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VM Choice: Berluti's CNY sheep face off

Berluti’s store on the ground floor of Hong Kong’s Princes Building has chosen a distinctive theme for its windows at Chinese New Year (CNY).

For Berluti, this will be the year of the sheep rather than the goat - rather fitting for a premium shoe brand whose merchandise is made from fine quality calfskin with hair sheep-skin linings. Hair sheep are the ones that look rather like goats; their skins have a high tensile strength making them suitable for use as very thin leather in gloves and high-quality shoe linings.

The Cantonese character for sheep or goat is shown in the upper centre of the closed-back window. A selection of small leather goods is suspended in the window, along with an arrangement of arrows pointing towards the centre of the explosion of merchandise against a bright orange-red. It is reminiscent of British artist Cornelia Parker’s ‘Cold Dark Matter: an Exploded View,’ in which she re-creates the explosion of a garden shed and its contents by the British Army. The work is now in London’s Tate Modern.

In the foreground are two large paper sheep in origami style. With contrasting black heads and ochre-coloured ears, they stand facing each other in Berluti’s shoes, adding a touch of gentle humour to the window.

Interestingly, the sheep only wear one pair of shoes apiece, donning two-tone brogues and blue suede moccasins respectively. One might have thought they would wear two pairs each? Anthropomorphizing them for a moment, is this a sheep conversation on Berluti’s lovely shoes, or a face off?

The close-up shows how nicely the window has been designed: slender poles extend from the central panel of the triptych-shaped back-drop to support the merchandise, which appears to effortlessly float in mid air. Additional man-bags, very popular in Asia, and shoes fill the spaces either side of the sheep.

A humorous CNY window, this must be a first!

Photography: Alvin Yeung YMK Design