I’m sure you all noticed but Beijing’s lone tolerable stretch of turf made it into the NYT. I’ve met the guy who wrote this. This and 798 are the two spots in Beijing.
Back-Street Beijing By MIKE MEYER
As the city prepares for the 2008 Summer Olympics, Beijing‘s historic lanes, or hutongs, are disappearing in a dust cloud of new construction. But South Gong and Drum Lane (Nan Luoguxiang) is an exception. Near the central lakes, the 700-year-old hutong is a bit of authentic bohemia in an otherwise Starbucks-saturated central city.
One of the lane’s pioneers, Pass By Bar (No. 108; 011-86-10-8403-8004), was opened in 1999 by Xiao Biar, whose shaved head and Coke-bottle specs make him instantly recognizable on his bar-stool perch. The original local clientele has given way to affluent Chinese and foreign hipsters drawn to the open courtyard seating and the soundtrack of Tibetan drums. Pass By’s success has spawned a sequel, the posh Pass By Restaurant (1) (No. 114; 011-86-10-6400-6868; entrees $10 to $15), which serves salads, fresh fish and perhaps the capital’s only veal piccata.
As a planned showcase for the Games, the lane was repaved last year with gray bricks, and storefronts were ordered repainted — with one xception, the hulking concrete Central Academy of Drama (2) (No. 39; 011-86-10-6403-5626), which stages nighttime performances. (Check the signs, posted in English.) Take in the youthful scene at the nameless (and phoneless) restaurant (3) opposite the school’s gate, where students congregate over bowls of hand-pulled noodles. Though there are dozens of newer restaurants and bars, two stalwarts continue to impress. Drum and Gong (4) (No. 102; 011-86-10-8402-4729; entrees $3 to $10) serves spicy Sichuan-style dishes, and across the lane, Here Cafe (5) (No. 97; 011-86-10-8401-4246) has plush sofas, freshly ground coffee and free Wi-Fi.
Unlike on the hutongs surrounding the central lake district, you won’t find tchotchkes like cloisonné eggs and stuffed Olympic mascots for sale here. Plastered T-Shirts (6) (No. 61; 011-86-10-1348-884-8855) specializes in tees with the logos of Beijing’s taxis and subway, and Yanjing beer. Also check out Minzu Feng (No. 56; 011-86-10-8205-0226) for folk-inspired women’s clothing and Jmax (No. 17-4; 011-86-134-6666-2024) for handmade silver necklaces.
Architecture buffs should head 100 yards east on Juer Hutong (Chrysanthemum Lane) to see its World Habitat Award-winning housing project, which used modern materials to reproduce traditional courtyard living. Though Beijing’s lanes are being replaced by car-friendly streets and high-rises, the design was praised locally, staking a claim for responsible development in a 21st-century city.
Thanks to John Kramer for sending me this piece. Trend spotting would be a great job. I wonder if high waisted jeans will be in for men.
Spotting the Next Hoodie
Fashion Increasingly Relies
On Trends From the Streets;
Spying Raccoon Hats in SoHo
By VANESSA O’CONNELL March 29, 2007; Page D1
Standing near a cluster of bars at the corner of Red River and East 6th streets in Austin, Texas, earlier this month, Helen Job grew anxious about denim. She had spent four days in the hip college town, trying to determine whether a new look was catching on.
After seeing mostly skinny jeans, which she believes are on their way out, Ms. Job finally spotted a young woman in a T-shirt and high-waisted, straight-legged jeans. The sighting was further confirmation of a trend her colleagues at Worth Global Style Network had already documented on the streets of Scandinavia, Europe and Japan and in stores in Paris and London. “Give it about six weeks,” she said, “and all the New York stores will have them in the windows.”
Ms. Job is one of the fashion industry’s secret weapons. As U.S. editor of WGSN, a fashion-consulting service, she is one of a growing number of third-party researchers who go out into the streets to get an early look at emerging styles and to find out where young people are shopping. A competing service, Doneger Group, has increased the number of employees dedicated to so-called trend spotting by 50% to 120 people in the past five years. The 30-year-old Ms. Job even teaches a class on trend spotting to fashion-merchandising students at Parsons The New School for Design.
The role of trend spotters — sometimes also called cool hunters — has grown in importance as the fashion cycle has speeded up. Desperate for an edge in a lackluster market, apparel makers and retailers increasingly are seeking help in quickly sorting through competing trends. Trend spotters can help mass merchandisers figure out which nascent trends from chic boutiques or even thrift stores might be hot sellers on a wider scale.
Street style has become an important source of inspiration for retailers eager to lure shoppers with a taste for “fast fashion” at chains like H&M and Zara. Many chains have their own in-house trend spotters. Store inventory is also turning over more quickly, as retailers strive to refresh the merchandise on their racks. At Nordstrom Inc., for instance, inventory turned over 5.06 times last year, compared with 3.7 times in 2001.
These consultants work in different ways, but many produce slick, periodic reports — often focused on key looks, such as accessories — which they sell to mass retailers, apparel manufacturers and designers. Ms. Job says her photos are used by clients such as Levi Strauss, Liz Claiborne, Giorgio Armani, Calvin Klein and Polo Ralph Lauren.
Many trend spotters focus almost entirely on young people on the theory that they have an impact on the broader fashion scene. “A lot of the people we buy from are the people who are interpreting the street trends, they are just doing it at a higher-level quality,” says Julie Gilhart, fashion director at Barneys New York.
“There is the longstanding debate of what influences what. Does the street influence high fashion or does fashion influence the street?” says Michael Macko, vice president for men’s fashion at Saks Fifth Avenue. He for one, is “always fascinated” by street fashion.
The recent rise of the men’s all-over-print hoodie, or hooded jacket, shows how street trends spread. The Japanese urban streetwear chain A Bathing Ape helped push the look into the U.S. from Tokyo acouple of seasons ago, prompting small retailers like
Union in New York’s SoHo neighborhood, Barneys Co-op and Internet stores such as Hypebeast and Karmaloop to start selling their own versions. Soon, print hoodies were showing up in hip magazines such as Complex and Nylon and hip-hop videos. Over the past six months, more mainstream designers and apparel makers picked up the style, which is now widely available.
Equally important to identifying trends, is figuring out when they are over. Tim Bess, the 41-year-old menswear street-style guru for fashion consultancy Doneger Group, studies men ages 18 to 26. Sometimes he brings along the young woman who works as his assistant to help break the ice.
On Saturday, he roamed the streets of SoHo and Harlem in New York. He chatted briefly with several sharply dressed kids, two of whom wore printed hoodies, and checked the window displays of influential boutiques. His conclusion: The printed hoodie trend still has legs, but won’t last much longer. Some guys on the street had already moved on to a more “cleaned up” look of solid shirts and jeans with little or no detailing.
Another sign: Mr. Bess spotted a printed hoodie on a scruffy middle-aged man walking by. “You can tell when a trend sort of moves on,” he said. “When you start seeing people who shouldn’t be wearing a certain brand or look, that’s when it’s over.”
In SoHo, Mr. Bess stopped to chat with a group of about 10 young men in vintage 1980s garb, including big gold chains. Mr. Bess has worked with these men before, bringing them into his office to pose for one of his street reports. Calling themselves the “Retro Kids,” they say they try to promote 1980s style. “It’s easy to start something new,” said one man in the group, Ladaz Marshall, age 20. “Anybody can do it.”
Up in Harlem, Mr. Bess admired the outfit of one young shopper, Xavier “Ozve” Peña, age 19. Mr. Peña was wearing slim-cut jeans and a Kidrobot all-over-print hoodie. “What are your favorite Web sites?” asked Mr. Bess. “Do you go to Karmaloop?” The young man said he got his jeans at a New York outpost of the Japanese chain Uniqlo.
For next year, Mr. Bess predicts a shift to a ’90s grunge style. Some boutiques, he noted, have begun carrying plaid and flannel shirts.
It’s getting tougher to figure out where to find fashionable folks. In the 1970s and 1980s, trend spotters trawled the boutiques of St. Tropez, France, after the Paris fashion shows, in search of emerging labels. Some still swear by the French resort when it comes to resort or cruise wear.
But trendy neighborhoods are constantly shifting today. Trend spotters now attend rock music festivals in Denmark and Scotland, and trek off to Colombia, Brazil and Istanbul. Barbara Fields, who runs her own trend-spotting firm, travels monthly to the streets of London, Barcelona, Tokyo or Seoul, and says lately one of her best tactics has been taking photos of young people on the streets of the Harajuku district in Tokyo. Based on what she’s seen there, she believes fur-trimmed hooded athletic jackets will be an emerging trend for fall, along with wide-leg pants with a diameter of 24 inches to 33 inches, among other styles.
Janine Blain, head of Doneger Group’s Los Angeles office, meanwhile, recently began dividing up her presentations according to where the photos were shot: Third Street in Los Angeles or Malibu/Santa Monica, for example. She sees a movement away from “girly” styles to an “alpha male” look of structured women’s jackets and pants in menswear fabrics.
This week, WGSN’s Ms. Job sorted through more than 400 pictures she took in Austin, putting together groupings of three to six shots that illustrate a trend for her “trend flashes” — short reports that she will produce once a week for the next three weeks. In addition to high-waisted jeans, which she has noticed since at an H&M store in New York, she plans to focus on Ray-Ban Wayfarer-style sunglasses and the trapper-style raccoon hat that several young women were wearing.
>Based on what she’s seen there, she believes fur->trimmed hooded athletic jackets will be an emerging >trend for fall, That is last year’s style in Japan IIRC I wonder where the originality is coming from as it seems that often this idea of finding new trends is rather circular, with US designers copying Japanese designs that were themselves inspired by UK/US/French fashion… Posted by Pescatore on 04/02/2007 04:10:29 AM
I think there is a certain dearth of originality in the world of fashion. Do you think it is a field that requires originality? Or perhaps any originality in it must emerge from the street. Posted by stylites on 04/02/2007 05:38:13 AM
We are pleased to announce a special offer for this Saturday (March 17) to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and welcome (or beckon) the arrival of spring. We are also extending the offer to Sunday (March 18). With the coming of warmer weather, it will be time to shed that cashmere cardigan. The article of clothing most on display in spring and summer will be your shirt.
Consequently, on these two days we will present a complimentary custom dress shirt with any order of a suit made from our selection of British fabrics. This is a wonderful opportunity to experience the superior fit and quality of a Senli and Frye shirt. We are delighted to make it in the style that you like, whether it be Dior Homme, Saville Row, or the Great Gatsby. If you or any of your friends have been waiting to order the perfect suit – the best Beijing has to offer – this would be the time to come to our shop. British fabric is our speciality and we have one of the most extensive selections of it in Beijing. Prices for suits made from our British fabrics range from RMB 2,500 to 7,800 for men and 2,000 to 6,000 for women. Materials are 100% wools (s100-s150), cashmere/wool blends, cashmere/wool/mink blends, and Scottish tweeds (in wool or wool/cashmere blends). At each pricepoint, there is a wide range of choices in terms of weights, patterns, weaves, and colors. Please contact me at 13910092410 if you would like to schedule an appointment. (0) Comments | Post Comment
This is good timing. Hopefully it will help them revive their image after that poopoostorm following the complaints on the Forbidden City location.
As an American, I am very proud that we export premium coffee culture to the world through this chain with its high standards of service, quality, and cleanliness. It gives the global urban middle class a quiet and comfy place to chat about the latest art films, sketch interior design ideas, or even conclude a major acquisition.
My two favorite songs for the last few weeks have been Eartha Kitt’s “This is my life” and Shirley Bassey’s “This is my life”. These are two very different songs depicting life, presumably in the Seventies.
They have five shops here Beijing, which I might investigate at some point.
Hi, i like how ur blog documents fashion in China. Is it possible that u start doing something like the SATORIALIST? Like when u see something interesting(even in a nasty way), u put it on ur blog? Because every major city got its own fashion blog except china. it would be interesting for China to have a voice in the net. have a nice day. Posted by Ah Sir on 02/20/2007 07:45:01 PM
I can understand buying a fake when there is no other choice: that is often the case here in China. However, I’ve never understood buying things where you can tell the brand immediately, whether it is fake or real. Any product which inspires the question “is it real or a fake?” is off limits to people hoping to be stylish.
February 12 2007 (03:58:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )
Tiantong Xiyuan Third District South, Changping District, Beijing – Sze Tsung Leong
Another new interest I have is in architecture and city planning. This famous quote explains why the way Chinese cities now develop is not revolutionary at all:
“One of the most important historical characteristics of cities in China is continuity with the past—an aspect reflected in the urban patterns and layouts that have remained, in their many incarnations over the centuries, relatively unchanging. Despite the common view that present-day Chinese cities constitute a break with the past, they are still consistent with three historical patterns that have defined urban change in China: large-scale destruction and replacement of urban fabrics to inaugurate changes of emperors or dynasties; massive relocations of populations; and highly planned urban configurations enabled by centralized and unchallenged forms of authority. These traditions underly the shape and nature of the contemporary Chinese city.”
