The Italian dynasty’s holding fund, Exor, will invest around €80 million ($96.5 million) to become majority owner of the luxury Chinese brand established by Hermès and designer Jiang Qiong Er a decade ago.
The Parisian luxury house, which previously owned 90 percent of the brand, will remain a shareholder alongside Jiang and Exor, which will invest via a reserved capital increase. Shang Xia is the first fashion brand to join Exor’s portfolio, which includes Ferrari, Italian football club Juventus and The Economist Group.
It’s a bet on a home-grown brand with major fashion backing at a time when the Chinese market is booming. Shang Xia focuses its design on Chinese culture and craftsmanship, just as European luxury brands celebrate Italian or French savoire faire.
Other luxury stalwarts have made similar moves. In 2012, Kering bought Qeelin, a Chinese jewellery brand founded by Jiang’s husband Guillaume Brochard. Richemont owned, but then sold Shanghai Tang in 2017. So far the results have been mixed, with younger Chinese consumers showing limited interest.