Peek at Parkview Green

The building was designed by architects Integrated Design Association and engineered by ARUP

The building was designed by architects Integrated Design Association and engineered by ARUP

I remember first taking a tour around Parkview Green in September 2011 (see the article I co-wrote with my colleague Iain Shaw here). Their PR guy had lamented the delayed opening then. Little did we know it would be another year (making it four years in total) before “China’s greenest building” finally soft launched to the public. During that time, several brands that had planned to debut their flagship stores at this eco-friendly retail and commercial space opted for other places, like Swire’s Indigo Mall, instead.

Was Parkview Green worth the wait? It’s hard to tell, as the mall is still largely vacant. But the stores that are open for business are promising, including the first Chinese locations for Karen Millen, Ted Baker and COS (H&M’s high-street label). Other shops to look out for: Mulberry, Van Cleef & Arpels, lingerie brands Agent Provocateur and La Perla (shockingly marked-up but still loads of fun to ogle at), the Beijing flagship stores of Stella McCartney and Tadashi Shoji, among others.

The gross floor area amounts to 200,000 square meters

The gross floor area amounts to 200,000 square meters

Highly insulated facades help Parkview stay naturally cool in the summer, and toasty-warm in the winter

Highly insulated facades help Parkview stay naturally cool in the summer, and toasty-warm in the winter

Tommy Hilfiger is among a handful of shops already open for business

Tommy Hilfiger is among a handful of shops already open for business

So is Ivanka Trump Jewelry, currently the only branch in all of China

So is Ivanka Trump Jewelry, currently the only branch in all of China

The inside is unsurprisingly gaudy – perhaps to some Chinese customers’ liking?

The inside is unsurprisingly gaudy – perhaps to some Chinese customers’ liking?

American Apparel so far seems to be holding up well in China. This is now their biggest branch in the entire world

American Apparel so far seems to be holding up well in China. This is now their biggest branch in the entire world

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for … COS

And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for … COS

When I was younger, I was a huge fan of H&M. But now that I’ve started prioritizing quality over quantity, I find myself making fewer and fewer fast-fashion purchases.

COS clothes are noticeably better quality than H&M

COS clothes are noticeably better quality than H&M

Enter COS. Why am I so excited about H&M’s offshoot brand? For one thing, I don’t even have access to COS in the USA. For another, their products are noticeably higher-quality and still reasonably priced. Their clothes – well-tailored, minimalist and elegant – are mostly in the RMB 599-999 range, and often just the wardrobe additions you've been looking for. They make a conscious effort to keep their brand name out of sight, even on the clutch bags and totes. Plus, every few months, stunning dresses, shirts and blazers are available for 50-70 percent off! That goes for men too – plenty of adorable knits and collared shirts.

I went wild over the crazy affordable jewelry, from RMB 99-300!

I went wild over the crazy affordable jewelry, from RMB 99-300!

COS’s press release reads: “COS is the progeny of H&M that merges high fashion attributes (meticulous fabrics finish and fit) with ground level pricing; creating inspirational design that’s financially accessible.”

COS’s press release reads: “COS is the progeny of H&M that merges high fashion attributes (meticulous fabrics finish and fit) with ground level pricing; creating inspirational design that’s financially accessible.”

Daily 10am-10pm. 9 Dongdaqiao Lu, Chaoyang District (across the street from The Place and Chaowai Soho)