“The persistence of these traditions is possible only in a nation and society that has historically been steered by absolute forms of power. Only by acting as vehicles of these forms of power can urban and architectural development undergo processes that are by now commonplace – demolishing, relocating, wiping clean, and starting anew – all on a magnitude that affects not just individuals, but populations. Concentrated authority gave shape to cities such as traditional Beijing. It also wiped them clean, accommodating a new society in the form of luxury apartment complexes, office towers, and shopping centers. Power today may not exist in the singular form of an Emperor or a Chairman, but it is managed and exercised with enough strength to channel the possibilities for urban experience, and to choose which urban traditions to preserve.”
-Sze Tsung Leong, a Photographer of Historical Images, Urban Scenes, etc.
One always thinks they are just ripping things up and replacing the old with the garish new beyond any rhyme or reason, but here we see that it actually is the traditional thing to do.
very interesting indeed. Posted by Pescatore on 02/13/2007 03:29:30 AM
I appreciate that, Pescatore Posted by stylites on 02/13/2007 10:24:27 AM
February 07 2007 (03:13:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )
In January, the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce said that global fashion brands such as Armani, Dior and Zara may be forced to halt sales of some garments in China due to quality and health issues.
Foreign companies are always under closer scrutiny. At worst, the government might be acting in this way to protect market share of domestic competitors. At best, one of the few areas the media is allowed complete freedom is in exposing the wrongs of foreign companies.
Of course the People’s Republic of Ingroup/Outgroup encourages criticism of all those big bad MNCs who are forcing their inefficient underpaying uncreative local businesses to actually have to compete. How appalling. Ha ha only serious Posted by Pescatore on 02/08/2007 03:55:51 AM
Hehe…apparently Mango was lying about fabric content – picking up some local techniques it would seem. But to be fair they have done tests in the west that found many fabric content labels do overstate cashmere content or threat count. Posted by stylites on 02/08/2007 04:01:27 AM
Which luxury Chinese brands are the authorities trying to protect from foreign competition?? I don’t think protectionism is at the heart of the issue here…xenophobic bureaucrats just like to flex their muscles when they can because they can… Posted by Lincoln Annecam on 02/08/2007 04:08:00 AM
While your statement about xenophic bureaucrats is on target and that is probably the reason here, there are several small Chinese luxury brands and chainstores that they are trying to nurture. Off the top of my head, there is Jefen and if you can scroll down to see the report on Cabbeen, which has 300 boutiques throughout the country. In any case, there have numerous articles saying that China wants to move from just producing to designing apparel with its own brands. Posted by stylites on 02/08/2007 05:50:30 AM
Chinese luxury brands, with an emphasis on ‘Chinese’, which means they don’t compete with established international juggernauts like Armani and co, and probably won’t for decades if they ever do. And of course China wants to move up the value chain (since when has wealth creation/accumulation ceased being a national aspiration?) but if xenophobic bureaucrats, in their warped minds, think that giving foreign brands a hard time is a means to that end, I think you’d agree that they’ve sadly deluded themselves. Posted by Lincoln Annecam on 02/09/2007 07:42:14 AM
February 07 2007 (02:39:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )
The new “business bib” is for conference calls from home where your boss can only see the upper half of your body. Our bespoke version is priced at 65% of the cost of our standard suits. I wouldn’t call this suit “versatile”. For more information: http://www.luxist.com/2006/09/17/the-business-bib/
February 07 2007 (02:34:00) US/Pacific ( 4 views )
I’ve been delaying this for some time due to a heavy workload. Below are some interesting looks from the Fall ’07 collections that we would like to recreate for you:
I like the jacket and Frenchness of the outfit.
I enoy the full trousers and the slim scarf. This would be perfect in the heavy English wools that are our specialty. By the way, you should see the scarf Yuanyuan is knitting me from Italian yarn. Just a reminder: Beijing’s best custom hand-knit scarves.
The model looks a bit questionable, but I love the skinny checked suit, even though it is double-breasted and you should never walk around with a double-breasted suit unbuttoned. It’s interesting to note that not a single client has ordered a double-breasted suit. Medium and light grays have been “in” for a couple winters. They are so much soothing and fresh-feeling than black. Or I should say: black is appropriate at evening while light gray is a truly versatile color. I have noticed that many young men in China view this shade of gray as suitable only for older people, but I think black is already played out for the young. Light gray seems to make an older man’s face fade a bit, especially if his hair is also gray.
These updated Tyrolean jackets are nice, especially in the colors chosen by Frida Giannini, now designing menswear at Gucci.. With the oversexed days of Tom Ford in the past, we can see this label emerging as a constant reinventor of Mediterranean style. This winter took us on vacation in the Alps – a skiing trip for a Roman dandy.
It’s sad that this label is so over-hyped and mainstream because the style options it is starting to present are fresh alternatives for the sartorially inclined gentleman. These are stylish revisions of classics that could actually be worn every day (thank goodness she didn’t seek to revisit lederhosen).
Ignore the bag. I must find a medium weight tweed in this color.
This seems like nothing special: a slim, peaked-lapel, one-button suit. We have created suits in this style to great effect. Everyone probably knows that this is the cutting-edge shape for a suit currently. And yet…and yet…something about the color and the texture of the fabric makes this very desirable. Valentino’s color palette made heavy use of this shade of gray.
Light to medium grays could be both good and bad for Beijing. Good because they show dirt and dust less than either white and khaki or black and navy. Bad because you might blend in too much with the air – not enough contrast. Hmmm, dressing to match the pollution – would this signal a final resignation to live contentedly in this moonscape?
Rag and Bone
I would like to draw your attention to some coats showed by this US label:
These casual wool jackets would be perfect in the Chinese and English tweeds that we offer.
February 06 2007 (06:49:00) US/Pacific ( 3 views )
Let me do a swift analysis:
Overall, the big surprise is the extent to which products and prices are the same here as they are in the West. Yes, foreigners, Beijing finally has a chain store where you get stylish clothing without nonsense words scrawled across or beads and lace – and it will actually fit.
1. Price: Basically the same as New York, though there could be slight differences that I cannot discern because of a different mix of products (Zara is always changing that).
2. Selection: Again, a pleasant surprise for the most part. There is quite a range for both men’s and women’s clothing. I was expecting the selection to be poor, as it often is in the mainland branches of luxury chains, but that is not the case at Zara. It does too different from New York.
3. Best Value for a Foreigner: Shoes, shoes, shoes. They have big sizes! 44 AND 45 for men. 39 and 40 for women are no problem in most styles. You can pick up a pair of stylish men’s trainers for 400 or so. There’s good value in a city of such poor selection when it comes to quality and style. For less than 700 RMB you could have a pair of suede peep toe wedge pumps or the cutest patent ballet flats – very “of-the-moment”. Other styles of ballet flats are under 400.
4. Quality: My initial reaction is that the quality is similar to the West. Some of the cotton fabrics are a bit unpleasant and there are far too many 100% synthetic pants, which for 500+ RMB seem a bit much overpriced. However, there aren’t many sources for modern slim-fit trousers in town (unless if you want some tailor-made in quality English wool cashmere blends – Contact me!).
Men: Beijing’s first one-stop source for fashionable clothing for work and going out. DiorHomme style blazer/safari jackets were in abundance in at least five different colors. Zara is the best place for pointy captoes with, regrettably, PVC soles. These are made in Spain and priced at from 850-1000 RMB. Do not go for a suit here. Zara may offer the only slim-fitting suit in Beijing off the rack at an acceptable price, but we can give you a much better one in English fabric in the same style for this price range.
Women: Somewhat bland, but that is just what we need in sequined, rhinestoned, lace-infected Beijing. This is a great source of party outfits and work clothes for young ladies working in foreign multinationals. The Beijing office girl finally has the chance to vie with the style of her female boss without a monumental financial sacrifice.
With your youth and good looks, you’ll look way better than her when she strides across the office in her newly purchased Christian Louboutin.
The young female expat can finally abandon Yaxiu and the outlets opposite the zoo. The price is a bit more, but the style and absence of logos and sequins are worth it!
Foreign Girls: your womanly form can finally be properly fitted. Sizes 6 and above are available.
Mr. Pablo Isla, CEO of Inditex Group, parent of Zara.
Fun and fashion in Beijing. You are a bright spot. Wish you wrote more! Posted by Kim on 02/06/2007 09:06:35 AM
Dear Kim, I really appreciate your kind words. Please keep reading my blog and encourage your friends to do so as well. Any suggestions for content or contributions would also be much appreciated. Best, Nels Posted by stylites on 02/06/2007 10:09:16 AM
Amancio Ortega is the owner of Inditex Posted by pelocha on 03/05/2007 11:51:03 PM
February 05 2007 (03:43:00) US/Pacific ( 4 views )
Chinese label on show in New York
(Article is from The Guardian, photos are from google.cn)
Jess Cartner-Morley in New York Monday February 5, 2007The image of Chinese fashion, still in the west associated with cheongsam dresses and Mao jackets, has been brought up to date by a catwalk show in New York. The show by Cabbeen [NF:卡宾], a hugely successful menswear label in China, which now plans to go global, marked the first time a designer from mainland China had taken part in New York fashion week.
The image of Chinese fashion, still in the west associated with cheongsam dresses and Mao jackets, has been brought up to date by a catwalk show in New York. The show by Cabbeen a hugely successful menswear label in China, which now plans to go global, marked the first time a designer from mainland China had taken part in New York fashion week.The collection, by the 35-year-old designer Cabbeen, featured faded jeans, “vintage” look T-shirts, customised blazers and designer trainers – all key elements of popular contemporary men’s casual wear in New York, Milan and London as well as in Cabbeen’s native Guangzhou.
China is already a powerhouse of production in the fashion industry, the base for more than half the world’s textiles manufacturing. Increasingly it makes clothes for European and American labels, and has a fast-growing interest in fashion.
When Chinese Vogue launched 18 months ago the first issue demanded a second print run within a fortnight, and all copies still sold out. The appetite of the growing Chinese middle class for luxury goods already has western labels such as Giorgio Armani and Louis Vuitton competing for Shanghai’s prime retail locations. China is increasingly restless with its role as the manufacturing arm of other countries’ fashion brands.
Cabbeen, launched in 1989, now has 300 stores on the mainland, and is favoured by fashion-conscious young Chinese celebrities. The style is international and expensively casual.
At his show the designer himself appeared in black jeans and with artfully dishevelled hair and diamond earring studs. On the catwalk faded jeans were worn with rock’n'roll T-shirts and pinstriped blazers, a look already much favoured by boy band members and successful off-duty young .
Cabbeen maintains a distinct identity using Chinese elements; there is a mandarin-collar velvet blazer but worn with white jeans and trainers; traditional pink cherry-blossom embroidery, but juxtaposed onto a suit jacket.
“The Chinese are often viewed as somewhat stiff and conservative,” says Cabbeen, “and so I am always trying to relax that.”
Here is the designer himself. And his slow, but interesting, website:
Zara is for the person who wants exclusivity, but can’t afford it. In some respects you do really get it. Of the major chains, it is the only one that recycles its fashions so often and has a design to shelf timespan of two weeks, supposedly. If you find something you like, snap it up, because it will be replaced with something different.
It’s interesting that, despite having production here in China, you do not see very many zara overproduced items or fakes. Zara stands out in this regard since Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Gap, and Abercrombie are everywhere. The highest fashion items at Zara are made in Europe, often Spain, Portugal, or Romania.
If you want suits at this price that are more “exclusive” (tailored for you) and have the same fashion-forward look but made of far better, English fabric and with top-notch construction, contact me.
The party was a bit of a bore. It seems alcoholic of me to say this, but a good party does need more than enough alcohol. Here there was a tiny trickle of wine that was almost as good as Great Wall, though it came in a foreign-label bottle.
They made up for everything with the gift: a cute slim red tie with white polka-dots that claims to be 100% silk and made in Italy. I am wearing mine now and the one that Yuanyuan received (they said she would get a scarf) could be yours.
Thanks go to Oglivy for arranging for a party which had pluses and minuses. Perhaps if they had supplied more alcohol, people would have bought more at the store, which opened right after the party.
The store opened afterwards.
I met Mr. Dong Lu in the store. He has started a stylish custom tailoring business here in Beijing. I really liked his outfit – most of it custom made. The cashmere coat is based on a Gucci one from Fall ’03, but the lining makes it better than anything from Gucci.
More on Dong Lu in the future. These pictures don’t really capture how exceptional he seems.
His business, started late last year, centers on shirts at the moment. He’s taken up the noble causing of convincing Chinese men to wear custom-made rather than big brand name. His approach: tailoring with style makes so much more sense for men than buying designer stuff off the rack.
February 02 2007 (07:08:00) US/Pacific ( 3 views )
To give you a taste of our jet-set lifestyle, here is a pic of Yuanyuan from last weekend while she was staying at the Tabarcka Inn in Marakesh. She was there for the North African High Fashion Crocheting Forum’s Annual Seminar on Hot Pink Cashmere Thread.
