Local Creatives Shine at Hermès’ Shanghai Reprised Men’s Show

SHANGHAI — On a rainy Tuesday evening in Shanghai, Hermès made a splash with a reprised men’s spring 2024 runway show featuring a diverse cast of local talents.

As its first major event in China post-COVID-19, Hermès’ one-night-only extravaganza, held at West Bund Art Center’s N Wing, attracted the French luxury house’s most prestigious guests, who showed up toting rare Birkins.

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Themed “Through The Lines,” the runway was set within a leveled stage that played with light and shadows. The traveling men’s collection, a sporty and versatile wardrobe designed by Véronique Nichania, was initially shown in Paris last June. Crinkly shirts, wide-leg trousers cuffed at the ankle, and flat closed-toe sandals with buckles and nubby soles were items that stood out from the collection.

Véronique Nichania
Véronique Nichania

Alongside the models, eight talents — including film director Guo Fan, actors Wang Yang and Liu Jia, Michelin star restaurant Ling Long Shanghai‘s head chef Jason Liu, Chinese short track speed skater Wu Dajing, director at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art Philip Tinari, architect Liu Yichun, and reality TV star Wang Yuheng — walked the runway to a cheering and roaring audience.

“It was fun to see it from the other side. I think it’s similar to making an exhibition, there are so many specialties, so many people with really precise roles, and everyone working together creates a very cool energy,” said Tinari.

Wang Yuheng, or “Brother Water,” an intellectual-turned-reality star, was not surprised that Hermès cast him in the show. “Great minds think alike,” said Wang.

“They made a repeat show feel utterly new,” said Eric Young, a local Hermès VIP and the founder of the multibrand boutique LMDS. “The addition of Chinese celebrities and cultural stars made the show resonate easily with us locals, and it felt less formal compared to Paris.”

“The diversity of the casting, some younger, some older, nicely reflected what the Hermès community is, one of various personal styles. This is also something we want to do as a designer brand,” added Chinese designer Fengchen Wang.

Guests enjoyed a playground-themed after-party where avant-garde French chef Paul Pairet served croque monsieur and duck confit, among other sweet and savory dishes.

DJ Harvey played in the “Club Faubourg” disco room, before Finnish band Jaakko Eino Kalevi took to the main stage.

Staged right after Shanghai Fashion Week, the event was also a chance for members of the local creative industry to catch up over a mimosa or two.

“It’s kind of the new Shanghai city vibes,” said designer and artist Oscar Wang. “It’s rare to see friends from all around the world kind of all hanging out. People just come into the after party and stay.”

“I can’t believe Brother Water is here,” enthused Chinese fashion photographer Theo Liu, fawning over the reality star, who was busy taking pictures with excited fans, including a 5-year-old.

For Samuel Yang of the popular Chinese designer brand Samuel Gui Yang, the repeat show offered a chance to study the craftsmanship behind Nichania’s creations.

“I always loved the elegance and free-spirited looks from Hermès menswear,” said Yang. “We care more about the clothes, not the bags.”

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