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Shanghai Tang founder dies at 63

August 30, 2017

David Tang was most well-known for founding Shanghai Tang. Image credit: Shanghai Tang


Sir David Tang, the Hong Kong- and London-based businessman who founded luxury fashion label Shanghai Tang, has died.

In addition to his fashion house, Sir David’s resume also included a gig as an advice columnist for the Financial Times, where the socialite would tackle topics such as homes and gardens and etiquette. Sir David, who counted royalty and celebrities as friends, passed away Aug. 29 of cancer at the age of 63.

Luxury legacy
Sir David founded Shanghai Tang in 1994. The label was then purchased by luxury conglomerate Richemont in 1998.

Richemont recently sold the label to Italian entrepreneur Alessandro Bastagli (see story).

In honor of his charitable efforts, the businessman was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2008.

Sir David died following a long battle with cancer. He passed away at Royal Marsden Hospital, where he had been for the last few weeks.

For the Financial Times, he wrote a column earlier in August praising the NHS for their treatment of a hemorrhaging ulcer.

Knowing that he had at most two months to live, Sir David sent friends invites to a farewell party at the Dorchester Hotel, but he died before the planned soiree.

Kellaway and Tang on rules for life | FT Life

Among those mourning the death of the personality was Mandarin Oriental. The hotel group shared that the entrepreneur was instrumental in bringing its Fan campaign to life.

Sir David was the first to agree to be photographed, and per the company, he also convinced others to join. In his own portrait, he is pictured with actress Michelle Yeoh, who he persuaded to join him.

Mandarin Oriental's Fan campaign featuring David Tang. Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

“Sir David was a fan of Mandarin Oriental long before the Fan campaign began, and continued to be a fan until his recent passing. We will be eternally grateful for his support,” said Mandarin Oriental in a Facebook statement.

Shanghai Tang also made a statement, writing, “It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to our founder Sir David Tang. His legacy continues to live through Shanghai Tang.”

Sir David is survived by his wife Lucy and his children Edward and Victoria from a previous marriage.

The Secret of Life: David Tang's talk at TEDxHKUST