February 01 2007 (06:42:00) US/Pacific ( 2 views )
Here Yuanyuan is wearing her newly completed midnight blue velvet jacket.
With stylish one button closure, notch lapels, and a cut that tapers at the waist and hits at the hips, this versatile piece can be worn with jeans to the club or in an ensemble like this for an office party.
Ladies: Don’t worry about shoulder pads, boxiness or any other unstylish nuissances that might have harmed your past efforts at having clothing custom made.
If you like a good Bloody Mary, check out the 5:19 bar at Women’s Street. They have the best one in Beijing. In fact, it was the best I’ve had in the world. And it was 25 RMB, which is quite reasonable considering the imported ingredients.
I went there this past Saturday night for a discussion on Lolita that didn’t really materialize.
As an added plus this bar has a contingent of builders and carpenters from the Southern regions of the United States. They are a very lively and congenial bunch. This is a very authentic collection of dudes from Louisiana, Mississippiand other Faulknerian sorts of places transplanted directly into Beijing. You should go to this bar just to meet them. They are building our government’s new outpost in this heathen land. They recognized me as a Yankee at once but were very friendly anyway. The owner is an Canadian named Dave who has opened several similar bars in Beijing.
5:19: 8448-0896 26 Xingba Lu, Nuren Jie Next to PiliPili 女人街星吧路28号 比力毕利餐吧旁边
Pity the souls of the heathen masses that must burn for eternity in the infinite cauldron of hell! Posted by Lincoln Annecam on 01/31/2007 05:05:30 PM
The amount of faux fur in Beijing is irritating, though apparently not to the skin of most Chinese men. That’s Beijing even did a guide to buying fake (or real) fur. Almost every down coat (羽绒服) in the city has fur around the collar. Does it really offer that much extra warmth? Do you really need that warmth in a city where the temperature rises by five degrees with each new winter? No matter how much fake fur people wear, they are loath to don a hat even on the few days that are genuinely cold. Yes, I am bitching about Beijing not being cold enough.
Often the coldest days are the windiest ones and on these days the air pollution is swept away. The sky becomes blue and the air crisp.
Stripes were the new stripes at Colin’s birthday party held last week at a fabulous, but secluded, Hunan restaurant north of Oriental Plaza. We rented out a whole section of this trendy but authentic establishment. I forgot to bring my original gift for Colin, so I picked up the newest and most popular Paul Smith accessory to overwhelm local markets.
Let me not take credit for work that is not my own. Please go to Colin’s flickr empire at:
N+1, NYC’s chicest new literary journal, is now on sale at the Bookworm, Beijing’s premier literary cafe, lending library and foreign language bookstore. The Bookworm is Beijing’s literary hotspot for the foreign community – a hive of aspiring intellectuals. Every writer or reader passing through Beijing stops at the Bookworm. Check out their website for more information: http://www.beijingbookworm.com/.
As VP Asia-Pacific and China Marketing Director for N+1, I am proud of our prominent spot in this esteemed literary institution.
Several copies have already sold. The price is RMB 100, which is now about 13 dollars.
N+1 is next to the The Jews in China, which is a photographic journey through a century of Jewish life throughout the mainland. It contains many fascinating photos of mixed Jewish-Chinese families, highlighting the way Jewish Europeans found a welcoming haven in Shanghai and other Chinese cities before and during WWII. One can see from these photos that the Jews integrated locally to a much greater extent than many other European settlers. I searched for pictures of relatives of my dear friend, David Adler, whose family lived like royalty in Shanghai during the thirties and forties.
The Jews have been a tiny but notable part of the tapestry of minorities since the Northern Song Dynasty, when they established a community in Kaifeng.
I visited the What? Bar, after nearly a year of frequenting posher establishments.
This band was pretty good I was told. Of course, I don’t actually enjoy raucous music, whether it be dance, hip-hop or rock. I do support the subversive spirit – especially here in China.
The What? Bar is one of the most famous live music venues in Beijing. Located just north of the West gate of the Forbidden City, the What? Bar is on Xichang Road, the narrow strip that runs between the new and the old centers of power. Thirty meters east of the What?Bar is the Forbidden City, from which the emperors of Ming and Qing issued their dreaded commands. Fifty meters west is Zhongnanhai, the “Southern Central Sea”, center of power for the modern rulers of China. There is a notable dearth of other commerce around the What?Bar, certainly no other bars or businesses catering to foreigners or the Chinese bourgeoisie.
This sign is from the doorway of a Mexican restaurant in Shanghai:
This photo is from a discussion that I started on the forum of thatsbj.com
we disapprove this resteraunt Notice. it’s posted by that pervert wacko Laozhong aka Macro polo aka Laowild aka street laowai. i thought prostitution is always some hidden factor to promote the economics developing, no matter in what countries. a fairly subtle contribution to national GDP. Posted by Mottosinner on 01/28/2007 09:39:19 AM
Nobody is saying prostitution is bad or that it is unique to China. I’m sure it plays a part in the economic miracle (may that miracle be praised and worshipped eternally). On a side note, would anyone shed tears if they never heard the acronym “GDP” again? One of the reasons why so many development experts are trying to create alternative macro-economic indicators must be that they are simply sick of this yardstick’s divine status. Posted by stylites on 01/29/2007 08:32:51 AM
Ugo Umeh came in for his first fitting yesterday. He is using an s120 navy matte from England. This is the best value option we offer, and perhaps the best value for a custom-made suit anywhere in the world: 2500 RMB (320 dollars) for a slim fashionable suit in durable, all-season, English suiting wool.
This is going to be one of the best looking suits, which is partially owing to the model-like physique of Ugo.
Ugo lives in New York City and he was born in Nigeria. He is at the start of a career in investment banking. He will be based out of Hong Kong.
This young lady entered the shop and unobstrusively watched the entire fitting process. Her job is to welcome people into the building where the tailorshop is located. There are three or four other people who have this same job. They all stand in the lobby visible behind her. She wants to find a foreign boyfriend to learn English.
This regrettable situation with the web has continued. I have no way of accessing this blog and updating, which has caused no small amount of anguish. There are so many uberchic happenings in the chilly courtyards of Beijing these days. I need for you to know.
The earthquake in Taiwan made the internet really hard to access from the land of Yellow. Please keep checking back since the Central Committee will rectify the situation imminently. I have some fantastic material waiting. (0) Comments | Post Comment
The question of what constitutes style in China is a perrenial one. Does style have to be deliberate? Does the wearer have to be at all aware of fashions? Does style need to be unique? Is the wearer more important or what is being worn? I suppose the answer to the final question is both and how the wearer wears things. There is also a question as to how the great income disparity figure into these questions.
Below is a typical middle aged migrant labourer wearing a typically oversized hat. These hats are probably the most stylish item that peasants and soldiers wear. I applaud them for being among the few people who wear hats through the cold winters in Beijing.
Peasants, beggars, and laborers can be the most stylish people, since often fashionistas and hipsters look too brand-laden and contrived. Of course, the real point here may be the expression that has been captured.
I would like to thank my friend and close associate Colin MacLennan for taking the great shot. I’m for more contributions from Colin as Stylites develops and expands. I look forward to his becoming a key articulator of the Stylites voice and lifestyle.
The common folk deserve their place at Stylites, if only because I love them for what they are not. They are not members of the Chuppy bourgeoisie, the global corporate meritocracy or the plutocracy of pigheads and vulgarians running the world’s two most powerful countries.
‘They are not members of the Chuppy bourgeoisie, the global corporate meritocracy or the plutocracy of pigheads and vulgarians running the world’s two most powerful countries.’ – well said. There was an interesting article in the WSJ Asia the other day about construction workers, how they make 3 dollars a day and are working all-out to finish all the construction in Beijing before sometime in ’07 so that the dust can clear for the olympics and then they are just expected to go somewhere else and not get in the way. Posted by Pescatore on 12/29/2006 01:47:11 AM
Over the Christmas weekend I met two young designers working in Beijing, whose photos and profiles I will be posting over the next week or so. I’m very excited about this. I think you will find that one of the designers in particular, surnamed Huang, has really figured out how to blend Chinese and Western styles to great effect. You will love his designs for both men and women!
So keep checking back and don’t drink too little over the holiday season!
Also, not to be overly narcissistic (I’ve never been that way), but below are some photos from over the holidays.
We both wore similar-colored herringbone tweed coats. On mine, the herringbone pattern is bigger, appropropriate for my status as a male. This overcoat is also a custom-made piece. We were posing by the restroom in Bed Bar. This is a perfect opportunity to introduce my closest associate, eternal partner in good works, and charming muse, Yuanyuan. We do everything together and she always makes me happy.
I have been getting a lot of use out of my blue cord jacket recently. I will do a little post on it to show all of the special features. Here I am with my good friend Colin’s girlfriend, Marie, a Japanese baroness from Michigan.
Born at his family’s summer villa in a hilltop village near Lake Van, Barak Bessarian is a Sephardic Armenian who grew up in Beirut, and spent his adolescence in Haifa, Novosibirsk and Yokohama. His father was an amber and fur merchant, and work took him frequently to Yakutia. Barak has many fond memories of summers on the family yacht cruising through Lake Baikal, right after the fall of the Soviet Union. The yacht was later confiscated by a local magnate/governor, but the Bessarians purchased a new one, which they sailed mainly in the South China Sea. This yacht was sold to a Singapore developer when amber prices plunged around the turn of the century.
At fifteen, Barak was sent to New York to live with an uncle and reap the benefits of an American education. His nickname growing up was “silver bolt” – referring to lightning rather than the metal object.
That gives you a bit of an introduction to Barak. I would love to continue telling his story, but I have to write some steps companies can take to protect IPR.
Let’s come up to the present.
Barak is an antler merchant currently, though he also smuggles champagne. Demand for the latter product is skyrocketing in China. Antlers have been hot since the Zhou Dynasty.
Barak is also an accomplished scholar of Naiman (a tribe in northern Mongolia) burial rites. There is even a Naiman mating dance named after him.
Barak is THE man about town in many towns throughout Asia.
Barak recently bought a Blackberry to replace the little Inuit man that did his scheduling.
Here he is checking on a delivery of ground reindeer collarbones coming in from Omsk.
He smokes the cigarettes officially designated for use in bribery, Zhonghua.
It is a Chinese style tux, smoking jacket or emblem of elegance, but Barak calls this product of his imagination “seduction with a passion lining”. Imagine him saying this in a smoky Southern Caucasus accent while gently moving his many-ringed hand.
The poppable collar is like the spoiler on an Aston Martin Lagonda that rises to stabilize the vehicle at high velocity. Barak raises the collar not to show-off his chicness, but because he must…it’s just safer for everybody. He is not only successful and a true sybarite, he also has a sense of civic responsibility.
Perhaps I should mention that this jacket is made of the finest silk, both the shell and the lining. It is thicker silk, perfect for use in odd jackets like this. Adaptations of traditional Chinese fabrics in modern dress rarely conform to current taste. Forget Tom Ford. This is a rare example of total success that works off the runway, too. The perfect fit and quality of the craftsmanship are what do it. Do you dare to don the Barak Bessarian Seduction with a Passion Lining?
Here is a typical late twentyish Chinese society girl. She was crossing Stadium Rd. on her way to go play at a bar or nightclub. She seemed proud of her plans for the evening. She was more than willing to pose for me after I told her she had wonderful taste and looked very nice. I expanded her ego.
She could be your life, but you will have to take her shopping for more prints that belong on a Masai chieftain’s wife.
Her manner was forward – confident, which is not so common here. She smiled and gazed enrapturingly.
Note the bus in back. I quickly boarded a similar one after this shot, afraid to walk in the same direction as her. (0) Comments | Post Comment
China’s largest leather shoemaker has put the shoes on its own feet, deciding to sell footwear under its own brand after being a supplier to famous brands such as Prada and Timberland for more than a decade.
Hong Kong-based Stella International Ltd, which exported 5 billion yuan (US$621 million) worth of shoes last year, plans to open 100 stores across China under the Stella Luna brand in three years.
“We plan to invest 1 billion yuan to open the stores in China’s major cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Chengdu and Chongqing,” said Jimmy Chen, the firm’s chairman, who opened its first store on Shanghai’s Huaihai Road.
He added that the firm plans to have 30 stores this year alone.
The company, which is the original design manufacturer for LVMH Group, PaulSmith and other top luxury brands, said it also signed an agency deal with American fashion brand Guess pending its entry to the US market.
“The partner will help us open stores in New York and San Francisco in two years,” said Chen. “We will later expand our brand to Europe and other Asian markets including Japan.”
Apparently, Stella International Ltd (hereafter: Stella) even designs the shoes for Paul Smith. The fakes or factory “overstock” selling everywhere must be the work of Stella. I wonder if any other brands besides Stella design and produce Paul Smith. Stella probably designed my pair of “Paul Smith” trainers.
