Two years after opening its first store in Shanghai, Chinese contemporary craftsmanship brand Shang Xia opened its second global boutique in Beijing yesterday.
Designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the Beijing store pays homage to the ancient aesthetic of Beijing’s serried city walls. The ‘bricks’ theme was consistent through the space with brick walls built out of real pu’er tea and other ‘empty’ brick walls created through an interlocking latticework designed specially for the space.
Shang Xia was founded in 2008 to bring Chinese and Asian craftsmanship into contemporary lifestyles and has received widespread attention as one of the few homegrown Chinese luxury brands. Shang Xia’s product mission is to integrate the finest quality materials and craftsmanship into their offerings.
According to Shang Xia’s Press Release:
“Shang Xia presents a point of view, a way of life, a modern aesthetic. Heritage, culture, creation, dialogue and innovation merge to forge the core of Shang Xia’s philosophy.”
Products in the Beijing store included a fashion collection carefully constructed of Mongolian cashmere, rare Zitan wood furniture, hand-carved jade jewelry and delicate porcelain tea cups bound in gold plated threads of bamboo. All pieces were painstakingly created over hundreds of hours and many pieces are limited to only 8 pieces or less worldwide
From a branding perspective, Shang Xia has benefited from an investment and strong association with Hermes, with both brands sharing a common passion and unwavering commitment to quality.
Speaking at the store opening event, Hermes CEO Patrick Thomas highlighted the common traits underlying both brands and how all countries must examine at their roots in order to define their future.
“Both Shang Xia and Hermes share the same story of quality, craftsmanship and style. Both are brands that focus on adding value to products and selling quality rather than quantity.”
Mr. Thomas indicated a Shang Xia Boutique would open in Paris mid 2013.
Also present at the press launch was former French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Jiang Qiong Er – CEO and Artistic Director of Shang Xia who spoke about China cultural renaissance and the need to nurture handicrafts into the future.
China has spent the last 30 years to conquer the world with its economy. Over the next 30 years China has the opportunity to conquer the world with a Chinese cultural renaissance.
As the lives of Chinese people improve, we will start to look back on our cultural roots. More and more Chinese are looking for an art of living through elements such as tea, incense and meditation. Also, many Chinese traditions are rooted around the concept of family. Shang Xia’s philosophy creates products that are rich in heritage and emotion and promote the concept of sharing across multiple generations.
With Shang Xia we are also trying to offer craftsmen a market for their products where they can gain respect. Now in China its easier for young people to work in a coffee shop than do a five year crafts apprenticeship. We hope that through Shang Xia people discover the value and become interested in learning these crafts.
To coincide with the opening of the Beijing boutique, Shang Xia is also staging an exhibition of Chinese contemporary craftsmanship till the end of October. The exhibition showcases items from Shang Xia’s new collections and displays craft techniques for furniture, tea, fashion and jewelry.
At the exhibition Shang Xia craftsmen will demonstrate their arts through cashmere and bamboo weaving etc. There will also be incense and tea experiences on offer.
Appointments to visit the exhibition will be made available on Shang Xia’s website in the coming days.
Shang Xia’s Beijing Boutique:
B1 China World Mall, China World Trade Center
1 Jianguomen Waidajie, Beijing