Shang Xia

Shang Xia

Shang Xia is a luxury lifestyle brand, backed by the Hermès brand, offering modernized traditional Chinese products

Based on the Chinese characters “Shang” and “Xia”, the name of the Shang Xia brand literally means “upside down” that, at first, can seem an unusual pair of words. At a closer look, the Chinese characters “Shang” and “Xia” reveal a profound philosophy of life: the circulation between two energies of Yin and Yang, past and future, tradition and innovation, craftsmanship and contemporary design.

The beginnings of the Shang Xia brand  

Jiang Qiong Er is Shang Xia’s CEO and Artistic Director. An internationally renowned designer who, thanks to her studies in some of the most prestigious European universities, has acquired a cosmopolitan and multicultural vision. Before founding the Shang Xia brand in 2009, Jiang explored the country in search of first-rate ateliers that possessed the know-how to make Chinese products and renew traditional processes.

This actualization of traditional craftsmanship is demonstrated by the products themselves. The “Da Tian Di” chair for example in Ming dynasty style made with hi-tech carbon fibre, won an award at the EDIDA (Elle Deco International Design Awards) in 2016.

Although Shang Xia is a separate entity from the current Hermès label, the house was formed as a key shareholder, with a 90% stake in the Hermès-Shang Xia business.

Shang Xia
Some pieces of furniture proposed in Shang Xia’s collection

The brand’s story and concept

Shang Xia’s concept reflects a flow of energy from the past to the future and a link between Chinese tradition and innovation.

The Shang Xia brand’s collections include ready-to-wear garments, leather goods, accessories, furniture and home accessories and are designed to fill the nostalgic void left by the Cultural Revolution when many traditional Chinese artifacts have been lost.

Each piece is delicately crafted with raw materials from China. With a mission to resurrect and nurture the sense of craftsmanship that was lost when China became a mass-production economy, the Shang Xia brand offers are built on centuries of Chinese heritage with first-rate quality, which adds a contemporary touch to traditional Chinese aesthetics and craftsmanship.

In December 2020, the private investment company Exor (the investment vehicle of the Agnelli family, descendants of Fiat) invested 97 million dollars to become the main shareholder of Shang Xia. Although the new shareholding structure is not disclosed, it will be interesting to see if there is any change in management in the coming years.

Brand strategy

Shang Xia’s marketing strategy is very different from what other luxury brands have adopted in China. With a sober appeal focused on history and tradition, at prices ranging from $ 27 to $ 75,000, the brand is both accessible and exclusive.

To date, Shang Xia owns 15 physical boutiques including 14 in major cities in China and one in Paris.

Considering that the brand has been around for 10 years, its expansion strategy can be described as calculated and patient. In fact, CEO Jiang does not believe in building a brand empire, since the brand’s goal does not include an excessive increase in production that could compromise its quality. Rather, collaboration is sought with traditional artisans who have refined their skills over time in making products of the best quality.

Thanks to a dense network of artisans in China, Nepal and Vietnam, its products are released in different batches and are available in limited quantities. This does not allow the brand to easily scale up production, which helps to maintain the exclusivity and perception of the brand itself.

Shang Xia
Photo of Jiang Qiong Er, CEO and brand creative director.

SHANG XIA, between heritage and innovation

The brand, jointly founded by designer Jiang Qiong Er and the French group Hermès, celebrates a contemporary and refined lifestyle.

Shang Xia believes that both time and emotion can be embodied in objects. The collections include furniture, household items, clothing, leather goods, jewelry, accessories and tea sets.

Shang Xia expects to bridge the gap between the tangible and the intangible, between tradition and the present. The brand will continue to use its distinctive combination of contemporary design with exquisite craftsmanship, Chinese culture and the highest quality standards.

Shang Xia’s products are a combination of tradition and innovation. The furniture line is inspired by the Ming dynasty and has given a modern touch, for example, by using carbon fibre materials. The ready-to-wear line is inspired by the tradition of the Han dynasty, keeping the silhouettes ethereal and free-spirited. Instead, the porcelain bowl and tea sets use the typical porcelain of the Northern Song dynasty.

All traditional materials such as bamboo and silk are locally sourced from China.  Among these we find cashmere, jade, lacquered silk and carved zitan wood. Ancient techniques such as eggshell porcelain techniques are used as a tribute to the richness of the Chinese tradition.

10 years of investments 

The brand is currently led by designer Jiang after a collaboration with the Hermès CEO of the time Patrick Thomas and the artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas in 2007.

In 2019 Shang Xia celebrates its tenth year of activity. After 10 years of investments, sales in China grew by 60% in 2019.

“I am convinced that we have reached a point where there will be solid growth in high-end and luxury brands in China”

2020 marked the year of the launch of a new concept called “Tea Temple”. Tea Temple is a space where young people meet to sip tea as if it were a cocktail. Within a few months it became a real meeting point. A strategy that goes beyond the marketing of a product but rather represents the sale of an experience. Future forecasts include the opening of other stores in Taipei, Taiwan, Singapore and the renewal of two stores in China.

The estimated investment is between 5 and 6 million euros, in addition to the 13.3 million dollars invested in the brand up to 2013.

Brand transformation

The proposed product lines, apparently diversified from each other, which include interior design objects, clothing and accessories could be blurred in the eyes of consumers.

At the end of 2020, the French luxury giant Hermès sold most of the shares of the Chinese brand Shang Xia to EXOR, an investment company controlled by the Italian family of the magnate Agnelli, for around 80 million euros. Despite this, the French fashion house and co-founder Jiang Qionger still remain important shareholders of the brand. In an interview released in January of this year, Jiang qionger said that after taking over from EXOR, Shang Xia will accelerate its transformation process.

Recent changes in its functioning and in the image aim at making it a more fashion-oriented brand.

As a successful investment company, the EXOR group undoubtedly has rich and reliable experience in building global luxury goods, while the Hermès group will still support the development of the brand as an important partner of Shang Xia. With the support of these two family businesses and the efforts of Jiang Qionger, SHANGXIA aims at becoming a luxury brand capable of expertly combining traditional Chinese culture and contemporary creativity to be welcomed by consumers around the world.

New creative director

The second turning point for Shang Xia was the news of the 22nd of September 2021, regarding the appointment of Yang Li (Chinese American designer) as the new creative director and the launch of a new logo.

Shang Xia’s first runway show led by Li Yang was held for the first time at the Paris Fashion Week on the 4th of October with the spring-summer 2022 collection. His foresight and propensity towards more sustainable fashion will further enrich the uniqueness of the brand in the future.

With this new appointment, Shang Xia will significantly strengthen the fashion industry, allowing Shang Xia to become a globally successful brand.

Shang Xia announced the brand’s new logo at the same time, highlighting Yang Li’s pioneering and innovative design perspective. The logo interprets the characteristics of the brand’s diversification.  The symbiosis of opposites in harmony, from which the very name “above” and “below” also derives, is deeply rooted in the heritage of Chinese culture.

Shang Xia

New logo of Shang Xia


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