Stella’s other major newsworthy item is considered a landmark legal in the history of the modern labour movement in China. Several workers were jailed after protesting sub-human working conditions at one of Stella’s sweatshops and then released following a concerted effort by concerned Mainland lawyers and international labor rights groups.
It’s hard to find anything else about Stella on google.
Once Stella becomes a well-known shoe brand, all of its production facilities will come under increasing scrutiny. The more people that know about Stella’s past misdeeds, the better. Stella will no longer be able to force workers to slave over the leather 15 hours a day while failing to provide proper ventilation, a sanitary work environment, and food fit for human consumption. Stella, I’ll be watching you!
i have seen their shoes and they are beautiful. i contemplated buying a pair at RMB1,300. interestingly, at both outlets i visited in Shanghai, the staff told me the brand’s from Italy… Posted by LHS on 02/05/2007 02:55:13 PM
Google “Nels Frye”! My blog now comes up. At last.
Try to ignore the hookah article.
Yahooing me works as well. In fact, the yahoo image search turns up this image:
This is from an Assyrian demonstration outside the UN.
The Google image search yields this image:
Where would you find the wettest place on earth? What is the world’s largest desert? If you walked the whole Appalachian Trail, from start to finish, what states would you start and end in? These are just a few examples of the questions Geograbee winner Andi Zhou ’09 (day student representative) and other cluster finalists faced at Andover’s ninth annual geography contest. In a quiz-show format, Chair of the History Department Peter Drench read the questions, while students buzzed in to answer. Students were awarded three points for every correct answer, while they were penalized one point for each incorrect answer. Chair of the Biology Department Marc Koolen kept score. The other finalists were Peter McCarthy (WQS), David Mauskop (WQN), Oliver Bloom (PKN), Hugh Edmundson (FLG), and Ben Elder (ABB). The competition began with a few “warm-up” questions for the audience, including where was the wettest place on earth: Hawaii. After the contests completed the warm-up round, the bee started. Zhou buzzed in first to answer correctly that the world’s largest desert is the Sahara. After Edmundson answered the second question incorrectly, Elder gave the right answer: Georgia and Maine frame the Appalachian Trail. The rest of the questions from this year’s bee ranged from the most sparsely populated country, Australia, to the name of the United States’ first national monument, the Devil’s Monument in Wyoming. Zhou took a commanding lead in the beginning of the round with 13 right answers, but by the end of the competition Elder had caught up to him. Elder nearly won, but Zhou answered the final question to win the initial round: Hundreds of wooden churches with Christian and Viking ties were built in what country? Norway. Unlike previous years, this year’s Geograbee went into overtime, which consisted of a sudden death following a round of five questions. Zhou answered the first question correctly: The Queen Elizabeth Islands are part of which Canadian province? Nunavut. However, Elder won the second point, naming Cote d’Ivoire as the site of one of the largest churches in the world, The Basilica of Our Lady. By the fifth and final question of overtime, Zhou was losing, but would win if he answered the last question correctly. The final question asked what Dutch-named group in South Africa had once been described with the word “trek.” After giving an older name of the group, Zhou said the correct name, Afrikaans – giving him not only the lead but also the win. Zhou received $100 and a world map with his name engraved on it, which he plans to hang in the day student locker area. Elder, who placed a very close second, received $50. In third place was Edmundson, who received $25. When a student asked Zhou where he had learned so much world geography he replied, “My dad kind of started me when I was three and after that he me started me with maps. Then I just went along with it.” When asked how he felt about winning the bee Zhou said, “Relieved.” Every year the Community and Multicultural Development Office (CAMD) organizes the bee with Instructor of Biology Raj Mundra. Mr. Mundra said, “I thought i t went really well. There was a pretty sizable crowd. Each of the finalists was well qualified.” He continued, “It’s a fun competition because the whole school gets involved…It’s a different type of knowledge [than what’s taught here] and it’s nice for students to be able to showcase it.” Mr. Drench said, “I think that the Geograbee is one of the best events of the year at PA, combining fun and competition, and because it was started as a collaboration between students and faculty.” Mr. Drench, Cluster Dean of Pine Knoll Ms. Murata, and Mr. Mundra handpicked the questions for the bee. The Geograbee was founded in 1997 by a former Instructor of Spanish Nels Frye ’99 and former International Student Coordinator Hal McCann. Obviously the last paragraph was what caught my attention. “Andover: Training journalistic standards from a young age.” Posted by Pescatore on 12/19/2006 07:53:06 AM
Yes, they gave me some real Mianzi there. Did they mean that I was an Instructor of Spanish prior to graduating in ’99 – perhaps even before I enrolled as a student? Still, I get the credit I deserve for founding “one of the best events of the year” at such an elite high school. Posted by stylites on 12/19/2006 08:49:43 AM
Yes, they gave me some real Mianzi there. Did they mean that I was an Instructor of Spanish prior to graduating in ’99 – perhaps even before I enrolled as a student? Still, I get the credit I deserve for founding “one of the best events of the year” at such an elite high school. Posted by stylites on 12/19/2006 08:49:43 AM
Yes, they gave me some real Mianzi there. Did they mean that I was an Instructor of Spanish prior to graduating in ’99 – perhaps even before I enrolled as a student? Still, I get the credit I deserve for founding “one of the best events of the year” at such an elite high school. Posted by stylites on 12/19/2006 08:49:45 AM
Yes, they gave me some real Mianzi there. Did they mean that I was an Instructor of Spanish prior to graduating in ’99 – perhaps even before I enrolled as a student? Still, I get the credit I deserve for founding “one of the best events of the year” at such an elite high school. Posted by stylites on 12/19/2006 08:49:45 AM
At Xidan, there are cartloads of fake streetwear. They fake limited-edition sweatshirts designed and made in Tokyo and worn only by obscure rappers living in the Bronx. It is difficult to take photos.
This shop stocks this Japanese streetwear brand called “A Bathing Ape”, also refered to as “Bape”. Apparently these hoodies sell for USD 300+ at one store on the Lower East Side – maybe more than just there, but that is the most visible example. Here they are for under RMB 300, probably in more styles than the original.
If you want the product of local talent, Xidan has much to offer:
Enticing…But even at this shop selling its own branded dross - not fakes – they won’t let you take pictures.
It would be too embarassing if people outside the caverns of Xidan got an idea of what passes for fashion inside.
Mwahah, Ape must never fight Ape. Posted by Pescatore on 12/18/2006 09:14:32 AM
I was trying to take photos of that too. But just got some hands back~lol… It is true,that many fakes in Xidan. But it’s always fashion and cheap,so many young people buy them. It’s just common in China,don’t be surprised anymore. Posted by Lori on 12/19/2006 09:22:15 AM
Hehehe, how practical! Must one drain the freshness out of everything? I adore being surprised whenever possible. Granted, I must pretend some of the time, but it’s worth it! Posted by stylites on 12/19/2006 10:17:17 AM
It was Riel’s last weekend in Beijing before heading back to Toronto for Christmas. He wore the jacket from the stunning velvet suit just completed by Senli and Frye. The color is a smoky java with a tint of aubergine.
Riel is kind and gentle but has a titilating sense of humor. He is a good listener, but also clever. A free spirit, he is also very committed to his friends and family. I like him a lot, so he must be a swell sort of fellow. He also boasts an excellent background and education. This month he will turn 24.
He enjoys the company of charming, stylish, and witty but calm females. If you would like to arrange a meeting, please send me and email. The fee for an introduction is 100 euros, which can be sent to my paypal account.
To be fair, perhaps BJ is still behind the fashion curve. For this one, there is very little and the prices are in that high bracket where one starts to wonder if the product is real. I have to examine more closely.
Shockingly, there are only 1945 entries for Evisu. Hmmm, 1945 for Evisu.
Rock and Republic is all being made in Guangzhou. Cantonese people are fashion forward.
Let me note in passing that two US designer brands, John Varvatos and Theory, are entirely absent from the Chinese market. It’s strange because most Theory is produced in China. Come to think of it, I have seen Theory here, in shops. (0) Comments | Post Comment
Spend winter in the capital of the next hyperpower!
Hack up phlegm before it becomes illegal!
Will you brave the firecrackers and myriad Volkswagens?
Can you stomach lardburgers and no oxygen?
Buy a plane ticket to BJ and you’ve got a place to say for the two last weeks of February!
February 18 – March 3, babysit my flat.
You must be stylish, sophisticated, silly, and a sailor.
Please send a photo, statement enumerating prejudices and vital sentiments, and a commitment to wear and take with you my Bollywood-style leather jacket.
All female applicants must agree to (1) buy plastic white boots and (2) tuck their jeans into the boots.
I shall be in the city of light…
i enjoy reading this blog a lot. and i sure would like to come. haven´t been to china for quite a while. although i´m not so sure about the bollywood-leatherjacket. have any photos of it online? Posted by peripherique on 12/07/2006 07:32:36 PM
Well, thank you for your interest. It’s a perfect location and it is quite comfortable. As for the leather jacket, it’s also very Detroit – a cross between detroit and bollywood. Waist length, vintage 1960s, it is on my girlfriend’s list for incineration. It’s not that bad though. Posted by stylites on 12/08/2006 01:34:31 AM
These two models are on their way to the agency on floor 25 of my building.These tall women have achieved the winter style goals of many Beijing girls – the white coat, sunglasses, permed hair, and tall boots. Jeans tucked into boots is, thankfully, not quite as common this winter as last, but still captures the imagination of the most fashionable young ladies. These girls do have the proportions to wear this style.
It is very unremarkable that they are both wearing the same outfit. The scary fact is that they probably did not plan this. Note that one girl added a green scarf as a statement of individual style and perhaps, in keeping with the shades, rebellion.
In my hutong, starting the next generation early:
The trousers make it work.
So why do Chinese girls like this style so much?
Posted by Morbid-Calendar on 01/13/2007 03:58:56 AM
I’m extremely ecstatic that my blog was mentioned at the top of the Links of the Week section in the That’s Beijing “That’s Seven Days in Beijing, Weekly Newsletter”:
Stylites in Beijing, which appears to model itself on New York’s The Sartorialist, is keeping a critical eye on fashion – and pollution – in the capital.
This mention is well-deserved; I have worked hard for it. How might one even imagine what could come next?
I don’t know how much like The Sartorialist my site really is, but it is a flattering comparison. I think my blog is going in a different direction, due to the nature of the content that is available. I have certain ideas about that direction, and it will be an exciting one. We could end up with a coffee table book. Obviously, my blog functions as a promotional tool for Senli and Frye, temporarily, until we get the website up and running.
It is proving difficult for me to find interesting street style to post, I must confess. The Beijing street fashion scene is more repetitive than I had anticipated. Does one focus on ugly chuppies, punks and hipsters, wannabe hip-hopsters or the ”real people” -workers, bums, and farmers? The groups are too defined. People are too obsessed with looking like the group that they aspire to enter. They rarely break free in their style, and I rarely break free of the office. Maybe I am just not noticing things. Any suggestions? (0) Comments | Post Comment
I don’t really want to support buying fakes. I don’t want to give advice about which ones are good and where to buy them.
So, as Westerners, should we be coming up with solutions for this problem? That is, should citizens of the countries in which the brands are produced not buy fakes? Is it unpatriotic? Are we supporting China’s rise and the West’s demise when we buy their fakes of our stuff?
The problem for the established brands may not be as great as they themselves make it out to be. Clearly Hedi Slimane and Paul Smith aren’t about to starve on the streets because of IP theft. The companies they design for or own also have a loyal base of consumers who derive great spiritual value from buying the real thing – even in lands where fakes are available. However, I should caution that brand loyalty is not fully developed in China, their fastest expanding market.
The new affluent classes hanker after luxury brands for the status they can provide. A percentage of these people are not price sensitive, but highly face sensitive. This group might only buy the real thing.
There is another large slice of the wealthy who are happy to have the status at a lower price tag, and who don’t really give a damn about the illustrious history of LV.If they can find a fake that looks just as good as the real thing to be their new toy, they are happy to take advantage of a discount.
Paul Smith just entered the Beijing market this year. He had a store in Shanghai for a year or more before that. There is Paul Smith EVERYWHERE now. This was not the case a year ago. Can you imagine “Paul Smith” appearing with the same frequency as GAP and Banana Republic combined in the US? It’s almost like that. The quality difference is apparent for SF types, but not for everyone. I met a very stylish Dutch fellow yesterday, wearing a real Paul Smith scarf, perusing the mall of fake Paul Smith shops. He said that he was happy to buy the fakes selling there, since they were just as good as the real thing. Perhaps this is not a problem, since Paul Smith will continue to be a successful company.
You don’t think this has a negative effect on his brand image? Maybe not, but it seems hard to believe. I want to analyze this further when I have the chance.
