Harry Wang: 'I do not like to waste my time or that of others'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 November, 2012, 3:42pm

Time and timelessness are the primary concerns of Harry Wang, the CEO of Taiwanese fashion house Shiatzy Chen.

The son of brand founders Wang Chen Tsai-hsia and Wang Yuan-hong is charged with taking the 34-year-old company on to the global fashion stage while maintaining its timeless design aesthetic.

“Managing my time and responsibilities are important to me since I have many company issues to deal with at any given time,” Wang says.

“I am always on the go, so I like to have everything planned and organised. More importantly, I do not like to waste my time or that of others, so I tend to act and react quickly.”

Wang, who was born the same year as the company’s founding, took on the role of CEO in 2003. He has transformed the one-time fabric shop into an international luxury label and the only Chinese brand in the prestigious Paris Fashion Federation, a result of Wang’s efforts to become a regular participant in Paris Fashion Week.

“Chanel is a role model for our brand,” he explains. “Every season, they are able to innovate and create a collection that provides a new look on their most classic styles. Our vision is also to create innovative timeless fashions.”

Wang’s mother, creative director Wang Chen Tsai-hsia, is known for blending traditional and modern designs in what has been dubbed the “New Look of China”.

Wang Chen Tsai-hsia’s dedication to her craft, and the keen business sense of husband and Shiatzy Chen chairman Wang Yuan-hong have clearly rubbed off on the younger Wang.

“As a child they were adamant that I was on time. I could never be late, otherwise I would be punished,” says Wang, who studied finance and admits he never intended to work in the family business.

“They made it clear that time management is one of the most basic values.”

Wang, who is based in Shanghai, has been focused on developing the China market. The company now has 13 boutiques on the mainland and flagship stores in Taipei and Paris. “I came to China to develop a completely new market where Shiatzy Chen was unheard of. Maintaining a strong vision has helped me position my brand among other international players in the Chinese market,” Wang says.

“Over the years, the vision for Shiatzy Chen is to become a global fashion house and lifestyle brand.”

When he’s not busy building Shiatzy Chen’s international profile, Wang enjoys golfing and beach vacations. “My favourite places to vacation include Amanpulo [in the Philippines] and the Maldives,” he says.

“My wife and I enjoy water sports, or lying by the beach and lounging by the pool.”