Fashion

Shanghai Tang Founder David Tang Dies at 63

The Hong Kong billionaire businessman passed away in London on Tuesday after battling with cancer
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A Chinese luxury fashion brand; a cigar company; a restaurant chain; a prestigious members-only establishment. These are just some of the many legacies left behind by renowned Hong Kong entrepreneur Sir David Tang, who passed away on Tuesday at age 63 after battling with cancer and several other health problems.

Tang was best known as the founder of Shanghai Tang, the label often credited for defining the modern Chinese luxury aesthetic. Hailing from Hong Kong, Tang moved to England at the age of 13. It was there that he received a first-class education in Cambridge and later pursued studies in philosophy and law at King’s College London, before launching Shanghai Tang in 1994.

During his lifetime, the billionaire wore several hats. Like his grandfather Tang Shiu-kin, Tang was a well-known philanthropist, founding the Hong Kong Cancer Fund and raising funds for a diverse range of charities. As a businessman, Tang’s flair was unmatched: besides Shanghai Tang, Tang was also the owner of the Hong Kong private members concept China Club, Dorchester Hotel’s China Tang and the Pacific Cigar Company. In 2008, Tang was titled the Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire by the Queen for his philanthropy. Naturally, Tang led a rather glamorous lifestyle that saw him mingling with celebrities and prominent royal members alike. The businessman maintained close ties with a wide circle of friends, which included Nelson Mandela, the Beatles, Kate Moss, David Beckham, and Queen Elizabeth herself.

Those are just some of the names that might have been on the guest list for the private “farewell party” recently thrown by Tang, after he learned from his doctors that he had only a month or two to live. As stated in the invitation, Tang gathered his friends together at the Dorchester Hotel in London as it would be the “best way to go” and they could “see each other at least one more time, rather than at a memorial service where I shall be dead as a dodo.”

Upon hearing the tragic news, actors and businessmen alike have taken to social media to mourn the death of their beloved friend. Actor Russell Crowe tweeted a particularly heartfelt note, saying, “RIP dear friend, Sir David Tang, the privilege was mine. Witty, charming, intellectual, salacious, hilarious, loving and funny as f***.”

He is survived by his British-born wife Lucy and his two children from his first marriage.

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