Hong Kong—Hermès opened today its latest retail concept, Shang Xia, the first of what the French luxurygoods company hopes will be the next hottest Chinese luxury brand. The store, which is situated in the Hong Kong Plaza Mall, is the prototype for a “home grown” Chinese luxurygoods retailer that will be rolled out next to Beijing and other key Chinese markets.
Shang Xia (which means “Up Down” in Mandarin) is purported to be the first high-end lifestyle brand to be building from scratch by a major European company. While Patrick Thomas, Hermès’ ceo greeted Chinese dignitaries and press at the opening, Shang Xia will operate as a wholly distinct brand from Hermès, which already has 19 doors in China.
In fact, Thomas called Shang Xia a “home grown” brand dedicated to bringing the best of Chinese design and craftsmanship to the luxury market much like the best of French craftsmanship created Hermès. Shaghai-native Jiang Qiong Er is Shang Xia’s artistic director and directed the merchandise point of view. More than 30 Chinese artisans and craftspeople worked three years on the designs and production which Qiong says have an authentic feel.
‘Affordable Luxury’ Made in China
In a report from Jing Daily, Qiong explained the brand’s philosophy as an “expression of two opposing forces or sides — yin and yang, extraordinary and ordinary — that come together to strike a harmonious balance. Merchandise ranges from apparel to home furnishing and at pricepoints that make this Hermès’ first endeavor into “affordable luxury.” Cashmere sweaters retail for about $316, jackets $1,105 and shoes about $327.
Asked about expansion plans, Thomas said that Shang Xia would probably eventually expand outside China, possibly even with a store location in France.