Brand To Officially Launch In Shanghai On September 16
Since word first broke that Hermès was planning a “Created in China” standalone luxury brand focused on the Chinese market last winter, Shang Xia, Jing Daily has kept a close eye on the brand’s development. Though details have been scarce, we’ve already established that the first Shang Xia boutique will open in Shanghai with a ribbon-cutting ceremony planned for September 16. Next week, be sure to check out Jing Daily’s exclusive coverage of the launch event, coming right after the event ends.
Until then, here is our previous coverage of Shang Xia, the first-ever Made in China luxury brand supported by a major global luxury house:
While Hèrmes is behind Shang Xia, the brand itself was started from scratch with the Chinese market fully in mind. Headed by creative director Jiang Qionger, everything from the design to the materials, manufacture, marketing and management will be local. As Florian Craen, Hermès managing director in north Asia, recently told the FT, Shang Xia truly is its own brand: “It is a Chinese brand, developed in China with the Chinese team, based on Chinese craftsmanship and broadly made in China. We don’t want any confusion.”
We often look at luxury brand localization in China, a trend that has become more noticeable as ”post-80s” consumers (those born in the post-economic-reform period of the 1980s and more likely than their parents to spend rather than save) have become a force to be reckoned with. With China projected to have 65 million potential luxury consumers by 2020 and set to become the world’s largest single luxury market by 2015, luxury brands know they can’t afford to ignore the demands of Chinese luxury shoppers, who are younger and less brand-loyal than their counterparts in Japan or developed Western countries.
Women’s Wear Daily reported last week that French luxury house Hermes plans to support the launch of a new luxury handbag brand, Shang Xia, in China this coming spring. According to reports confirmed by French newspaper La Tribune, Hermes’ involvement in the launch of Shang Xia wil mark the first time Hermes has built a brand from the ground up, and the company’s products will be designed, manufactured and sold entirely in China.
All of this seems to make sense, since China is now the world’s second-largest luxury market and the world’s most populous country. But is this concept doomed to fail?