Posts in Shop
Delicate Details

I’m so excited to share these beautiful pieces from Azil Boutique. All their jewelry is so delicate, elegant and understated (in other words, right up my alley). I’ve been wearing their stacking ringdrop necklace and thin hammered cuff for a few weeks now and they’ve stayed in pristine condition – it’s obvious they only stock designers who use quality materials and focus on timeless designs.

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Water Stone II

When I first learned via Weibo that Water Stone, a 798 retail stalwart, was debuting a second branch in Jianwai Soho, I was curious – curious about what it’d look like, how/whether it’d distinguish itself and why it would choose that mess of buildings in the CBD.

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Shopping in Beijing: CBD’s Best Boutiques

At long last, here is the final list of my “Shopping in Beijing” series. This time, the spotlight is on Beijing’s Commercial Business District, which naturally is awash in luxury brand stores and glittering malls (all the better to serve its high-spending businesspeople clientele).

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Peek at Parkview Green

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.

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Dong Liang Studio in Central Park

Back in 2009, Charles Wang (see my interview from 2011 with him here) and his partner Nam Lang opened a tiny 20-square-meter shop to promote their friends’ designs. At the time, stocking exclusively Chinese designers was a revolutionary concept. There was little to no respect for domestic talent; most assumed a market for them didn’t exist. Dong Liang Studio was instrumental in shifting this attitude, and paving the way for other likeminded platforms. (Brand New China and other Chinese designer boutiques followed approximately two years later. Lane Crawford, too, only started carrying local labels – for a much higher price, might I add – after seeing how well they did at Dong Liang Studio.)

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Wuhao: Going With the Flow

It's nothing short of a miracle how Wuhao manages to completely revamp its interiors, scout out fresh talent and launch new collaborations every season. Over the years, the shop has seen ice sculptures, inflatable bunnies and walls decked out in plastic butterflies, so I wondered what the year of the water snake might bring. Owner Isabelle Pascal unveiled the new store concept on January 17, the day of my return, so I made the trek down just as soon as I’d gotten over my jetlag.

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Shopping in Beijing: Gulou’s Best Boutiques

Gulou has long established itself as a shopping mecca – the “hipster” (read: younger, edgier and more affordable) alternative to Sanlitun and CBD’s luxury offerings. Since Nanluogu Xiang started marketing itself as “Beijing’s oldest hutong” and catering to tourists, all of the contiguous alleyways have benefited from the uptick in traffic. While NLGX has become oversaturated – no doubt a Starbucks opening is right around the corner – Gulou Dongdajie, Baochao, Wudaoying and Fangjia have begun drawing plentiful shops selling old and new (but mostly old) clothes, kitschy souvenirs, handmade jewelry and cutesy home accessories.

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Shopping in Beijing: Lido/798’s Best Boutiques

Few of us anticipated the sartorial growth seen in Lido this past year. 798 Art District, meanwhile, has been up-and-coming for awhile, but it wasn't until the opening of Indigo Mall and East Beijing Hotel that the whole surrounding area has taken off. Based on my last visit, I am already confident that Indigo will eventually rival Sanlitun Village, currently Beijing's most popular shopping center (also owned by Swire Properties). The boutiques below have already warranted the neighborhood a list of its own in my "Shopping in Beijing" series (for my first list on Sanlitun, click here), though considering the current pace of development, there may be many new shops to add in coming months.

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