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Established In China

indesignlive’s Hong Kong editor, Ben McCarthy, reports on the latest Established and Sons launch, at Lane Crawford, China.

Established In China


June 16th, 2008

Ben McCarthy is indesignlive’s Hong Kong editor. An Aussie expat living in Asia, working for design legend, Michael Young who better to send us a fortnightly report on ever dynamic design scene over the sea.

Last month, Established and Sons signalled their belief in China’s growing design market, by launching their collection at the Lane Crawford Home store in Pacific Place.

The central area of store is an enclosable space with high ceilings, which seems perfectly suited to changing installations. Such space was made available to the avant-garde British brand, whose acutely branded exhibition made for a tight presentation of a luxury label.

Hong Kong’s consumption of luxury brands in the fashion sector is staggering. The city is the largest consumer of western luxury brands in Asia, outside of Japan, where they spend slightly less per capita.

Walking though central recently, I noticed a couple posing for their wedding photographs, outside the Louis Vuitton flagship store. I thought it quite odd to pose for photos outside a closed shop, but such is testimony to Hong Kong’s addiction for high profile brands.

Perhaps this is what makes Hong Kong an attractive gateway to Asia for Established and Sons who could be considered a type of fashion brand, even though they don’t sell clothing. And with ties to the likes of Stella McCartney, perhaps their business model is more familiar to the fashion world.

Homes are small in Asia, and I think this very fact contributes to the fashion brand phenomenon. It’s not as practical to own a yacht or flashy car, but expensive watches and handbags are accessible formats of status symbols in a densely populated city. Perhaps expensive coffee tables are as well, but I suspect the home isn’t the object of adornment that it is in Europe.

Established and Sons have built a reputable brand over the past 4 years, and have hardly missed a trick, from gallery openings to limited editions. This well-attended, well-publicised and well-presented event is a strategic branding push, well timed with the rise in China’s economic climate.

Perhaps if all goes according to the Established and Sons plan, we’ll soon see newly-weds posing on Established and Sons sofas.


Established and Sons is available in Australia through Format Furniture.



At the opening (from left to right), Development and Marketing Director, Tamara Caspersz, Operations Director and Designer Sebastian Wrong, Designer Michael Young, Chairman Angad Paul, CEO Alasdhair Willis




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