Made for China

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.


  • iain Maclean

    London’s stranglehold on advertising is akin to that which Madison Avenue once had in the US.

    Their monopoly was broken in the mid-1980s, when a small, provincial agency in Minneapolis, Fallon McElligott, suddenly started winning dozens of golds for big awards, like the One Show and Clio.

    With Winter temperatures of -20 and a relatively small population, no-one could explain it.

    Under the creative direction of the great Tom McElligott, they created the famous
    “Perception/Reality” campaign for Rolling Stone magazine, and the “The Daily Diary Of The American
    Dream” tagline for the Wall Street Journal.

    They dominated all awards throughout the late 80s.  And suddenly, suspecting that there must be something in the water, more and more Madison Avenue stalwarts opened branches in Minneapolis. 

    Thanks to Fallon McElligott, many agencies such as W+K in Portland, Butler, Shine, Stern in San Francisco and Martin in Richmond, have their HQs outside New York.

    All it would take is one brave agency with a big creative reputation to set up outside London.

    Apparently, in the 70s (then plain old Mr.) Frank Lowe wanted to move CDP, which was regarded as one of the best creative agencies in the world, to a stately home off the M4 corridor. It made perfect economic sense as so many client companies were based there.

    But, it went against the prevailing social trend.  Clients and staff wanted the buzz and glitz of London, not some sleepy town off the M4.

    Besides, all the TV and radio production and facilities houses were in London. And TV ruled.


    It doesn’t any longer.

    Digital agencies don’t need to pay huge rents and business rates, or the proximity of ancillary services..  But, because the average age of their staff is just above that of a foetus, they feel they need the buzz and edge of the East End.  It’s he old cattle-market syndrome; young, single people prefer big cities because they’re on the hunt for a mate and good times. 

    So, the digital agencies are all there near Old Street, in London, not in Bristol. 

    It’s a shame, but perhaps one day soon a British version of Fallon McElligott will shock the London stalwarts. 

    For the best of all worlds, I still like the idea of a stately home off the M4 corridor.  Hmmm.

  • Marie Clarke

    I totally agree. I think most people soon realize that work-life balance is a must. Being “creative” and having a high-paid job just isn’t enough, especially when you see what other cities/countries have to offer. Take Singapore- I lived there in 2011. People worked hard, but played equally hard. There was life beyond commuting, watching telly and going out to pubs and restaurants. You could take part in outdoor sports after work, go to Sentosa beach on your way home, eat out everyday for under a fiver at hawker centress. On the weekends you can also get cheap flights to anywhere in SE Asia. The  365 days of sunshine helped too. 😉