Private investment company Exor has invested US$97 million to become the largest shareholder in ascending Chinese luxury brand Shang Xia.
Exor, the investment vehicle of Italy’s Agnelli family, descendants of the founder of Fiat and part owner of Ferrari, is scheduled to be settled by the end of the year.
Shang Xia was established in 2010 by Chinese designer Jiang Qiong Er and the French luxury retailer Hermes Group. After the sale of shares to Exor, Hermes will book a non-recurring profit of around $97 million, according to Reuters, but will remain “an important shareholder” alongside Exor and Jiang Qiong Er, according to a joint statement issued by the three companies.
Shang Xia has developed a range of luxury products, spanning apparel, footwear, furniture, homewares, leather goods, jewellery and accessories which the brand describes as “centered on home and representing a perfect melding of tradition with modernity”.
The company blends traditional Chinese design influence with the contemporary influence of European fashion and hand craftsmanship.
The brand name is based on the Chinese characters Shang and Xia, which literally translated means ‘Up-Down’.
In an interview with Cathay Pacific’s Discovery magazine earlier this year, Jiang Qiong Er described the relationship of her brand with Hermes.
“Though we operate as two independent brands, Shang Xia and Hermes share the same philosophy: celebrating the heritage of craftsmanship of our respective countries and combining that with innovative, contemporary design. For Shang Xia, it’s also about redefining what ‘made in China’ means to the rest of the world.”
Jiang Qiong Er believes that as the world becomes more globalised, Eastern and Western aesthetics are becoming more and more similar.
“People now favour simple, timeless designs that transcend cultural boundaries. We see Shang Xia as a long-term project: we hope to connect past traditions with today’s world, and then carry it on for the generations to come,” she told Discovery.