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|Founder(s)||Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia(王陳彩霞),Wang Yuan-hong (王元宏)|
|Number of locations||Worldwide boutiques|
|Key people||Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia(王陳彩霞)Head Designer,Harry Wang(王子玮)CEO|
|Subsidiaries||Cha Cha Thé/采采食茶文化|
Shiatzy Chen (夏姿．陳) is a Taiwanese fashion house, whose founder and brand innovator Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia (王陳彩霞) is often referred to as the Chanel of Taiwan, and is the eponym of her luxury goods brand. She was born in 1951 in Changhua, Taiwan and founded the company in 1978. The brand spirit for Shiatzy Chen is "neo-Chinese chic", which transfers historical Chinese aesthetics into modern fashion design. Shiatzy adopts Chinese aesthetics in combination with western cuttings and Chinese handcrafting techniques.The brand is known for its distinctive design features drawn from Chinese culture such as qipao collars, knot buckles, or patterns in a Chinese ink painting.
Changhua-born Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia was not formally educated in the industry but learned her trade by working at her uncle's factory. She met her husband Wang Yuan-hong (王元宏), a smart businessman in the textile trade, and together they founded Shiatzy International Company Limited in 1978, over which they maintain total control. For over 30 years Wang worked on making her name in the local market and had built a client list of nearly 25,000 people, in 2011 sales reached about US$60 million, according to the company. Wives of politicians, diplomats and business executives, in particular, would purchase Shiatzy's dresses before taking trips abroad. In fact, these women, with their significant purchasing power, constitute the majority of the company's customers in Taiwan many of whom are high society types. In 1990, Shiatzy Chen set up a studio in Paris to stay on top of fashion trends and to learn more about Western dressmaking techniques. The studio also serves as a training center for Taiwanese dressmakers and designers.
A line of men's wear was added to the company's product list in 1987. The label men's wear line has a strong following among politicians, technology millionaires, banking and telecoms tycoons, artistic types, costume collectors and clotheshorses. Although Shiatzy Chen does not have a bespoke men's line, a part of her men's wear business is devoted to the sale of off-the-peg expensive chang paos intended for weddings and traditional engagement parties. Quilted (or padded) jackets have consistently been among Chen's most popular items in her winter collections. They usually come with a wide range of options as to fabric, pattern, color combination, and style. They are often reversible, with silk inside and cotton outside, or vice versa. The winter quilted jackets are usually the first to sell out during sales.
Designer Wang entered the Chinese market in 2003 in Shanghai and opened up further stores in Hong Kong and Beijing. Shiatzy Chen's Shanghai flagship store, which opened in October 2005, exhibit a distinctively Chinese heritage amidst the parade of Western fashion marques that now dominate The Bund. The building's Chinese pedigree made it an obvious location for Ms. Wang ambition to create a strong Chinese presence on the Bund. Work on restoring the original, red brick exterior look and on converting offices into a modern and artistic showplace for Shiatzy Chen's exquisite creations began in late 2001.
The interior was fashioned by the renowned Indonesian designer Jaya Ibrahim. This is in addition to the 48 outlets she already has in Taiwan, 23 directly managed stores and 25 department store counters. The company presently has over 1,000 employees and manufactures more than 100,000 items of clothing each year. After years of running a factory in suburban Taipei, the company opened its second one in Shanghai in 2007. The building of 6600 square meters has been designed by German architect Johannes Hartfuss,more than 1,000 employees including dressmakers and embroiderers are employed to produce tens of thousands of clothing items annually based on over 400 styles created by its designers. A large proportion of profits is going into research and design, there will also be further recruitment of talent in design, marketing and manufacturing.
In 2001, Shiatzy Chen branched into the international market with a store in Paris. The company has enough funds to expand quickly over the next 10 years and achieve significant market penetration, not just in China—the short-term goal—but in the mature high-end markets of New York, Milan, London and Tokyo, which made the Taiwanese fashion brand the first to enter the European market and attracted the attention of fashionistas around the world. Shiatzy Chen is one of the few homegrown designer labels in Taiwan with an international clientele. Mainland China remains the primary focus, with a factory and an office in Shanghai and a target of 50 mainland stores by 2010. The label has also been trying to diversify its product line. About three years ago, it began expanding its catalogue with accessories sold in all Shiatzy stores and furniture, available at the three flagship stores in Taipei, Shanghai and Paris. The label has been listed on the London-based Financial Times pick of what is hot in 2004. It was also deemed the most popular fashion brand in Taiwan by The Wall Street Journal Asia.
