Above Zhang Zilin wears upcycled earrings from Pawnstar while at a photo shoot. Zilin (age 33) has become one of the most famous actresses in China from a start on the runways of major fashion capitals like Paris and Berlin, followed by winning Miss China World and Miss World in 2007. She has starred in Underdog Knight 2 and The Monkey King.
You can see some examples of upcycling from Pawnstar here.
A rather comprehensive interview of Zhang in the Luxury Insider shows her to be sweet, humble, and well-bred. She comes from quite a good Beijing background with a father in the military and a mother who was a professor. This is her instagram.
The Ametora event with David Marx that we mentioned before has now been rescheduled and will now be occurring on May 21 at Pawnstar on 1363 Fuxing Middle Road.
Here are some of my thoughts about this event:
China and Japan have had different encounters with Western fashion. That’s not to say that there are more differences than similarities but, when we consider how related these two cultures are, the vastly contrasting experiences with modernity and the West seem poignant. Without delving too much into this, let us just say that the Japanese experience of things Western commenced rather suddenly and with great intensity when in 1870 the Meiji emperor cut his hair short and adopted European-inspired military attire. The next period of great Western influence came with the American occupation. China has interacted with Western styles in its own ways but none matches the sometimes tumultuous but usually rather dedicated love affair the Japanese have had with American style, especially since the 1950s.
Pawnstar regularly does live-streaming programs now on Mogujie, the social-network-cum-online shopping site that is now considered one of China’s unicorns. Above is a photo of the backdrop we used in a recent program that focused on Pawnstar’s upcycling.
Ametora means “American traditional” and started in the ’80s in Japan. It refers to collegiate American East Coast or what we usually call Preppy. “Ametora: How Japan Saved American Style” is also the title of a book by Tokyo-based W. David Marx that delves into the cultural history of Japanese menswear.
David will be at our shop, Pawnstar, tomorrow (Saturday 4/22) at 5:00pm to sign copies of his book and talk about Japanese dandy style and how it preserved and shaped American preppy.
The address of Pawnstar is Room 104, Bldg. 1, The Clement Apartments 1363 Fuxing Zhong Lu,Xuhui district 徐汇区复兴中路1363弄克莱门公寓1号楼104室
Here are reviews from GQ and Japan Times and get a copy on Amazon! Click more for additional pics.
Photo by Shen Tian
Pawnstar’s in-house designer for upcycling projects, Shen Tian, took this photo. It could have been on a mood board for some of the work that she creates.
The designer who does Pawnstar flyers likes to turn everything into a cyclops – well, not the horse.
The Beijing girl on the left is wearing an upcycled leather jacket purchased at Pawnstar. She started a high-end wedding custom wedding dress brand but seems to like something a bit more casual for herself.
Here is the designer of Pawnstar’s upcycling collection, Nisa, nearby her home in Changbaishan, Liaoning province. She was home for the holidays but says she would never consider living there because the people tend to be a bit rude and she doesn’t like skiing that much anyway. There is, however, a Park Hyatt in Changbaishan.
Upcycling is a big deal at Pawnstar. There is now a dedicated workshop on the second floor of our showroom at the Clement Apartments. You can see more creations here.
There is still no Primark Shanghai. Thank God!
I recently had occasion to visit Primark Boston. I had heard horror stories about Primark for years but this was the first time I got to experience it firsthand.
The nearly 8,000 square meter Primark right at Downtown Crossing, which opened in November 2015 was the first US outpost of the Irish disposable fashion emporium, but it has already been joined with locations at mold throughout the East Coast and there will soon be locations in Brooklyn as well as other parts of Boston. Londoners often gush that Primark makes you not really have to think twice about a purchase because the prices are low to the point of being almost comical. It really does cost more to ride the tube, not to mention going to the pub, in London than to buy an item at Primark. Shops like this offer a salve for the egos of people who otherwise have trouble a lot of trouble affording their lives. You can’t afford nice restaurants let alone a proper home in a location you want or – in the case of the US – even health or education, but you can dress in the latest styles and obtain a new possession pretty much whenever you want. There needs to be a Primark Shanghai for the everyday person to be as stylish as a Londoner.
The French Concession’s leading secondhand consignment shop and one of the most interesting Shanghai shopping destinations of any kind, Pawnstar just got a major feature in TimeOut Beijing. We shot some photos around the neighborhood with our model, Quinn, who has also walked runways for Chanel and other major fashion brands. You can see some of those images up-close here.
Click more to see the feature in some detail.
A Pawnstar customer from Shanghai in a dress she purchased with her teddy bears.
Here’s another Pawnstar customer on vacation. Everyone will have to get back to work soon – finally – I guess. This Beijing resident had an amusing reaction to our project: “Why is everything so cheap here?” Needless to say, people in China are highly sensitive to anything that could be a counterfeit or inferior good of any kind. They are highly attuned to this and seeing us selling luxury and high fashion brands and so far below retail price is often a big shock for people. It seems too good to be true. Then we explain that items are secondhand and most people start to get it.
This independent designer based between China and New Zealand – who shops regularly at Pawnstar – is wearing a very unique top with a traditional Chinese-style print.
Wearing a Cerrito Rose ring is Zouzou, who sells fresh-water pearls – we offer them on Pawnstar as well. She lives in Jiaxing, Zhejiang, which is almost an exurb of Shanghai. She is wearing a Cerrito ring.
Cerrito is a handmade jewelry brand founded by John Antonio Cerrito, an American who served as a pilot in World War II. Mr. Cerrito designed beautiful and timeless jewelry representing love and light. With his deep understanding of metal processing, he perfected his metal roses with a unique gold plating and polishing technique.