As for rising brands, designers and creative types, this is a terrible problem. You can say that their niche consumers will carry them through, but this is imbuing dissimilar consumer groups with attributes of ones with which we are more familiar. Chinese consumers prefer anything foreign and established, particularly when it comes to fashion. A fake Dior Homme sweater will always sell better than that of a local brand, because it still has that aura of style, of Paris, of something elite. Also, please keep in mind that you cannot even rise to any level of fame and profitability when your brand is ripped off immediately. There are exceptions, things will change, but for now the situation is getting worse.
“D&G” is sold in boutiques that seem glamorous and foreign. The sales assistants will state they are a registered seller of D&G. It is very hard to compete with stylish, decent-quality, “D&G” selling at a lower price than you could possibly hope to offer if you wanted a profit.
Keep in mind that “D&G” is not necessarily just copies of the real D&G. Anyone hoping to sell a stylish clothing item would be advised to slap on the tag D&G, Dior Homme, or True Religion, or Rogan (I see this in increasing quantities).
You can either pay to market a brand that will promptly be copied, or slap D&G onto your product. Which one is more profitable? When you make 100 dollars a month, the choice is not hard.
I can only defer to those who are really facing that problem. Local designers all list IP theft as the main problem preventing their rise.
So, will production ever go back to the first world because of this?
Or will the market that best protects IP be the one that succeeds in the long-run or atracts foreign producers?
It would seem as though the problem of IP theft is not as big for the big companies as I am making it out to be. They obviously all keep their production here in spite of being copied.
Are the “fakes” and “overstock” sometimes actually allowed by the parent companies so they can secretly make a profit off people who do not normally have the means to buy the originals? A kind of price selection.
Perhaps this is a secret stategy on the part of the big brands to curtail the development of local competitors, while making money off lower income members of the production…Probably not, but it seems to be a benefit that comes out of an othe rwise bleak situation.
Maybe IP theft offers the West the chance to retain its ascendancy, since brands and marketing are the only real advantages we still possess.
Well, I guess they still make better wool in England.
“We were not created to sit down for long hours, but somehow modern life requires the vast majority of the global population to work in a seated position. This made our search for the optimal sitting position all the more important.”
-Waseem Amir Bashir, a researcher at the University of Alberta Hospital in Canada.
I find it relevant for the general subject of counterfeiting. It also mentions the current position of South Korea as source of all things wacky and modern for East Asia.
I must beg to differ about Japan’s lack of creativity of export-quality stuff. HK and Taiwan have been borrowing Japanese trends and fashion for oh the past 30 years probably and the current popularity of Samsung phones is poor backup for the author’s argument. That being said, the comment on China’s educational system is spot-on. Our lunch conversation today centered around when if ever China will ever get around to getting a 3G mobile network. Don’t you ever get the feeling that you are wasting your time climbing the corporate ladder at low wages in a developing country for the next 5-10 years when you could be off doing more interesting things in the rest of the world? Maybe you really love Beijing and have really bought into the ‘China is the future’ story but I am quite convinced that unless there some drastic top-down change happens here, then the country isn’t going anywhere fast. Just based on your writing and clothes knowledge I am quite sure you could get a killer job working as some sort of apparel industry/China consultant to any big-name firm in Europe and making 80 g’s a year if not more, all you need is the connection with the job… My $0.02 Posted by Pescatore on 11/29/2006 09:40:14 AM
That’s very kind of you to say. Now I do just need that connection. I really appreciate your frequent comments here and I hope that we can meet up at some point in the near future. Are you still in Shanghai? Posted by stylites on 11/30/2006 11:34:54 AM
The more I think about it, the more fond I become of the sound of those 80 g’s you are waving for me out there. How is this done? Money is such a vulgar thing, but one has to be around vulgar people in life. Posted by stylites on 12/01/2006 05:54:07 AM
Also, let’s here more about the country going nowhere fast…perhaps a contribution to my blog? I see fewer jeans tucked into plastic boots this year, which I think means things must be progressing toward something better. Posted by stylites on 12/01/2006 05:57:35 AM
hear – why don’t they let you edit comments? Posted by stylites on 12/01/2006 05:58:47 AM
‘Going nowhere fast’ in my book means: it is over 25 years since gai ge kai fang and still I can’t have a more meaningful conversation with Zhang San Li Si on the street than either 1)’can you use chopsticks/can you eat chinese food etc’ 2)the ‘national representative’ conversation 3) ‘let me speak English to you because you obviously are incapable of having a proper knowledge of Our China’s incredibly difficult 5000-year-history language’ ten years ago when we were going to school I would have put the previous 3 conversations into perspective by saying ah well it is a learning experience, now they just bore me to tears so I’m leaving Shanghai probably at the beginning of ’08. If you hadn’t heard, apparently Dr. Han retired and now lives in Shanghai again, I have been meaning to look him up one of these days. Posted by Pescatore on 12/04/2006 08:31:05 AM
Chatting over pizza last night, two friends and I concluded that the only safe course of action in China is to buy the fake.
Almost no shop can convince you that you have bought the real thing. These days, good fakes sell for the same price as the original, so high price does not prove a product is genuine. The only way to feel confident is to buy the fake, for a low price. At least you know it is fake, and can feel happy that you got a bargain. If it falls apart, at least you didn’t pay full price. What if the thing you thought was real and for which you paid full price were to fall apart?
This is the environment of uncertainty and fear that fakes create. Since you never know, you can never have enough trust in sellers to buy something claiming to be real.
Moreover, sellers claiming fake items are real will charge too much for the fake. They also generally lack knowledge of the product and (faked) brand which they are selling. The best thing is to find honest sellers of fake products, or sellers who ackowledge that they do not know the precise origin or identity of the products they sell.
By the way, this isn’t my idea. I took it from someone else.
I’m tempted to try an item from hong kong. Which brand do you think is usually faked in better quality(I don’t mean overproduction)? Posted by Panna on 11/27/2006 08:57:15 AM
Well it really depends on what category of good you are seeking. I know most about fashion-forward menswear. In this category, I would recommend the fake Dior Homme, Paul Smith (the best), Kris Van Asche (sp?), and some more obscure Japanese designers that are being faked. Dsquared is also quite good, if you like their style with much weird logo-use and clever pictures. Avoid Versace, most D&G (there is some good D&G – it is clearly made by a whole range of producers with differing levels of quality), Gstar, Energie, and Gucci. I see keep away from sneakers. Although they look very much like the original, it is more difficult to assess quality. Why don’t you wait a little bit? I’m trying to find away for Americans to buy directly from China. The fake Dior stuff from HK sells at 3-4 times the domestic price. Posted by stylites on 11/27/2006 09:26:48 AM
Thanks for your answer. So I’ll try DH or Paul Smith… On ebay.com are a lot of chinese guys…. Don’t you recommend this way? I’m from germany so I would prefer to buy with paypal…but the shipping costs seems to be reasonable.. Posted by Panna on 11/27/2006 01:28:46 PM
I don’t really want to support buying fakes. It me feel bad to be giving advice about which ones are good. So should we be coming up with solutions for this problem? Should citizens of the countries in which the brands are produced not buy fakes? Is it unpatriotic? Are we supporting China’s rise and the West’s demise when we buy their fakes of our stuff? Posted by stylites on 11/29/2006 03:16:03 AM
Today I went to two potential distribution points for N+1. The Bookworm and Le Petit Gourmand. I left a copy of the magazine at the Bookworm and scheduled a meeting with their manager for Monday. Then I went to Le Petit Gourmand and talked for an hour with the manager. He was very interested and agreed to put a copy on display. He will arrange for me to discuss sales with their library manager.
N+1 is a new publication out of the Lower East Side with no equivalent in the literary world. It has been billed as an East Coast answer to the Believer, but the sensibilities of the magazines are very different. The commitment of n+1 has always been to a serious, academic engagement with a broad spectrum of cultural, political, and literary topics relevant to the here and now. Each issue of the magazine is comprised of essays on politics and the intellectual situation, fiction, translation, and reviews. The magazine aspires to an international focus and appeal and believes in the compatibility of passion, genuineness, humor, and rigorous intellectual thought. N+1 has been written up in a great number of brand name newspapers, among them the New York Times Magazine, the Boston Globe,the TLS, the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung, Revue des Deux Mondes…etc. The editors publish frequently in the New Yorker and New York Review of Books. They have published works of fiction, among them
“Indecision” by Benjamin Kunkel. And essays from the magazine have been reprinted in Harpers and the Best American Essays.
There is something appropriate about going to an auto show on Thanksgiving – no? Auto culture is such an important contribution of the US to the world. But, predictably, our gaze was attracted most by the European cars.
The models match the Lamborghinis in style. I always imagine a short guy in pleated pants, a black zip-up cardigan, and a black leather blazer jumping out of one of these and saying, in a nasally voice: “My Lambo can do 0-60 in 3.1 seconds.” It just seems like a supercar for flashy dweebs, the kind of guys who froth about hot chics like these models.
Below is the chariot of modern royalty, now the car for Shanxi mining barons to own by the fleet, and pay for entirely in cash. Ah, the ghetto economy…China probably already has a GDP twice the size of the US.
This model had a severe expression, matching well with the grill and headlights of the atrocious vehicle next to which she stood. Through all manner of Simian antics, I made her crack a smile, which brought smiles to all of the onlookers. I promptly frowned, and proclaimed smiling to be vulgar and fake.
If you do decide to buy an oversized Rolls Royce like this, please keep in mind that you need a chauffer. The new models may be ugly, but this is still the automobile of princes, statesmen, and magnates. You don’t drive it around town for a thrill. This may seem obvious, but Hong Kong princelings have been known to adore scooting around town at the wheel of this big toy. In an effort to stem this tide eroding the exclusivity of his empire’s most esteemed brand, a previous governor-general passed an edict banning this abuse.
I advise young and affluent mainlanders to study the way the male lead in the Lover (L’Amant) uses his Rolls. The film is a lovely ode to romance in a colonial setting, with an interesting reversal, from the racial perspective.
I will be posting more pictures from the auto show as they come in.
John Galliano? They would really fake that weirdo’s designs? At the same time, coming from Hong Kong, this cannot be real. I see this as a trend that the big brands really have to be wary of. Soon the fakes will really be bought unawares by the same people who would shell out to buy the genuine article.
These people do not have the time, imagination, or money to do it the hard way and create their own brand. Their profits are squeezed by the real brands for which they do manufacturing. This is their only choice, it seems. They have to piggyback. It is revenge for colonialism – revenge for the imperialism of our brands. Soon they will be producing the exact same quality and style at an only slightly lower price. No more shoddy knock-offs. This will be the real Dior Homme in every way, except for the identity of the person making the profits. Maybe they will only take action when the Chinese government actually acquires LVMH.
I just don’t understand why ebay doesn’t control this sort of thing. Is there any doubt about these being fakes? Good fakes, maybe, but it is embarassing for ebay and America, in a sense, considering we have created the platform for selling fakes of luxury European goods.
This is new question in the Chinese fashion world. Fakes are no longer just boring Prada and Gucci handbags and over-sized Zegna suits. Now we see loads of Paul Smith floral shirts, Catherine Melandrino silk ball gowns, and Marc Jacobs peasent shirts – not to mention mountains of Dsquared, Roberto Cavalli, and Y3. And the quality is good – with the pieces often being seemingly one off. These are not just black leather bags and logo T-shirts. We are now talking about very detailed prints and cuts - special interest high fashion goods. Often only one or two items are available in a given shop. You wonder how many are being produced to begin with.
This is a shop in the building next to the Henderson Centre. The prices are quite high for China, with Ralph Lauren pants selling for 20 dollars, Paul Smith shoes selling for 55 dollars, Abercrombie and Fitch tee shirts selling for 15 dollars, and Burberry sweaters selling for 50 dollars.
There is a bit of the usual stuff. The shop assistants were going wild while I did this, so I only got a few pictures.
These Paul Smith shoes are everywhere, on the web and in shops. I have a pair. I am ashamed of this.
This is the first time I have seen Dior intended to be Dior Homme selling in this way. This sweater is wool, very slim-fitting, and has rhinestones woven into the front. It says “made in Italy” and that it is intended for the Japanese market. The price is about 45 dollars. The avant garde styling and slim fit indicate that this is supposed to be the Dior Homme line, designed by Hedi Slimane, rather than crappy Christian Dior diffusion lines. For those who do not follow fashion, Hedi Slimane is considered one of the most revolutionary designers of men’s clothing. The Dior Homme line revived the prestige of Christian Dior as a menswear label.
Anyway, despite the great fame of Dior Homme, it had not until recently reached the shelves of stores like this that sell high-end potential fakes.
Before I started pictures, I asked to try one on. They brought out a different size from the back.
There were also many (10-15 on display) Dior tee-shirts in black and white with random patterns and words. These were selling for about 12 dollars. These didn’t seem as much like direct copies.
What I am interested in here is the variety of fakes. Some brands are clearly made in China. When you see polo and A&F it is not so much a fake as an overproduced goods. Paul Smith, Dior, and others are a mystery since they are not produced here. They are either (1) copied from pictures, (2) not based on the real product – just using the brandname, (3) copied from real articles of clothing.
