De Gournay Teams With Chinese Designer Bing Xu for Footwear Range

British luxury wallpaper-maker de Gournay has launched its first collaboration with Chinese designer Bing Xu for a collection of bright and playful loafers and slippers adorned with signature motifs that are often seen on the walls of exclusive members’ clubs or stately homes across the U.K.

Xu, a designer from Shanghai who often travels with the global social calendar, started his namesake footwear business in 2013. Known for slip-ons and loafers with playful motifs — seen on the likes of model Liu Wen, actress Zhang Ziyi and artist Michael Armitage — the brand has since expanded into handbags and ready-to-wear. He used to be the chief shoe designer at Shanghai Tang as well.

Most recently, he designed a pair of embroidered loafers, inspired by the traditional Chinese flats, for Norwegian billionaire salmon heir Gustav Magnar Witzøe to go with his Met Gala red carpet look, designed by Atelier Versace.

For this collaboration, Xu translated de Gournay’s chinoiserie wallpaper design Badminton — used in the Harrods tea rooms in Shanghai — and the playful and eclectic Deco Monkeys — the very same one seen in Robin Birley’s 5 Hertford Street — into his signature Belgian loafers, Bloomsbury mules and a new shape, called Highgrove slippers.

Hannah Cecil-Gurney, director of de Gournay, said the collaboration represents the infusion of the heritage elements of Chinese wallpaper with the modern lifestyles of its clientele, “who appreciate nonetheless the culture of our craftsmanship.”

Bing Xu, left, with friends wearing styles from the de Gournay x Bing Xu footwear collection

Bing Xu, left, with friends wearing styles from the de Gournay x Bing Xu footwear collection.

Courtesy of de Gournay

The collaboration also marks Bing Xu’s first foray into the British market. It simultaneously launched a London-based e-commerce site, offering seasonal styles as well as options for bespoke service.

“Now clients here can order custom-made shoes directly from our Shanghai atelier. We are excited to bring our brand, which is steeped in Chinese culture, to discerning clients worldwide,” Xu said.

The project is expected to raise awareness for de Gournay in China, one of its key emerging markets. It is closely involved with some of interior architect André Fu’s ongoing projects on the ground, including St. Regis Shenzhen.

It has also worked on several landmark hotel projects such as Rosewood Guangzhou, Andaz Shenzhen and Indigo Guangzhou.

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