machine-A will work together with Raf Simons on its shop-in-shop, designed by Glenn Sestig in close collaboration with the American designer.

It will be Simons’ first direct-to-consumer location in China.

Additionally, the interior of the store itself has been designed by Chinese architect Peijing Lu, who has brought a whole new aesthetic to the brand, in comparison to its London location, but has kept its storytelling concept in the process.

Machine A
Store opening