There is a lot that can be said about this and I invite the contributions of others.
I too was wondering about the fakes that are clearly not from factory over-runs. And I am also curious about the real price of these goods as they leave the factory. Posted by passerby on 11/21/2006 08:40:22 AM
if u go for the “good fakes”, then u can simply replace the word “fake” by “without horrendous marketing costs and irrational profit margins” Posted by fish on 01/09/2007 05:43:45 PM
Yesterday, we met up with Mike while he was at work at Beijing’s largest annual art auction. He is a spokesman and translator for the company. In his spare time, he covers the Beijing gallery scene and up-and-coming artists for leading international art magazines. One of his next pieces is going to be on foreign artist communes in Beijing. He is also an artist himself, and I’m very eager to see some of his projects. In these pictures Mike is wearing his first suit from Senli and Frye.
Mike is very happy to have a suit that matches his position, attitude, and personal style. The sacks that other local tailors had made were not the right thing for him. Note the thin lapels with high gorge, and single-button front. Observe the slim silhouette, perfect button stance, and trouser to jacket length ratio.
Mike is standing by a Qing Dynasty gate. The starting price is around 700,000 dollars for the gate.
Just in the half-hour we spent with Mike, several people praised him for his great style. He really pulls it together, a rare thing for Beijing expats. Mike shows us how to look professional, up-to-date and distinctive. I noticed that his suit had three fewer front buttons than the average for his colleagues.
The lobby of the Henderson Centre was a veritable jungle of models. There is an agency on the twenty-fifth floor, so we often get the visually spectacular. These four hot puppies were all taller than me, not to mention slimmer.
Sell beautiful fresh-cut Oregon Christmas Trees as a fundraiser and publicity event for your organization!
The Douglas Fir is a premium 7-8 foot four-sided tree, with a symmetrical, pyramidal shape and dense but uniform branches. The bluish-green needles are soft to the touch and produce a sweet fragrance when crushed.
Delivery to Beijing is Dec. 5
35 dollars a wholesale tree – You sell for 70 dollars a tree!
You buy 50-100 trees
This means a profit of 1750-3500
Sell to friends, colleagues, parents, kids, hotels, etc.
This tweed jacket and its fabric are becoming famous. Finding this fabric here in China and turning it into a blazer was brilliant, if I may say so myself. This is the third one that has been made, and I consider it to be a magnificent success.
This one is in a slightly different style than mine, but it really suits Colin. He is using it here in a very streetwear kind of way – appropriate for his weekend skater self.
Note the ticket pocket, kissing cuff buttons, and perfect gorge height and lapel width. This style and fit are perfect for Colin. Mine has wider lapels with and a very high gorge. I will post a picture of mine and the one that my friend Mr. Model is making soon.
I ran into Colin at an American Chamber of Commerce event analyzing new M&A regulations on Monday and he was wearing this jacket with a tie, dress shirt, and slacks. He looked so smart and formal that I didn’t even realize it was the same jacket. It just highlights the versatility of this piece. Mine is more exclusively casual, with visible stictching running the length of the lapels – a half inch in (this is a casual style of stitching-not pick-stitching like you see on suits), sewn on pockets, and no button-hole on the lapel. Let me note here also that all of our button holes are hand-sewn, including the lapel one.
Here he is with Riel, whose picture can be found below. Riel’s two suits turned out excellently. I do think Riel needs a casual blazer if he is going to continue running with modish blokes like Colin.
Real Kool stuff:) Posted by girlygirl on 11/12/2006 01:11:32 PM
Modish blokes need street Tuff protection. But yeah I guess a casual blazer wouldnt hurt Posted by Roch D. on 11/16/2006 09:16:28 AM
that’s true. It is a tough street here – particularly on the southside. Still up for a trip to the fabric market on Sat? Posted by stylites on 11/16/2006 09:32:18 AM
The question is why China hasn’t developed a high street type shop like Banana Republic (GAP), Zara, H&M, Topman, etc. These chains usually control every stage of production from design, to manufacturing, to branding, to retailing. The only one that has entered China is Zara, with a highly-successful branch in Shanghai. The others must fear pirating or believe that the market is not mature enough yet for their style and price level. I met a fellow last night whose real estate company approached GAP to assess their interest in entering this market. According to him, they shudder at the great investment this would require, with minimal returns in the short-term. They should develop their brands of course, since the middle classes that eat up their goods are rising fast. Still, fashionable mid-level brands like this are too easily ripped-off – this probably explains why China hasn’t developed its own branded retailers to sell on the domestic market.
Chinese apparel chain stores do exist, but they only sell goods at a low price-level (4-15 dollars). Some of these stores include Giordano, Robin Hood, or those others. The quality and level of these brands is not very much more advanced than athletic wear – and the prices are so low that it wouldn’t be worth ripping it off. They do not sell a comprehensive line of clothing that can take you from the gym, to the office, to a fashionable ball.
There are some chains selling more formal clothing – particularly men’s. One is called Romon, and there are several others. I assume that these can succeed because what they sell is so unfashionable that no one would bother ripping it off. Or maybe they are being ripped off.
Here’s where I’m headed with this analysis: Mid-priced, trendy brands cannot succeed because that market is occupied by fakes. You only have very low-priced, boring clothing, and high-priced designer stuff. The middle classes are left wearing polyester pants and Armanee. However, this will change.
My main concern remains fostering the domestic market for tailor-made clothing. It makes so much sense, given labor costs.
However, Chinese normally buy in order to fit into a high-status group, rather than to set themselves apart as individuals. Consumption is for belonging rather than individualism. We have to prove that wearing tailor-made clothing is a ticket to an elite circle.
Int’l fashion brands contend for China’s casual wear market
2006-06-26 02:40:35 Xinhua English
BEIJING, June 26 — The top 4 fashion giants of the world, Spanish fashion giant ZARA, the US casual wear brand GAP, Swedish fashion pioneer H&M and reasonably-priced German fashion chain store C&A, are expected to consolidate their position in the Chinese market in two years time.
ZARA has already taken the lead to launch its operations in Shanghai, and H&M has recently also announced its plan to establish a retail store in China next year.
As China kept its WTO-accession commitment to open up the retail market in 2005, foreign-invested fashion chain stores competed for the markets in the country. Early this year, Inditex SA, the Spanish retailer that owns ZARA, became the first one to enter China.
Unlike the high-class fashion brands, these casual wear brands known as the “fashion killers” have products that manifest a fashionable and trendy design, as well as have reasonable prices. They not only own the retail brands, but are also retailers, and therefore play an important role in the industry.
Insiders reveal that ZARA, which is still in an exploration phase in China, saw sales that reached 800,000 Yuan (US$100,000) when it started operating in Shanghai this March. In the next stage ZARA will enter into the Beijing market and its shop will be located in the soon-to-be finished fashion complex.
Fashion retailing consultant Kurt Salmon Associates released some statistics, showing that China’s casual wear market will grow at an annual pace of 10% to reach a scale of 468 billion Yuan by 2010.
Beijing is extremely cheap for clothing if you are willing to sacrife on quality and style. If you’re content with the dross at the Zoo or Yaxiu, then fine. Occasionally you happen upon something almost wearable. There is a reason the locals are swathed in polyester, beads, and trousers with seventeen pockets. It’s not just bad taste – there are few other affordable options. Office girls making 5500 rmb who have any style are willing to pay 1200 for a decent pair of shoes and 500 for a wool sweater. Why? There are only a few shops in Beijing where you can get decent quality for a non-astronomical price.
Add in the sizing problem for foreigners, and you are left with very little choice. The “made in China” stuff that you find at Banana Republic and French Connection cannot be bought here at a low price. It makes sense to buy made in China apparel in the USA, because that same apparel is mostly not available here. The quality of exports is superior to what is available on the domestic market. These brands are more expensive in China (even if the products are made here) than in the US and their shops here offer less selection. At the present, the Chinese have not developed an adequate alternative to the big brand names. There is very little non-brandname stuff of acceptable quality. Sometimes, you find decent items in the Waimao shops, but the selection is spotty – not to be relied upon in building a stylish professional or casual wardrobe. If you want a black merino sweater or beautiful leather oxford shoes in your size, you can’t just go out and buy them here, like you can in the States or Europe. So if you want quality, you can either have your clothes sent or made. Of course, the tailors that can produce clothing on the quality level of Topshop, Zara, or even GAP are sparse – not to mention those that can produce clothing on the level of Saville Row or Kiton.
There is a great opportunity here, both for tailors and retailors.
Shanghai has Zara, my coworker and I were there last night. Posted by Pescatore on 11/08/2006 12:48:43 PM
Apparently it is opening in Beijing, too. I wonder if I Chinese competitor will emerge. Posted by stylites on 11/09/2006 03:39:11 AM
I have seen ‘Giorgi Amoni’ being sold in department stores on Huaihai lu (virtually identical logo’, maybe the key is to get a name that can’t be easily duplicated. ‘Zara’ comes to mind as being quite good for this (Well…maybe ‘Sara’ sounds similar…). Posted by Pescatore on 11/13/2006 07:30:54 AM
That’s an interesting point, Pescatore. What is the distinction between just copying the name exactly and spelling it slightly differently? Is the mispelling just a mitake or a deliberate attempt to mislead customers? Is that mispelling legal by Chinese law? I suppose the assumption is that the Giorgi Armonis are escaping blame because they aren’t using the exact same name, though they are clearing still benefiting from the brand effect of Armani. The point here seems to be finding a name (or design) that triggers the same response of recognition or aspiration in customers that the original does. I wish I had a job that involved intellectual property theft and counterfeiting in China. It seems quite interesting. Posted by stylites on 11/15/2006 09:40:18 AM
Back in May 2006, That’s Beijing interviewed Sir Paul Smith. This was one of the questions:
tbj: Counterfeiting is big business here in China. How much of a problem is it for you?
PS: Providing they don’t have a bigger business than yours then I suppose it is okay. In certain things, like in fragrance, it’s quite a problem. But I don’t think we notice it so much because most of the fakes are of very identifiable, famous products or logo products. We don’t really use a logo so, touch wood, we don’t have too much of a problem.
From looking at Taobao.com and countless retail outlets throughout Beijing, it seems as though the counterfeit Paul Smiths have a far bigger business in China than the real Paul Smith. I suspect that many of the Paul Smith products on US and UK ebay are also fakes, made in China.
Back in May of this year, this proliferation of Paul Smith had not yet occurred. It seems to be a phenomenon of the last few months. I am ashamed to say that I have supported this dark process. At first, I didn’t quite realize they were fakes. They are quite good and marketed in an upscale way. The counterfeiters and their merchants do cash in on the brand value of Paul Smith. The people buying fake Paul Smith are the stylish, sophisticated people who would buy the real Paul Smith. Just like with the real Paul Smith, the fake Paul Smith does not sit next to the fake Polo Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton.
At least in the world of fashion, Chinaoften feels like a demented parallel universe.
爱买假冒的产品, 尤其是服装品牌, 对于爱面子但买不起名牌服装的人来讲, 是类似一种淘宝的行为, 买假名牌的人,大多不是上当了,而是故意去买的. 买到”称心如意”的假名牌服装, 是为了显得很有钱(尤其是logo在非常明显位置),又不用花太多钱.因此假货会很流行. 呵呵. Posted by feelgreat on 11/07/2006 04:05:44 AM
The “gay student group” in Sun Yat Sen University is actually a student group that focus on homosexuality，though it has an English name HappyTogether. it is not a corny gay or lesbian students group as you might think. Posted by catcherer.spaces.live.com on 11/08/2006 01:39:48 AM
Don’t worry. It is really a break through to have a gay student group in China. It is great that they will have that support system now. Could I be an hononary member? All I meant was that when you consider the illustrious underground history of homosexuality as a subversive movement, sometimes these student groups seem a little cheesey. Posted by stylites on 11/08/2006 02:40:01 AM
It is like an army of ghouls, or I guess an army of clones.
Please consider that almost every one of these listings offers each item in many sizes and styles, potentially in bulk. PaulSmith can also be found on the sites of wholesalers, not to mention on retail. Check out the bags if you have a chance. This is just the men’s stuff. Compare this to the total number of PaulSmith items on US and UK ebays.
This is a link to all the Paul Smith items available on US ebay:
PaulSmith is a big brand, but not exactly the very most mainstream type of brand like Gucci or Prada. It’s ironic, because just a year ago I read an interview with Sir PaulSmith about his entry to this market, and he commented that his brand probably wouldn’t suffer like more recognizable ones.
Taobao is China’s domestic competitor for Ebay. It is run by Alibaba.
The penetration of ecommerce in China is not deep. It has not gained acceptance beyond the usual list of prosperous coastal cities, Shanghai, Beijing, et. This is due to an internal logistics system that still lags behind developed regions and buying habits of consumers.
So, this is China with its 1.3 billion customers, but the consumer base for the stuff you see selling is a mere fraction of what it will be.
