:: the lovely and formidable Mrs. Jenny Zhu recently interviewed me about the Chinese creative community, emerging youth culture, and social media in China. Check it out on her blog. Please pardon the pink // AjS
Archive for the ‘trends’ Category
:: Shanghai’s streetwear scene is about to get a little more crowded. Urban threads superpower Stussy appears to be setting up shop on the corner of Changle Rd. and Shanxi Rd.
I wonder if similar brands will soon be touching down in Shanghai (or Beijing) to take advantage of the growing global demand for streetwear. And will local Chinese consumers react favorably to Stussy’s arrival? There seems to be a lot of growth potential in this market especially with the upcoming 2009 Shanghai X Games happening April 30th – May 3rd.
This follows a recent announcement by high-end streetwear retailer ACU (also located on Changle Rd.) saying it will be closing up shop from early May 2009 until the end of summer / early fall for re-branding and an enhanced sales environment.
Hopefully an official announcement leaks from Stussy soon. // JD
[Joey Dembs is a guest contributor on 56minus1]
:: I recently came across yet another brand of revived retro Chinese sneakers called Shulong (舒龙). Like Feiyue, Shulong has apparently also been bought by a French company / entrepreneur and revamped for international consumers, being sold mainly in France and other select locations in Europe.
Despite what appears to be Shulong advertising itself as being around in China since the 30’s (and originally a favorite among local monks), I’ve been unable to find any “pre-hipsterfication” information about the brand. Does anyone know anything more?
At any rate, they are pretty cool and definitely embody a classic Chinese sneaker charm. See below for photos of Shulong’s latest collection. According to Shulong’s Web site, the shoes are available for sale in China (Beijing & Shanghai). For more 56minus1 posts on retro Chinese sneakers, link here, here, here, and here. // AjS
:: I sat down yesterday with local artist and designer Roger Chan (陳中海) to discuss his new collection of unisex bags called TAXI by Chan.
I recently purchased one of his bags in Shanghai at Loomoo and was struck by its organic and natural Chinese characteristics. I asked Chan why the collection is called “TAXI” and his response affirmed by first impression.
“I named the collection TAXI because taxis are everywhere in Shanghai and in China. They also represent a certain openness and extroverted character that I use in the colors of my bags. It’s also about being close to the street.”
Chan says he draws inspiration from old Chinese things. The green canvas bag he was carrying yesterday was modeled after bags used by postmen in Shanghai years ago.
Chen’s main customers are Shanghainese youth. TAXI by Chan’s subtle and mature styles are in direct contrast to the flashy glitz and materialistic nature of higher-end designer bags perhaps more popular among the mainstream demographic in Shanghai / China. His most recent collection features materials from local fabric stores and utilizes canvas and other industrial materials.
Chan began designing and producing bags as a hobby in college and only later decided to pursue design as a full-time profession. He has been putting out bag collections for the past three years.
“When I’m not designing, I like to spend most of my time relaxing,” he said as he smoked cigarette after cigarette.
Many designers in Shanghai force patterns and trends down the throats of consumers. But Chan remains consistent with his simple and classic style. This is clearly reflected in this most recent collection.
A recent quote from John C. Jay, Co-Executive Creative Director of W+K Tokyo (and blogger at honeyee.com) examines a recent youth Japanese consumer trend: “Young Japanese consumers have turned their attention to local brands, not because of price but for the uniqueness that they offer.”
China is not quite reached that tipping point yet, but once they are tired of the “Westernization” of their consumer goods, designers like Roger Chan will step up to satiate their local flavor.
TAXI by Chan can be purchased at Shanghai retailers such as Loomoo (348 Shanxi Bei Rd.) and other select shops. Visit his website to see more of TAXI by Chan at www.bychvan.cn. Chan can be reached by e-mail at rogerchan1900 -AT- gmail -DOT- com. // JD
[Joey Dembs is a guest contributor on 56minus1]
:: this kinda baffles me. Double Star (双星), a well-known, longstanding, and hitherto legit Chinese sneaker brand, appears to be shanzhai’ing its competition. I took this picture at an official Double Star store in Chengdu over the weekend. Also worth noting, while walking by a local soccer pitch, I saw kids in Chengdu wearing many (MANY) different kinds of shanzhai’ed Feiyue – at least a dozen unique varieties. What is going on? This is great! // AjS
Interestingly, when I tried to go to Double Star’s official Web site (www.doublestar.com.cn), Firefox and Google presented me with the below friendly messages. Honestly, can a brand get any dodgier?
