Posts tagged shopping
Where to Shop in Beijing

Gone are the days when Beijing shopping meant traditional qipao garb and Louis Vuitton knockoffs. China's capital is now home to some of the most in-demand shops in the world, from European fast-fashion behemoths to Japanese couture houses. But the real draw is the sudden emergence of homegrown talents, whose designs reflect a burgeoning aesthetic unique to China.

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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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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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