Xia Hua founded Eve Fashion Group in 1994. From its beginnings as a small booth in Beijing’s Xidan district, the company has become one of the most successful menswear retailers in China and now operates over 500 stores. The company consist of four brands under the Eve umbrella: Eve de Uomo, Nottinghill, Kevin Kelly, and Jaques Pritt.
Unusually, Hua has ensured the apparel sold in her stores reflects and is influenced by Chinese culture and traditional silhouettes. Hua told Wharton Business School, “Ultimately, if Chinese brands are looking for sustainable global recognition and respect, the essence of what they stand for needs to be Chinese.”
Her efforts have paid off. It was her design team that was tasked with re-imagining the Mao suit for China’s Premier to wear to the republic’s 60th anniversary celebrations. And, in February 2012, Eve Group became the first Chinese menswear brand to show at London Collections: Men.
Impressively, Hua has scaled her business and her brand to the point where she sees her competitors as major international luxury houses. “The most important ones are global men’s apparel brands, like Dolce & Gabbana and Armani. As our brands continue to develop, the price disparity between us is narrowing quickly and we are competing directly against them in terms of customer awareness and brand value.”
Hua taught at the University of Political Science and Law, before entering fashion.