:: a colleague / friend visiting me from Beijing gifted me this notepad and pin. Purchased at a NLGX on Nanluoguxiang Rd. in Beijing. Thanks Sabrina. Bravo, well done. // AjS
:: Jörg Jelden from Trendbüro recently gave the below-embedded presentation, titled Fakesumption, at LIFT in Geneva Switzerland. The presentation tells the story of the “fake goods” industry and its success, and, how brands can effectively deal with it, learn from it, and perhaps even embrace it. Great insights and information about a new way to think through the “problem” of counterfeit products. Thanks for getting in touch and sharing Jörg. // AjS
:: Neocha.com and PSFK.com have joined forces and are looking for China cultural experts (broadly defined) to contribute to a book project focused on the latest trends and innovations coming out of China.
This is a good opportunity for interested folks to “globalize” their favorite local Chinese spots and, maybe if they are lucky, snag a longer-term gig trendspotting. In any case, if you are interested, link here or check out the original casting call (Chinese & English) below. // JL
We are currently looking for culture experts, writers, and other in-the-know trendspotters from around China to contribute to our new book, to be published in association with Neocha.com: PSFK Snapshot: China. We are looking for creative thinkers with unique insight into the latest trends and innovations in any of the following fields:
- art & music
- food & drink
If interested, please provide the following in your inquiry email:
- your name
- your city of residence and how long you’ve lived there
- your topics of expertise from the list (list all that apply)
- your age
- your occupation
- do you own a digital camera ?
As a consultancy, PSFK gets asked periodically to conduct innovation and trends research around the world. Contributors to this project may be asked to become official trendspotting scouts for PSFK’s future research projects. Contributors will also receive full credit in PSFK Snapshot: China, as well a free copy of the finished work.
Project begins: immediately
Please email your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org.PSFK在国际创意圈里面非常有名并受人尊重。PSFK提供创意共享，大胆开放地接受新的点子，且不论它出自何处。它产生的唯一的途径是彼 此的相互合作。它吸引了对当今人们在观念、生活方式、购物方式以及品牌含义理解方面持有独特观点的全球博客撰稿人。目前新茶网Neocha.com与PSFK.com合作，我们一起寻找中国潮流意见领袖。你们的观点和文章将成为我们的新书《PSFK Snapshot: China》的组成部分。我们希望研究的潮流领域包括：
- 您的联系方式 (手机号码，MSN，QQ，等等）
项目已经开始，如果感兴趣，请立刻发送电子邮件联系我们: email@example.com PSFK定期在世界各地进行创新和趋势领域的研究。本次活动的合作者将可能成为PSFK的全球趋势研究员，最终使用稿件的合作者同时将获得 稿费和最后的成品书。
[Jon Lombardo is a guest contributor on 56minus1.]
[full disclosure: 56minus1 is a partner at Neocha.com]
:: …first came the original, Huili / Warrior (回力), priced between RMB 30 – 65…
…then came the, also original, Feiyue (飞跃) sneaker, priced between RMB 30 – 65…
…now there is The People’s Shoes (人民牌), a modern, higher-quality and more comfortable, hybrid version of the above two, by Anton Brandt (who, by the way, is cool enough to donate a portion of the brand’s profits to The Starfish Project, a Cambodia-based humanitarian organization), priced at USD 42 (RMB 285)…
…similarly, there is also OSPOP. (One Small Point of Pride.)’s Skywolf sneaker line by Ben Walters, priced at USD 76 (RMB 520)…
…which is essentially an indie-hipster remix version of Tianlang’s (天狼, literally “Skywolf”) classic revolutionary-flavored Chinese military / migrant worker “liberation shoes” (解放鞋), and also the timeless Chinese electrical workers’ “boot,” priced between RMB 10 – 35…
…and of course, let us not forget about the recent return of traditional Chinese “cloth shoes” (布鞋) to the modern fashion scene, priced between RMB 10 – 30…