News - Hermes opens its first ever Shang Xia boutique in Shanghai

Together with the Hermes Group, Chinese designer Jiang Qiong Er has set up Shang Xia hoping to create a new luxury brand espousing the best of traditional Chinese and other Asian craftsmanship and design. Today, the first ever Shang Xia store opened its door in Shanghai. The collection focuses on the home (for example the Da Tian Di collection is based on traditional Ming furniture, ergonomically designed; the Echo series has beautiful eggshell porcelain bowls) but there are also some interesting garments and jewelries.

I like the Bridge collection and its traditional bridge-shape handles, which has a set of ceramic tea pot and tea set cosseted in bamboo weaving. The silver-plated tea set and trio of vases are plated with silver and finished with hand carved thin bamboo strips woven in mesh. It takes days to completely weave one teapot and the brand is clearly emphasizing craftmanship and luxurious materials

photos credit: Paolo Roversi
There is a collection of sculpted garments made in felt, using similar techniques to those used when hand-felting fabric for Mongolian yurts. Inspired by traditional Han dynasty clothing, this collection reflects the traditional elegance of Chinese style. Each garment is unique and sculpted into a seamless shape to create a 3-dimensional garment in felt of Mongolian cashmere. The only vague link with Hermes is a collection of 1 square scarves made from fine Inner Mongolian cashmere woven with 50% silk threads and porinted with Bamboo patterns.

Hermes has been very keen on differentiating the new brand from its own products. Look-wise it has succeed, the only tread between the two appear to be the luxury of materials and finishes. Whether Chinese consumers will embrace Shang Xia, only time will tell.