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Charlotte Ronson: Making Her Mark

Charlotte Ronson is fashion’s ‘It’ girl of the moment, riding high after critically acclaimed shows around the world. Despite its somewhat transitory connotations, this up-and-coming fashionista is happy to wear the moniker. “I think that's a very flattering term,” she says, adding that in all honesty “I don't always know what it means.”

The 33 year old is the twin sister of DJ Samantha Ronson (also known as Lindsay Lohan’s ex-girlfriend) and younger sister to music producer Mark. Despite a more recent appearance on the public consciousness, she is now possibly the most famous of the illustrious trio and is looking to take over the world in her chosen field, one country at a time.

The latest country on the agenda is China, starting right here in Shanghai, where Ronson presented her autumn 2010 collection at House of Roosevelt on the Bund and opened her Mainland China flagship store at Lujiazui’s IFC Mall in September.

Talking about this trip, her first to China, it’s obvious the fashionista is cautiously optimistic about the prospects for Charlotte Ronson, the brand, in the Middle Kingdom. “I just love to travel and see the world. I'm excited to… look at the market and see the response to my collection,” she says.

This first store is just the beginning for the designer, who has signed a deal with Hong Kong and Shanghai-based company, MH Concepts. Their plan is to roll out a total of 200 Charlotte Ronson stores across China, Hong Kong and Macau by 2014, including a mix of free-standing, department store and mall locations.

It’s a long way from Ronson’s fashion beginnings, customising vintage t-shirts for her trendsetting friends. When word got out and demand increased, she started her first label, C. Ronson, which is now a favourite of Hollywood starlets, including Jessica Simpson, Nicole Ritchie, Mischa Barton, Lily Allen and, of course, LiLo.

Though she has a growing legion of celebrity followers, Ronson still says the “biggest compliment is when you see a girl who has actually bought your stuff walking down the street.”

And we expect to see plenty of those here in Shanghai, where her hip, feminine designs are sure to be a big hit. “It's about dressing down, but in a romantic way,” Ronson says of her brand’s signature look. “I think it’s very pretty, but it doesn't look like you are trying too hard. And all girls want that, right?”

In terms of demographic, Ronson aims to appeal to a broad church of women, aged between 16 and 30, who divide their time between both work and play and need a wardrobe which converts easily from day to night.

“It’s for the girl that’s fun and flirty but still likes to be comfortable and casual, that likes to be comfortable and confidant in herself,” Ronson explains. “You can switch up the shoes or the accessories, and all of a sudden you’re ready to go out. That’s what it’s about. Who has the time to constantly change their clothes? You want to feel good about buying your pieces.”

We certainly do, and we’re willing to bet we’re not the only ones in Shanghai who feel that way.

Charlotte Ronson, LG1-30, IFC Mall, 8 Shiji Da Dao. Tel: 3872 1371. Web:



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