Jane Wang is nicknamed the "Cashmere Princess" after taking over the Erdos Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cashmere products, from her father. Since joining Erdos in 2006, Wang has used her MA in Engineering from Cambridge to create one of the most luxurious cashmere fibres. More recently, she has led the company to invest heavily in making cashmere more sustainable — a relatively nascent focus for leaders in China. In 2018 and 2019, she collaborated with Kering on its sustainability initiatives.
Erdos Group holds over a third of the global cashmere market share from its base in Inner Mongolia. With more than 40,000 staff, the Chinese conglomerate is valued at about 100.5 billion yuan ($10.4 billion) as of July 2019, with revenue of more than 58 billion yuan annually. Erdos formerly supplied Hermès, Burberry and Loro Piana, but no longer does due to its own requirements for over 1,300 eponymous stores across China.
Wang, now a billionaire in her own right, launched luxury brand 1436 in 2006. The cashmere line got its name from the fact that the wool yarn is 14.5 microns thick and 36 mm long — the top grade in the world with only 2 grams in every 1,000 meeting such a standard. In 2008, 1436 products were established as the national gifts China presents to Heads of Foreign States. By 2019, 1436 operated 35 of its own stores in China, and one in Japan.
In 2016, 1436 collaborated with designer Uma Wang on a collection shown at Shanghai Fashion Week in October 2016. In October 2017, Erdos announced the launch of the 1436 x Labelhood Baby Cashmere Scholarship at Shanghai Fashion Week. The following season in March 2018, the winners, Shanghai-based duo Shushu/Tong, closed the event with their collaborative collection.
In December 2018, Kering launched its Sustainable Innovation Award in Beijing, which aims to fast-track sustainable innovation within the luxury and apparel sectors in Greater China. Wang forms part of the jury of experts who will select three winners in September 2019.