Even the Chinese immersed in hip-hop preach its tenets with ferocious dedication. Hip-hop apparel is saturated with its culture, but few local wearers of the style realize this, according to Paco Ou, founder of Bustout, the newest and largest streetwear emporium in Beijing. He seeks to change this with a hand-picked streetwear selection that focuses on authenticity and a mission revolving around education.
With its technicolor print hoodies, genuine special edition sneakers, and one-of-a-kind tee shirts, Bustout will redefine the scene here, remaking the hip-hop man from head to toe, and Paco, 22, has ambitions far greater than just these. He wants the store, among the most airy retail spaces here, to be a platform from which to educate local youth on the origins of hip-hop culture.
Apparently, middle class kids in baggy jeans and over-sized headphones don’t really get the culture. Through events, literature, and his own presence, Paco wants to teach the background of hip-hop and what it means in the Chinese context. Poor kids from the south side of Beijing don’t grow up with drugs and violence, but still must “hustling all day” and have faith in themselves despite the odds, part of what hip hop is about.
To wear the clothes, Chinese kids have to know this story, says Paco. Having worked in apparel since 15, Paco had his share of hustling and he also learned to source the best products, and 80% of which products are exclusive to Bustout. Some standout gear includes Levi’s Jeans (RMB 400-700), particularly raw demin intended for export to Japan, X-Large T-Shirts (RMB 160), Stussy Bandana Print T-shirts (RMB 160). Hoodies are the dominant outerwear with Prohibit (RMB 350), Hollywood Cartel (RMB 460) , 686 (RMB 240), Famous Stars and Stripes RMB 240). His clients will be mainly in the 15 to 25 age range, though a middle-aged policeman who dresses in hip hop style when he gets off work is a regular customers. Paco confesses that the real gangsters in China will never wear hip hop clothing.
Opening Hours: 11am-10pm
Dongsi Longfusi Street, 52-1
Please note that a slightly different version of this piece appeared in the February issue of That’s Beijing.