Hermès made an interesting foray into Chinese luxury brands by opening its first Shang Xia store in Shanghai. While part of the Hermès family of brands, Shang Xia (meaning ‘topsy-turvy’ in Mandarin) is the only one built specifically for the Chinese market. Shang Xia will include ready-to-wear and decorative arts inspired by Chinese culture, manufactured with Chinese raw materials and artisanal know-how. The product range includes homeware, furniture, accessories, and limited edition ‘cultural objects’.
Time will tell how Chinese consumers respond to a domestic luxury brand in comparison to the popular foreign labels. However, we can expect more Western brands to pay respect to consumers in emerging markets by launching new products and brands – after all, it’s where the money is right now. And while Western brands are still favoured over local ones, the combination of perceived quality with a bit of local tailoring makes sense.