Although the Chow Tai Fook and New World Development executive was tight-lipped about the name of his interior design venture, he said he was personally sketching and designing some pieces for a line that will debut next year.
Cheng shared this at a Monday luncheon at Hong Kong’s COBO House, short for “community of bohemians.” The restaurant and event space is a recent project for Cheng’s “Artisanal Movement,” a series of residential and commercial developments aimed at encouraging a thoughtful and more bespoke approach to living.
At COBO House, that meant guests sip on Champagne Papis, the bubbly brand created by Senegalese model Papis Loveday, or the award-winning mineral water Lunares flown in from Spain. The artisanal aspect went right down to the toilet fixtures — a sign helpfully pointed out to the user that the toilet roll holder was crafted by the oldest brass maker left in Guangzhou.
Although his hometown has been struggling with malaise in its retail sector, Cheng reported that his K11 art mall in Shanghai is growing at a double-digit pace the past few months, more than three years after its opening. He chalks that up to its nonshopping components such as a small farm and the world’s first Vivienne Westwood cafe. It’ll be hosting an exhibition with the British designer later this month.
“People going [just] to buy is dead,” he said. “People go because of content.”
The art mall concept will add three more locations in Mainland China next year: Guangzhou, Shenyang and Wuhan, on top of existing locations in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Ningbo, Beijing and Tianjin are further down the pipeline.