French fashion label Hermes on Thursday opened its first boutique for its new brand Shang Xia — a bold strategy that highlights China’s growing importance to luxury goods companies.
“We are very moved — this is like the birth of a child,” Hermes chief executive Patrick Thomas said ahead of the inauguration of the shop in a high-end shopping mall in Shanghai, China’s most cosmopolitan city.
The store, a picture of minimalist chic, offers clothing, home furnishings, shoes and tableware — a collection inspired by tea, and made from traditional Asian materials such as bamboo, cashmere and porcelain.
In front of the store, artisans put their skills on display for the widely anticipated opening, making tea cups enveloped in an intricate web of woven bamboo.
Shang Xia, whose name means “Up Down” in Mandarin, aims to boost what Thomas told AFP last month was “very strong growth” in mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan — collectively now the company’s “principal market.”
“The idea is to bring the Hermes philosophy to China, to create a Chinese Hermes,” Thomas told AFP.