Shang Xia, the Chinese brand 90% owned by Hermès, is ready to fly on the dragon’s wings. After 10 years of investment, with results perhaps below expectations, in 2019 sales in China (equal to 90% of turnover, unknown) grew by 60%. “I am convinced that we have reached a point where there will be solid growth in high-end and luxury brands in China,” said Patrick Thomas, president of the brand.
10 years of investment
Shang Xia celebrates its tenth year in business. The brand, of which Hermès owns 90% of capital, wants to cancel the lockdown imposed by Covid-19 by investing in retail. So, the plan is to open 3 new boutiques in China by next December. The estimated investment is between 5 and 6 million euros, which are to be added to the 13.3 million dollars invested in the brand until 2013.
Success, but to some extent
Until 2019, the brand did not have that resounding success that someone expected. In fact, it has not yet reached its break–even point. But this does not seem to have affected the managers’ trust. “If you want to build a 100 meters high skyscraper, you need to dig foundations that are almost as deep.
It took 10 years to build the foundations of the brand”, Jiang Qiong Er, artistic director and CEO of Shang Xia (of whom it holds the remaining 10% of the capital) told WWD on the occasion of the launch of the futuristic Shuneaker, the shoe with a 4D printed sole inspired by the bamboo inlays that distinguish the brand.
The brand produces 90% of its items in China. And, if this has hitherto been a restraint, today it may have turned into a competitive advantage. Jiang herself, in a recent interview with Business of Fashion, said: “I think there is a real opportunity and space for a luxury brand linked to Chinese culture, and the crisis has only accelerated it”. On WWD Thomas urges: “There is pride in showing that China is able to produce not only low quality and mass products, but also beautiful objects rooted in its tradition”.
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