This raises many questions:
1. How many Paul Smiths are there competing against each other within just one province of China?
2. You can see several different levels of quality just for that one bag on ebay. If you’re a Chinese Paul Smith, is price or quality more important?
3. How does a Paul Smith gain take market share from other Paul Smiths?
4. When did Sir Paul Smith make the foolish move of sourcing from China? Or did he never? Is this just his punishment for having opened two measily stores on the mainland, one in Beijing and one in Shanghai?
There are many other questions, but I must work. Suffice to say, there may be more Paul Smith products just in Guangdong province than the entire rest of the world put together. This is an empire of Paul Smiths.
Here is my friend, Riel, a French Canadian, at his first fitting with Senli:
His two suits (charcoal and navy) were a tremendous success. I’ll try to get pictures up – maybe even some before and after, from a sartorial perspective. It was a revolution from huge double pleats to a slim, but strong, silhouette, perfect for Riel’s slim, but toned, build. I didn’t even realize he had such a great physique before seeing him in the finished suits.
I should note that over the next few weeks we will develop a system for online orders and measurements. This may or may not come before the proper website. Please keep checking back and referring your friends and colleagues to this site for top quality tailoring. Also, please mention it to anyone coming through Beijing.
When you are traveling through Beijing and need a chic custom suit, cashmere overcoat, trousers, tweed jacket, or any other type of clothing that you can imagine, please stop by Senli and Frye, tailorshop. A man looking for a tailor should seek the following features: top quality, a thorough understanding of the various styles from Milan to London, and a reasonable price. Most other tailors only offer one of these, while we offer all three. Senli and Frye fills a void that exists in the tailoring market.
Generally, if you want a quality tailored garment, you must pay a high price. Often the best tailors also have very fixed ideas about styling. You will not get a suit as slim as Dolce and Gabbana or Helmut Lang from this type of tailor. You are likely to get a tasteful garment with very bland styling.
Tailors that offer stylish clothing often sacrifice on quality. The same can be said for many designer suits as well as high-street brands like Zara and H&M. These brands and tailors focused on style, you might be able to get the slim fit but you have to sacrifice on finishing (quality of buttons, stitching, lining, etc.), the construction of the suit and amount of handwork.
Then there are the cheap tailors who cannot really offer quality or a decent fit. You get a garment that will deteriorate after a year, without even looking good during the short time in which it was wearable. Anyone with eyes for style will recognize a garment this, and discount its wearer.
For bespoke service, style, quality at prices comparable to the least expensive off-the-rack suits in the United States, please contact me at 13910092410 or email@example.com.
Senli and Frye can make your dream garment, whether your tastes run toward Dior Homme or Saville Row.
I will take you up on this the next time I am in Beijing. What are your prices on a suit? Do you do overcoats? Posted by Pescatore on 11/01/2006 03:13:50 AM
Thank you for your interest, Dan. The base price for a suit is 1800 RMB. This includes fabric. Let me stress again that this is a suit that will make your appearance shine in any kind of international business setting. We also have an excellent casual, herringbone, tweed blazer – which you would love – that you can have made up for 900 RMB, in total. I had a great cashmere overcoat made. We can do this for around 2000 RMB. This is top-quality cashmere and a very fitted cut. I would recommend that double-breasted, slightly military style, model, but we can make any style. This is the sort of overcoat that costs USD 2000 in the States, and even at that price it would not be fitted to your body like this one. Posted by stylites on 11/01/2006 03:29:45 AM
where abouts is the shop? i was hoping to get a suit (or maybe a selection) tailored in the style of hedi slimane whilst out here in beijing. Posted by james on 12/08/2006 10:27:36 AM
Environmentalism was a great concern for me while I was growing up, as was overpopulation. Trips to Bombay and other developing world cities and movies like Soilent Green inspired this interest of mine. Since the last years of high school, I have not felt motivated by these things. For one thing, I became convinced that these were not serious problems. The world around me seemed to confirm that the issues of overpopulation and environmental degradation were not as serious as they had once seemed to me. The population is never going to reach 12 billion. Also, the types of people typically involved in environmental causes were not a group to which I wanted to belong. Their style and manner was similar to that of most liberals. Most environmentalists supported other liberal causes, about which I do not feel similarly impassioned. There seemed to be something vulgar and plebian about being wrought up about saving animals and reducing consumption. It seems so earnest and tedious. It was either fat underachieving middle-aged men or young hippy types. Environmentalists seem foolishly impassioned and filled with unrealistic knee-jerk reactions. They often seem like the same people who deride religion, all things eternal and a prioritization of taste. They wear oversized tee-shirts, cargo pants, and New Balances.
I became involved with a conservative set of kids, whose views I respected a great deal. Now I have also gone so far as to adopt wholesale the consumerism of the society around me, and my work position strives toward capitalistic goals. I reassure myself that my approach to consumerism is unique and stylish, but this seems a little silly.
The ugliness that capitalism creates has begun to frustrate me. I don’t like to think that I involved in its perpetuation rather than its prevention. But I also see that much beauty would probably be impossible – human generated beauty would not exist and natural beauty would be inaccessible – without capitalism. So the answer may be that beauty and the environment must generate economic value in order to continue.
These matters are impossibly complex and deal with the destiny of our planet. They deal with questions of how life should be guided that remain, sadly, unanswered in my case. Should my work be related to fundamental beliefs – to causes I support? Or is that kind of naïve? Perhaps I have embraced cynicism.
Again I feel sapped by the knowledge that my thoughts on these matters are overly simplistic.
If you have time, read this article by the executive director of the Sierra Club. It discusses the link between religion and environmentalism, their joint goal of opposing consumerism.
I have returned to Beijing. You really should come visit me some time, though the plane ride back stole my good looks.
I barely slept last night.
The amount of stuff I brought back from the States suggests there is hope for the trade deficit. The total weight of my suitcases was 120 pounds. Analyze the contents of my suitcases and we might not get some hints – particularly those items intended for Chinese people.
What were you doing in the second and third photos from the bottom up… Holding a magic stick? I know nothing about country life, but still, you do need some functional tools to chop some wood… or have I got it all wrong?! Posted by Y Y on 10/13/2006 05:15:17 AM
Thanks a lot for raising this issue. My axe broke. I am holding up the handle and begging the heavens to give me a new axe or to glue them back together. Also, YY – are you a female? Perhaps you could give me your contact information…You phrase things in such a delightful manner. If you are a young lady, I believe that you must have the most fascinating ideas. Is your voice cute? It sounds like it could be. Please post a comment here if you would like to enter correspondence with me. I might be able to teach you a bit about country living. There are so many fun things to do outdoors – imagine idyllic clearings with not a soul around. Posted by stylites on 10/17/2006 05:17:50 AM
Oh Nels, I’m flattered! I told my fiancé about your friendly offer, but somehow he didn’t seem to be all that pleased. I wonder why… Posted by Y Y on 10/17/2006 09:40:50 AM
He’s such a lucky guy. Is he handsome and elegant? Would you describe him as a gentleman? Tell me more about this fellow. Posted by stylites on 10/18/2006 02:00:43 AM
Nels darling, I’m glad that you think so highly of my fiancé. He dreams of a soaring career in Bollywood and for that reason, he spends most of his income on flashy outfits. I think his favourite piece would have to be a toffee coloured “veston de cuir” which often reminds of the yellow raincoat that Paddington Bear often wears. Also, he is seriously addicted to dried cranberries. Posted by Y Y on 10/18/2006 03:45:48 AM
Hmmm…My appearance has often been compared to a Bollywood actor. I had an unpleasent introduction to the former Bombay when I was ten, so I don’t think I will be heading there. These pictures suggest a career as an axe murderer. Posted by stylites on 10/18/2006 03:59:57 AM
This series of photos had me laughing out loud. Posted by Sir Josh on 10/22/2006 06:57:06 PM
September 28 2006 (17:50:00) US/Pacific
(0) Comments | Post Comment Hickish Aesthete
September 27 2006 (22:39:00) US/Pacific
Shirt: Paul Smith fabric, Hebei Laborers (?), Belt: Diesel, Jeans: J. Lindeberg, Shoes: Fabi, Hair: 3 dollars – massage included, Photographer: Dick Frye
good to see your dad is keeping you busy at home.
Posted by Paul Proteus on 09/28/2006 06:42:24 AM
Hey, who’s the princess doing all of the work in the photos?
Posted by anonymous on 10/05/2006 11:22:59 PM
(0) Comments | Post Comment At an Amusement Park
September 26 2006 (02:27:00) US/Pacific
In my Chinese Navy sailor shirt:
(0) Comments | Post Comment Yves Saint Laurent
September 22 2006 (11:16:00) US/Pacific
The 70s have always been my favorite decade, from a style perspective. For me, Yves Saint Laurent epitomizes the style of the decade.
These lapels are so much more masculine and courageous than the current narrow ones.
So much more flair than Tom Ford or Hedi Slimane, and not freakish like Karl Lagerfeld.
A guy that can pull-off a double-breasted suit, no?
Men had something interesting to say, stylistically in this period. Granted it was often not as pretty as the pictures above (think John Travolta), but the landscape today is boring. Outlandishness and flair were defeated by a stifling alliance of overly-democratic roughness, bourgeois obsession with understatement and taste, and the uniform of professionalism.
David Bowie is one of my other style heroes from the period, though most of his outfits pre-75 were too alienish for real emulation.
Thanks to Labelking at styleforum.net for providing these photos.
You don’t know anything about masculine and courageous lapels.
Posted by Erica on 09/22/2006 05:30:24 PM
That comment could be considered lapelous.
Posted by Thomas M. Meaney on 09/22/2006 05:33:55 PM
(0) Comments | Post Comment The Foreigner Zoo
September 22 2006 (02:01:00) US/Pacific
(0) Comments | Post Comment Beijing Youth, Ankle Fashions
September 20 2006 (02:13:00) US/Pacific
Among Chinese punkish youth, Converse is extremely hot and so is the Dior Homme look. Before the latest cropped pants, Hedi Slimane made this bunched look popular. I haven’t seen it so much outside of China though. This fashion enables short people to save on alteration costs.
The high and the low. Note the LV socks. LV is the logo of China, much more than it is of France.
(0) Comments | Post Comment Class, Sophistication, and beauty
September 20 2006 (02:01:00) US/Pacific
Drinking straight from a bottle of Great Wall.
(0) Comments | Post Comment Recent Photo
September 18 2006 (07:40:00) US/Pacific
Here is me sitting in an outdoor cafe in dashanzi.
I also had a bit of earwax and snot to handle:
(0) Comments | Post Comment dandyism.net
September 13 2006 (02:25:00) US/Pacific
mwahah, i scored a 68!
Posted by Pescatore on 09/18/2006 02:36:26 PM
(0) Comments | Post Comment corporate serfs
September 12 2006 (07:27:00) US/Pacific
If I could stop and reflect, I might become a leftist. I know that now.
Without capitalism driving, there would be no innovation, life would not improve materially.
The primary beneficiaries are the ones who can harness the innovation or, at least, control the company holding the patents or the one still riding off unique advantages once enjoyed. Those incapable of driving innovation fall by the wayside, especially with China copying everything at low cost. (Innovation and teamwork are the two advantages enjoyed by the West outside of the historical head start that we already have)
Capitalism benefits everyone in a free market society in a trickle down way. It does not produce contentment, happiness, or an interesting life for most people though. Even as their lives improve, they feel more bored and empty – they desire more things. The main creative outlet for most people is buying the goods the corporations produce, fueling their further growth. People are defined by which brandnames they choose, how they mix their purchases. They spend their work time developing the products, and their free-time buying and using them. This is the self-propelling, self expanding consumer society in which we live. It is a good, productive thing. It always seeks greater efficiency and expansion. This expansion is fueld by the serfs aspiring to live the life of the meritocratic elite. We are aiming at perfect competition. Are people increasingly where they deserve to be in life?
Our imbalanced society is always caught between the mass of people whose lives will never improve fast enough, and those who can drive innovation and drive society forward. The poor group must be satisfied enough, but if the rich group cannot gain the most for its innovative toils, it will cease to drive society forward. Witness Europe versus America, though both are at points on a continuum. The problem also is that this consumerism leads directly to gray air, concrete buildings. The greater health and prosperity of our time relates directly to our distance from nature.
Please don’t think the relatively better air in the West is without cost. Your deadly processes are transferred to the rivers of China.
Of course, the fastest developing society, China, is also comparatively uncreative. So educational system and cultural practices are other fundamental things.
Clichéd, I know, but this is the reality for me.
I am experiencing it all first hand, being one of the serfs, has brought me a different perspective. Life is real for me. I wish education could come after experiencing the world. Or maybe I should have had more part-time jobs growing up. Education is really waisted on the young – as is the freedom Western people enjoy in college. Had I only developed more interests and hobbies needed to escape. Or made the connections which would gain me entry into the society of bohemians who supposedly live beyond all of this. Maybe there is still hope.
