Decked out in a rainbow facade, the 120 year-old French store is hip and young in its Shanghai incarnation. Part of the showy L+ Mall near Lujiazui, it occupies five floors of the building (if you count the Bread Etc at the LG floor) and covers 23,000 sqm, with around 200 global fashion brands and the city's second Salon De Thé de Joël Robuchon.
The ubiquitous multi-brand fashion house I.T, which co-developed the Galeries Lafayette in Shanghai, has a strong presence, with about 10 labels including eyewear store NEITH.
GL is for those who appreciate, and can afford, casual luxury and don't mind dressing bold for an office job. The French institution offers a long list of high-end fashion brands exclusive to mainland China: Faith Connexion, Maison Kitsune, Lemaire... Be it trend-driven or minimal, it covers most of the moving parts that will turn a female shopper on, except cosmetics.
Each floor features a small area called "EDIT" — a mixture of designer brands curated by Galeries Lafayette. Men's wear and shoes are on the fourth floor, including Maison Margiela, PHILIPP PLEIN, and Adidas x Raf Simons, and so on. Plenty of unconventional designs are on display here, too, from edgy-looking local brand UOOYAA, to the bright yellow, dented Crash Baggage.
The pricing is to be expected, from a few hundred to a few thousands for clothes and shoes, though right now (and until late September, when they open fully) there are a number of discounts and coupons are on offer. It's not drawing the crowds though. The weekday evening I went, there were more staff than shoppers. Will its Paris roots be able to pull the crowds from Puxi? Too early to say.
Galeries Lafayette, 899 Pudong Nan Lu, above Line 9 Shangcheng Lu metro station.