Spreading culture with fashion and design

By Chen Jie ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-01-14 07:20:08

Spreading culture with fashion and design

The making of a cashmere felt.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Her grandfather Jiang Xuanyi (1903-1977) was one of the pioneer Chinese artists who studied Western art abroad, while her architect father Xing Tonghe, 76, worked on the Shanghai Museum, the renovation of The Bund and the Deng Xiaoping Memorial Hall in Sichuan.

"I do not take up architecture because my father's shadow is too huge," the designer says.

Jiang took up the brush pen to learn Chinese calligraphy and ink painting at 6. However, her formal design training started at Tongji University, Shanghai and after graduation in 2000, she furthered her studies in furniture and interior design at the Ecole des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.

In 2006, Hermes commissioned her to design windows for its boutique in Shanghai, and she so impressed the then CEO Patrick Thomas and artistic director Pierre-Alexis Dumas that they invited her to a business dinner.

There, the Chinese designer found that they shared the same values, passion and commitment to quality, craftsmanship, culture and style.

"They were looking for creativity and style but to keep the values of Hermes. And I had always dreamed of transporting Chinese traditional craftsmanship and aesthetics into a modern lifestyle and sharing it with people from the rest of the world," she says.

Thus Shangxia was born, and it now sells furniture, ready-to-wear, home decorations, accessories and leather goods.

"Shangxia" in Chinese means "ups and downs", but Jiang interprets "shang" as into the sky, the passage of history, craftsmanship, tradition, while "xia", she says is about the earth, the future, high technology and new materials.

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