For now, I define myself through consumerism. This is even how we add most meaning to our relationships with others. Fueling the great train, as it goes forward.
(0) Comments | Post Comment At Pop Music Festival
September 11 2006 (05:23:00) US/Pacific
There above me is the flag of Brittany. It was the only flag on display at the pop music festival held at Chaoyang Park this past Saturday.
I am back in Beijing for the moment.
(0) Comments | Post Comment blog
September 01 2006 (05:03:00) US/Pacific
The visitor count on my blog yesterday was down to one, with six views. I think that one guy was me. Over the next week-and-a-half it is going to be difficult to update this thing. Thereâs some other blog called âmemoirs of a loserâ which seems to be updated every hour â a lot is happening in this fellowâs life.
I will be in Shanghai, Guangzhou, HK, taking around a business delegation from the Southern United States. If anybody has submissions to during my time of inactivity, please send them to me.
Really, there’s nothing hard to understand about this. The world is superficial, commercialistic, materialistic, and agressively racing toward emptiness.
There’s no way around it. The US is even worse. This is all we’re left with.
A pretty face will allow you to stare at a screen, sing karaoke with businessmen, drive a compact vehicle, shop at the mall, have an expensive wedding, etc.
Saw your link on Brett’s blog. What’s most interesting is the way race is the purple elephant in this article. Most of these procedures, double eye-lid, higher nose, etc. are based on Western (or rather White)standards of beauty. Are these women really saying that to get married and earn more money at a better job in China it’s important to look more Western? What does this say about Chinese nationalism? Just a thought or two. Posted by J from the Granite Studio on 09/01/2006 10:11:06 AM
absolutely. Of course they wouldn’t mention that. The world is still trying to be Western in so many ways. Posted by stylites on 09/11/2006 05:25:16 AM
You must mark the following dates in your planners:
NMNF will be home between September 23rd and October 15. Apparently, we don’t have quarters in the city. Quite a long time to be in Brimfield. Maybe I’ll do an outing to Sturbridge or Palmer to buy pliers or a windbreaker.
First, put on Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony, because it starts playing the instant you get off the subway at the Pingguoyuan stop on Beijing Subway. Then open a bottle of wine, because it flows eternally in the apple orchard.
It is the furthest west stop on Line One. If you want to enter a world of relaxation, cool winds, and lovely apple blossoms, you must make the trek out there. I had traveled in the direction of Pingguoyuan on line one so many times, but never suspected that it was more than just a name. I never knew that it offered an idyllic retreat from the gray city. A pastoral landscape replete with prancing fawns, babbling brooks, and complementary goblets of imported wine is a short subway ride away for all those tired of the crowds of the city and the headaches of corporate life. Stop pushing paper and email around and leave your cellphone at home for the day.
You will be surprised, shocked into a hallucinatory state. The subway doors open, the sweat of the day evaporates from your armpits, the old women, beggars, men in polyester who pressed their chests to you in the subway vanish, the air cools. Grass and weeds grow in the corners of the subway platform. There are no advertisements. The procession of perfect models and enrapturing grins stops. There is no litter. Food does not come in plastic in Pingguoyuan. Outside the station, the pollution has cleared and the sky is blue. The skyscrapers and sickly purple/gray haze are in the distance. Viewed from the one spot in Beijing municipality liberated from smog, the city looks like it is continuously under a storm, reminiscent of the headquarters of the evil side in some fantasy story.
The local government in Pingguoyuan implemented progressive policies banning skyscrapers, automobiles, and even concrete. Residents live in tents made of ox hide or little outdoor pavilions. There are no water shortages in Pingguoyuan. Water comes from the streams flowing between so many of the apple trees. The water is fresh and pure. There are no steel and chemicals factories upstream. There is no aftertaste of heavy metals or phosphates. Unlimited fish and other seafood swim in these streams, which pleases Chinese visitors to no end. They are all there for the taking. There is also a no-fly zone over Pingguoyuan, which cuts down on noise.
One characteristic of Pingguoyuan makes it very similar to other places in China. I have already alluded to this. All the apple trees have speakers attached to them, playing Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. The daily routine of the human and animal residents is choreographed to the symphony. Every time the third movement comes, a fat bhoddisatva even arrives to pour wine in everyone’s goblet. Actually the speakers stop at the third movement and are replaced by a complete orchestra. Then, all of the apple picking ceases momentarily, and the visitors and locals all gather at appointed locations by the streams to exchange stories of the morning’s adventures. Conversations on grasshoppers, plum blossoms, and birds are the norm. Some more off-color topics come up frequently. Jokes center on flatulence, torpidity, and drunkenness. Two subjects are forbidden: business and money. Minds are cleared here. This is not the place for workaholic businessmen. They can go to the karaoke parlors or get a massage. This is where people who know how to enjoy the profits the businessmen generate come to create and revel in purity. Massage occurs here, but it is freely given with only the best intentions.
All guests must change clothing upon exiting the subway station. Playboy shirts, crocodile belts, plastic heels and nylon trousers are exchanged for white linen robes and Jesus-style sandals. Women wear white gowns with broaches. They go to their own area, filled with ponds. There they bath nude, they sit on rocks giving each other massages while bantering about pomegranates and frankincense. The very thin, very short, and very fat are all forbidden entry.
Men sometimes peek in from behind a tree or stone. The atmosphere is so lovely. I looked once.
This is a wonderful fantasy. I was hoodwinked until the white robes and sandals. Dreams of Shangrila.. Posted by khavurta on 09/24/2006 06:55:23 PM
When everyone looks so weird, it is hard to do a street style website. Who do you pick to photograph? Everyhody seems to be wearing something overly lacy or with an incredibly bizarre sentiment etched across the front.
A good portion of the young girls in China lack the foggiest idea of the image their style choices project
(Hey, I know I look like a weirdo, not a sophisticate). Maybe the key is to take pictures of all the innocent girls who wear really risqué clothing and seem to not be aware of the concepts they are conveying.
On another note, I am drinking some really foul red wine right now. There were times when I fretted that I would not be able to distinguish good wine from bad wine. Well, Simatai Changcheng proves that I can at least determine what terrible wine is. I’m not sure whether this is made by the big Changcheng brand or whether they added the Simatai in order to confuse consumers, and they are an entirely different brand. It’s actually not as foul as the real Changcheng. For my US readers: Don’t worry, it’s not going to be exported. More on Chinese wines in a different entry.
By the way, recently I tried an inexpensive wine, which is quite drinkable. I recommend you try Marcus James, from Argenina, for value for money. The Malbec should be under ten dollars a bottle. I had heard negative things about Argentinian wine, but this seemed pretty good.
Microsoft, intel, IBM, Air China, China Easter, CNOOC, Toshiba, GM, Walmart, Exxon, McKinsey, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, any bank, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, GAP, Old Navy, stop and Shop, Haier, Frestech, ChemChina, Abercrombie,
A rebellion against affluence, conscipuous consumption, brandnames, and general money-obsession will soon sweep the youth of China. Someone should be on the scene to profit off of it. Certain services and products are needed for an anti-money lifestyle, and people pay good money to buy them. We should research the West and current conditions in China to determine what those products and services are. Hemp?
As far as pop music goes, Madonna’s isn’t especially loathsome. It’s a strange conflict in me. While I have a strong desire to question the dominant paradigm and be iconoclastic, I also feel strongly about protecting traditions. I suppose this is contradictory, but it is a natural contradiction to feel. Everyone feels it to some degree.
It’s not so complicated. Some traditions have already been subjected to enough assaults – particularly those involving Jesus. He gave his life to bring redemption to humanity. We should be grateful, whether or not we believe he was son of God. Why doesn’t she make fun of St. Augustine or Calvin, or a well-known (and ridiculous) event like the Crusades? These are easier targets anyway – and they aren’t that unknown. I’m not proposing she make fun of a hermit or participant in the Council of Nicea.
Consider the beautiful art that Jesus’ life has inspired. Then think about the trash people create to insult him. What does that show?
And the gall of doing this in Rome itself! Do we really need to blaspheme Christ more? He led such a blameless life, devoted to healing people, forgiving prostitutes, etc. I’m sure she would make some excuse about this actually glorifying Christ and expressing her particular relationship with him. This is hogwash. She is trying to usurp his position. What about St. Paul?
I guess a concert attacking Judas or Herod would be pretty dull stuff, but there should be something better.
Of course my reaction is exactly what she craves. But when people like me, who support all kinds of bizarre expression and weirdness, condemn her, it shows something. She’s just tedious, but of course she is famous and has latched onto something which will continually make people angry. Good work. The Lord will forgive you, but humanity won’t forget your bad taste.
On March 4, 1966, this quote of John’s was printed in the London Evening Standard: “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue with that; I’m right and I will be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.” Posted by dalcibiades4 on 08/04/2006 03:10:41 PM
That was John Lennon, by the way. Posted by dalcibiades4 on 08/04/2006 03:12:07 PM
I am like soooo totally psyched. Yesterday, I got this email from a Mr. Mai Shelong offering me a position as an editor in Huludao, Liaoning Province. I will be editing the English for the signs that describe exhibits in his factory museum. His factory makes a special kind of gas used to lubricate the machines that make the machines that make the machines that make cranes. This is a totally awesome opportunity to get into some really creative and fulfilling work. My career is going to be given a major jolt by this – and there are distinct opportunities for personal development. I’m going to learn so much and develop a real sense of how I can go beyond maximizing my value in a modern service information setting. The team is such a cool and capable group of people, like, total work hard, play hard. Mr. Mai sent along pictures and bios of everybody, and some of them attached messages saying “hey, wasup”. I just can’t wait to meet everyone there. Shelong (he said I could use his first name) said that he would be my mentor. All I need is a self-starting, can-do attitude. The networking and relationships will help me for the rest of my career. I’ve heard that Huludao also has a completely alright bar scene. That doesn’t even matter ‘cause they’re gonna be these total parties every night – possibly even karaoke.
The building I’m going to be working in has 23 stories and I’m going to be on the 22nd story. You have a view of three-thousand other buildings which are all that tall. Huludao also has the tallest smokestack in its district. I am so pumped to get a tour of that factory. It makes these bolts.
Time to go add some value!
Hey Nels, Sorry I haven’t dropped in for awhile; school keeps me hopping busy. Anyway, glad to hear things are going so well for you. Good luck with everything. I hope all works out! G. Posted by The Horse’s Mouth on 08/22/2006 11:18:40 PM
In addition to the first blue sky in nearly a month, please find above the disgusting fare I call lunch on most days. This meal can run as high as USD 1.80, depending on the size of the bananas. This isn’t cheap. A plate of tasty (but potentially bacteria-laden) Muslim noodles can be under one dollar. My goal is not to save money but to avoid becoming a fat guy in pleated pants when I’m forty. Since I’m too lazy to exercise, the only possible solution is what you see above. It’s easier to not do things than to do them. That’s my theory. It’s easier to not eat than exercise.
This method will fail. Eating so little lunch makes me crave more dinner. The successful days are when I somehow get the opportunity to have a small dinner without significant meat or oil.
Let me go into more detail on the parts of this meal.
1. Three bananas: Boring, but temporarily filling
2. Drinking yoghurt: Overly sweetened. If I don’t drink this I crave sweets and all afternoon. The least offensive part of the meal until I get to the last few gulps, when I feel like vomiting.
3. Green Cabbage Roll: The main course and, by far, the grossest element of my masochistic gastronomic routine. These have been sitting in the wrapping for a while and have far too much salt. I don’t know what it means when all three rolls have leaves that are white and no longer green.
After this meal, I’m ready for some instant coffee, to carry me through the mood fluctuations of the afternoon and the daily battle against drinking cans of the overly sweetened coconut milk, free for the taking in our company refrigerator.
Bananas are too caloric. Try rice crackers. Posted by lalop on 08/02/2006 06:59:30 AM
Better still, eat some doufu gan. Multitudes of varieties and flavours. Mostly protein and will fill you more and for longer. If you don’t want to excercise – get rid of those carbs. If you prefer fruit, mix it up with peaches. Get some tea-eggs and other small protein snacks and keep them in your bottom drawer, eat small and often. Ditch the coffee and switch to room temperature bottles of green or lemon tea. Now, if only I could practice what I bloody preach. Posted by sunnysideup on 08/02/2006 07:23:24 AM
Wow, thanks a lot for your suggestions, Sinosceptic. I do enjoy doufu gan, but I’d never thought of it as a healthy alternative. While it is hard to imagine life without coffee, I know green tea is better for you. I think I could really practice this lifestyle. Posted by stylites on 08/02/2006 08:51:03 AM
You eat all dat? You definitely going to be fat! Posted by dalcibiades4 on 08/02/2006 02:10:33 PM
The formal launch of stylites.net and the reemergence of Stylites in Beijing as a trendsetting force in the blogosphere is on the horizon. With luck, daily street fashion updates on stylites.net will begin within the next week, so stay tuned. Please note the link to the Senli and Frye page on the right.