Ups and Downs

Parsons Boy mentioned Hermes’s proposed launch of Shang Xia 上下, a new label that carries Chinese-inspired ready-to-wear and items. Shang Xia will leverage on the Hermes tradition (or brand, really), but employ Chinese materials and artisanal techniques. Prices will be lower than that of Hermes’s.

Pudong, Shanghai (Photo Credits:

I really wonder if it’ll work — selling Chinese-inspired things to a Chinese market, especially at a time when the Chinese seem to want material items that seem to reflect French / Italian luxury. A couple of years ago, I read a couple of books on the Japanese fervour for continental luxury in the ’80s and ’90s. The authors noted that the Japanese would buy pearls from just about anywhere foreign — except Mikimoto, a Japanese label. Now, we’re selling Chinese-made, Chinese-inspired things to the Chinese at French prices?

In its defence, though, Hermes’s new venture might just end up recreating (or overshadowing) the Shanghai Tang success story. I say this with the assumption that SX will target the same market segment that Shanghai Tang does (a generous assumption) — or create demand from a separate segment. Have a feeling it might do better in Paris than it will in China.

Even if it is a huge success, will Hermes have to face bigger intellectual property issues? Also, is this an equity joint-venture? A contractual joint-venture? A wholly-owned foreign enterprise? It’d be interesting to see how its legal department answers the various legal challenges this new venture poses!

This entry was published on February 9, 2010 at 4:56 am. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Ups and Downs

  1. Pingback: Ups and Downs « THE F-WORD | 浦东信息集散地

  2. theclicheherself on said:


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