In the fashion industry (and, increasingly, in any industry), the phrase “Chinese craftsmanship” is usually an implied pejorative. Fairly or unfairly, things that are made in China are generally assumed to be less well-made than those made in Europe or the US, and much has been made over a handful of Chinese product recalls that have been announced for deadly dog food and baby formula or lead-filled toothpaste.
So when Hermes says that they’re going to launch a Chinese-designed, Chinese-manufactured luxury brand, surely they jest, correct? Wrong. Hermes never jests. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the new brand, Shang Xia, will be helmed by a head designer from the Chinese mainland, feature products made from Chinese materials and techniques and be autonomous from the design influence of its legendary parent company. All things considered, is it time to reevaluate our preconceived notions about Chinese-made goods?