Will Designer Yang Li Help Shang Xia Win Over Gen Z Consumers?

What Happened: On September 22, Shang Xia, jointly owned by Exor, Hermès, and Qiong’er Jiang, announced that it has appointed designer Yang Li as its fashion creative director effective immediately. The announcement was followed by the unveiling of a new logo, indicating the 34-year-old designer’s modern vision for the brand. The first Shang Xia collection by Yang Li will be presented at its first-ever fashion show on October 4, at 10am, as part of Paris Fashion Week. Moreover, Shang Xia is a contemporary lifestyle brand, drawing inspiration from ancient Chinese aesthetics, but with a modern twist and exquisite craftsmanship.  

The Jing Take: Qiong’er Jiang, co-founder and creative director of Shang Xia, believes that Beijing-born and London-Paris-based designer is an ideal fit for the brand. Li debuted his eponymous brand in 2010 and is renowned for his unique design language that draws inspiration from punk metal, gothic culture, and performance art. Thanks to his distinctive design approach, Li was shortlisted for the LVMH Prize for Young Designers in 2014.

The shareholders and co-founder of Shang Xia hope Li’s modern vision and his understanding of sustainability will help the brand to reach a wider and younger consumer base in China and abroad. Currently, Shang Xia has garnered around 68,000 followers on Weibo. Meanwhile, the announcement of Yang Li as fashion creative director has raised discussions on the platform. Although not everyone appreciated the new appointment, most were intrigued to know what the talented designer will bring into the house, including: @lilAlexia, “So cool! Looking forward to it!”

Following a 60 percent increase in 2019, the brand expects to keep growing under Li’s new creative direction while also expanding its retail presence in exclusive locations in China and beyond. It will be interesting to see whether his designs will live up to the expectations of a younger Gen Z audience, while in the process, not alienating the brand’s existing clientele.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.