Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Hermes Launches Shang Xia Brand In China 14/9/10

Hermes is launching a new fashion and lifestyle brand in China this Thursday. Here at the MO Down, we are following Jing Daily, who have the exclusive rights to the story. Mandarin for ‘Up Down’, Shang Xia plans to follow local tastes and employ the best artisans in China, allowing them to tap into the world’s largest emerging luxury goods market, and without altering their brand identity in the slightest. Brilliant! When we think about it, globalisation presents a tricky dilemma for fashion houses like Hermes. You can’t please everybody, after all. On one hand, Hermes has sacred traditions based on its revered (not to mention invaluable) identity. As a brand, Hermes has more self-assuredness than any one could ever expect from a fashion house. Their reputation is key to their business plan– and they are a business, after all. So on the other hand, just like everybody else, and by whatever means, Hermes must market its goods. As a business, Hermes would be crazy to assume they can just march into a foreign market and have everyone go wild. It happens, but tis’ the exception, not the rule. It certainly doesn’t guarantee a large market share.

Hermes is not about to alter its image for China. To do so would be to edit its largest, most fragile asset. What an enormous gamble that would be. Instead, what we may be about to witness from Hermes is a seamless manipulation of ‘glocalisation’– creating a hybrid brand of global and local taste. We find the recent trend of luxury brands partnering with mainstream labels somewhat controversial– see our thoughts on Valentino yesterday. Hermes may be on the verge of proving a way to have its piece of the Chinese cake and eat its profits, too.

Of course, all this is speculation. Shang Xia is a covert operation and all details will remain behind closed doors until Thursday. We will bring you more news when to hand.

Image credit: jingdaily.com

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Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury, www.moluxury.com.au