With Shanghai Tang’s signature ginger lily fragrance wafting through the doors of its new premises in Central, Hong Kong, Duddell Street has officially become the best-smelling cul-de-sac in town
When Shanghai Tang put an end to months of speculation and confirmed late last year that it was moving out of its historic Pedder Street premises, the question everyone was asking was “where to now?” The Chinese luxury lifestyle brand cleverly kept this a closely-guarded secret, effectively stirring up new speculation and guaranteeing top-of-mind awareness.
All was revealed earlier this year in April, when the Shanghai Tang Mansion opened its doors on Duddell Street in Central, with a façade that represents a modern tribute to the opulent mansions in the Art Déco style of 1930s Shanghai, crafted from etched glass and brass. No materials were kept or salvaged from the original location – apart from Michelle, a 17-year-old bird which had lived in the tailoring section at Pedder Street and has now taken up residence at the new premises.
In terms of the overall interiors, Shanghai-based studio Design MVW ‑ founded by French architect Virginie Moriette and Chinese designer Xu Ming in 2006 – opted for creating a fresh new look that still remains true to the brand’s ethos. The design team balances function and aesthetics using pure lines, lively forms and serene proportions, with equal touches of both whimsy and elegance. Duddell Street represents Shanghai Tang’s largest store in the world, spread over a three-storey retail space of 15,000 sq-ft (and a Shanghai Tang Café opening later this year), and Raphael le Masne de Chermont, executive chairman of Shanghai Tang, describes the Mansion as a representation of the brand’s commitment “as the global ambassador of contemporary Chinese chic”.
Entering the ‘Grand Foyer’, a stunning Shou crystal chandelier hangs from the entrance hall’s double-height ceiling. Surrounding walls of wooden lattice, backed by sepia-coloured mirrors, reinforce the contemporary Chinese theme, while also creating a visual link with the outer façade and inner walls. The chandelier was custom-made with four tiers of fine crystals that layer up to form the auspicious ‘Shou’ symbol of longevity, measuring 2.5m in height and 2m in width.
Read the full story, ‘The scent of success’, in the July 2012 issue of Perspective magazine!