The Hong Kong property and trading entrepreneur Dr. Christopher Cheng is this year’s recipient of the Walpole Medal of Excellence, awarded by the organisation that promotes British luxury brands and craftsmanship.
Cheng – chairman of the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and managing director of Wing Tai Corporation which control of Savile Row tailoring brand Gieves & Hawkes in 2002 – was chosen for his business achievements and stewardship of the brand.
While the Gieves & Hawkes has remained steady through the financial downturn in the UK, sales were up 30% on 2010 at its Asia Pacific business. In the UK, the retailer has 14 stores and concessions. Under Cheng, the brand has continued to champion British craftsmanship and around 30% of its sales come from its London-based atelier. The rest is split across the retailer’s own factory in Mauritius and Italian manufacturers, while about 70% of raw materials are sourced in the UK.
Cheng’s work - the successful expansion of Gieves & Hawkes through his company Wing Tai Properties – has exemplified the promotion and investment of British luxury brand by Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs, and the efforts are growing demand in the region, according to Guy Salter, Deputy Chairman of Britain’s Walpole Group.
He said in a statement, “Dr. Christopher Cheng’s expansion of Gieves & Hawkes has helped enhance the profile of British luxury and bring the tradition of the finest of bespoke British tailoring to wider audiences.”
Cheng was honoured at a presentation earlier today at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong. Former medalists including Li Ka Shing, Walter Kwok, Dickson Poon, Peter Woo and Joyce Ma.
The Walpole ‘Medal of Excellence’ - named after the statesman and commercial minister famous for his energetic promotion of overseas trade, Sir Robert Walpole – honours those deemed to represent ‘British Excellence’ in their work and achievements across business, innovation and culture.