The latest luxury brand news from Shanghai
Shanghai-born, time-honored pen brand Hero released two new collections recently to celebrate its 88 birthday under the themes of nationalism and nostalgia.
The Qin series of the collection “Aesthetics of the Dynasties” designed by Yao Hui and his team features cool solemn black -- a royal color of the Qin Dynasty (221-207BC) -- gold-lined patterns of China’s first emperor, Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall on the pen-holder.
“These are the symbols of China that can be read and understood all over the world,” said Yao. With lines thickened and patterns simplified, the pen is designed to grasp the undertones of traditional Chinese aesthetics and show an increasing pride in Chinese culture and heritage.
The team is also developing other series based on past dynasties -- such as the Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing -- which are soon to go on the market. “It was also a learning process for us to study the history, the traditional chromatics and graphics,” Yao said.
Meanwhile, South Korean designer Kim Su Jin creates her own interpretation of the Chinese Hero, with a chic, modern touch.
“The Colors of China” collection highlights bold, bright colors on the pen cap and prisms on the holder. Inspired by Chinese cities, the series features “Deep Red” to symbolize Beijing’s Forbidden City, “Marine Blue” for coastal Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, “Jade Green” for the lush forests of Kunming in Yunnan and “Snow White” for freezing cold Harbin in Heilongjiang.
“We are going to develop more city colors for Hero as there are 660 cities in China, and each of them has their own quality and feature,” Kim said.
A Shanghai brand originating in the 1930s, Hero is a name deeply engraved in the mind and heart of almost every Chinese person. During the 1970s and 1980s, it was fashionable to have a Hero pen in the breast pocket of one’s shirt.
The Hero fountain pen has borne witness to the country’s social and economic growth. It was the pen that signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration on Hong Kong in 1984. It was also the pen used at the APEC meeting in Shanghai in 2001, and the signing ceremony of the 2001 Protocol of the People's Republic of China on the Accession to the World Trade Organization, a big step toward globalization.
In recent years, the old brand dedicates itself to developing new products for different target groups. In 2015, it launched 10K, 12K and 14K gold pen series at affordable prices to meet the needs of the mass market. Domestic sales grew by more than 72 percent as a result.
Chinese down jacket leader Bosideng had a spectacular show recently in Shanghai to unveil its collection collaborating with French haute couture and prêt-à-porter designer Jean Paul Gaultier, with a host of Chinese star names in the audience.
The collection “Bosideng × Gaultier” is highlighted with some of the designer’s classic elements, including stripes, black-and-white and checkerboard.
The black-and-white mixing with animal stripes brings a strong visual impact full of wild, exotic charm, while the luxurious satin fabrics create a natural gloss and silky smoothness.
The checkerboard down jacket, inspired by Gaultier’s iconic black-and-white series, turns the down jacket into high-fashion haute couture at an affordable price.
The Chinese specialist in down jackets is testing the water on the international fashion stage. This September Bosideng presented its collection at Milan Fashion Week, which has put Bosideng on the same stage as international brands Canada Goose and Moncler.
Last year it released limited edition jackets designed by Tim Coppens, Antonin Tron and Ennio Capasa, which were all hits at its flagship stores in Shanghai.
Singer and teen idol Yang Chaoyue attended a "Miu Miu Select" event in Shanghai recently and showed her favorite ready-to-wear pieces from the brand's new season.
A corner of the Miu Miu store at iapm Mall is dedicated to presenting her selections, and a custom-made tag reading “Miu Miu Selects by Yang Chaoyue” is attached to each piece chosen, signed by Yang and hand-sewn into purchases.
Launched in May, the Miu Miu “selectors” campaign includes model and designer Georgia May Jagger in London, actress and model Chloë Sevigny in New York, stylist Veronika Heilbrunner in Moscow, actress and model Poppy Delevingne in Milan, model and designer Alexa Chung in Tokyo, and model Jessica Kahawaty in Dubai.
Yang, 21, rose to fame from the Tencent-produced talent show "Produce 101" last year. The premise of the show was to cull 101 female contestants down to a super-group of 11.
She aroused wide controversy by her “car crash-like” singing and her emotional behavior.
On Weibo, she has more than 12 million followers, and she’s become a popular promoter of luxury brands thanks to her energetic image and adorable face.