Shiatzy Chen designs attract many famous clients such as Elizabeth Hurley, Shaw-Lan Wang, Lin Chi-ling, Patty Hou, Brigitte Lin, Pansy Ho, Rainie Yang, Ting-Ting Hu, Dee Hsu, international style icon Victoria Beckham, Aska Yang, Leehom Wang, Jason Hu, Ming Dow, Tsai Ming-liang and the current President of Taiwan Ma Ying-jeou. In June 2010, Shiatzy Chen and the tea culture brand CHA CHA THÉ opened an exclusive sales area in the super upscale Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris. One hundred models showed off 100 dresses with the theme of flowers at Taipei's Lin An-tai Ancestral Home,located in the park for the Taipei International Flora Expo.The ideas for the dresses came from the many kinds of flowers in Taiwan to reflect the theme of the expo. The show has broken three records in Taiwan's fashion business - the longest catwalk, the most models in one show, and the longest finishing pose. A total of 100 EeLin models took to the catwalk with Shiatzy Chen's flora-inspired spring-summer collection, approximately 200 people, including politicians and ambassadors, attended the show.
Paris Fashion Week
In 2008 Wang prepares her label's Paris Fashion Week debut, Shiatzy Chen becomes just the second Taiwanese design house to show a collection at the official Paris Fashion Week (the first was Yufengshawn, 馭風騷, in 2005). Shiatzy Chen, presented the show on October 5, 2008 at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts on the Left Bank in central Paris. The debut of Shiatzy Chen's spring/summer 2009 collection in October is also a highlight as the label celebrates its 30th anniversary. The show was of great significance for the fashion label because it was one of the official events of the Paris Fashion Week. They quickly drew the attention of more than 200 international buyers, media members and fashion aficionados, impressing them with outfits that have distinctive Chinese design features. The fashion house now plans to take part in the event regularly in order to build a global reputation. For the Taiwan market, which remains the major source of revenue, the company stages fashion shows twice a year. Unlike most big international fashion shows abroad that present clothing half a year ahead of time, however, Shiatzy's shows in Taiwan launch collections only for the current season. This is because the Taiwan shows are mostly for Shiatzy's VIP clients, who purchase the clothes for their own use, rather than commercial buyers. Anna Wintour was the inspiration for the Shiatzy Chen collection A/W 2010/ 11, shown at the Beaux Arts at Paris Fashion Week. All the girls wore her famous bob and tinted glasses, along with some feminine but strict dresses, very working girl, the woman CEO type. On November 9, 2009 Shiatzy Chen became a member of the Chambre syndicale du prêt-à-porter des couturiers et des créateurs de mode.
Cha Cha Thé
Shiatzy Chen recently[when?] opened Cha Cha Thé/采采食茶文化, an upscale modern space tea lounge bar in Taipei. Chic clientele show up for pricey afternoon tea meals and buy designer tea ware and other expensively packaged gifts. In order to set the brand on a new direction, Shiatzy Chen identified the opportunity for a range of tea related products, the creation of a custom-made packaging approach for a diverse array of products ranging from exquisite patisserie and rare teas, through to ceramic tea sets. The products themselves reflect the diverse heritage of tea culture and share a passion for detail and an intimate knowledge of the design of the tea experience. Cha Cha Thé/采采食茶文化 is part of a global business; the option of opening branches in some other major cities is now being explored. There are plans to open similar shops in Beverly Hills, New York City and London.
From June 23 to September 13, 2010, more than 270 qipao of different styles and eras were displayed at the Hong Kong Museum of History entitled The Evergreen Classic – Transformation of the Qipao. With some 400 pictures and nine multi-media programmes, the exhibition gave the public an opportunity to view the full development of the qipao and to appreciate its classic beauty. Besides featuring qipao from different times, the exhibition also displayed several signature showpieces of Shiatzy Chen presented at Paris Fashion Week to give new perspectives on how a contemporary fashion designer injected fashion and modern elements into the qipao and reinterpreted the qipao tradition.
- China's new cultural revolution/Fortune
- Twenty Years of Designer Fashions/Taiwan Panorama
- 25 Influential Chinese In Global Fashion-Forbes
- WWD-Shiatzy Chen Arrives on Bund
- Fashion label too sexy for Taiwan, eyes global market/Taiwan Review
- 'Neo-Chinese chic' is in/Taipei Times
- Shiatzy Chen Settled Down in Galeries Lafayette/Global Intimate Wear
- A Hundred Dresses Create New Fashion Record for Flora Expo/WantChinaTimes.com
- Threading tradition and modernity together/Taipei Times
- From fashion to food/Taipei Times
- Hong Kong Museum of History/The Evergreen Classic – Transformation of the Qipao
- Official website
- Official Cha Cha Thé/采采食茶文化 website
- Taiwan Review-Here comes Shiatzy
- Taiwan Review-Sartorial Elegance, Oriental Style
- Shiatzy Chen-Expanding In Style - Forbes.com
- Shiatzy Chen/modemonline.com
- Taking Eastern Fashion Global - CommonWealth Magazine
- The Brander/Wang Chen Tsai-Hsia – Between Trend and Tradition
- CEO Talk | Harry Wang, Chief Executive Officer, Shiatzy Chen/The Business of Fashion