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Close Up: Ash Footwear

A closer look at Ash Footwear in China



For the main article on Chinese retail, please click here.

To produce a design that would play as well in Shanghai or Beijing as in New York, Howard Ash of Howard Ash Inc. (New York) created what he calls “the boho hipster lifestyle.”

This was accomplished with a warm palette: in a lounge and coffee bar where shoppers can read fashion magazines and listen to music with headphones; a chalkboard calendar where announcements are posted of new Ash products, new song and album releases and indie band schedules.

The music, magazines and band announcements are all specific to the community. So is the coffee, a local purveyor rather than a global brand.

Ash used all the ingredients of the Western marketing campaigns in-store, even to the large graphics of the brand’s current fashion faces, like French models Loulou Robert and Crista Cober, who are also featured in Ash ads in Chinese magazines.

“Who’s to say next season’s models won’t be Asian?” says Ash. “But if they are, they’ll also be the face of the brand in New York and London.”


In fact, he says, that’s how the best international retailers must interpret themselves – as confident, knowing how they resonate in all corners of the world, drawing the shopper to the brand, not marketing the brand to the locale.

To read about Karl Lagerfeld in China, please click here.

Project Suppliers
Ash Footwear, New York

Howard Ash Inc., New York



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