Just last night, Pawnstar won the “New Shop of the Year” award for 2016 at an award ceremony held at Kathleen’s Waitan. We were not expecting this, but here it is: TimeOut – which does have very good distribution – thinks we are the best new shop this year in Shanghai, a city of nearly 30 million souls. There may have glossier, more high concept shops opening, but clearly we are the one that is a bit different from what has come before here. I don’t think anyone has really done the consignment concept before and the ruggedness – the bohemian sensibility that we have – seems quite different from the typical offerings here.
For over a year, Pawnstar has been going strong as a wechat platform and now as a store in the French Concession’s Clement Apartments. Over 95% of our customers are women. Perhaps secondhand works does work better for women. They don’t like to wear the same thing twice, so it makes sense to swap outfits very frequently. Closets aren’t big enough. Men have traditionally preferred to invest in items they have their whole life and they should be applauded for this. Nonetheless, we believe there is a market for secondhand menswear in China and there are even fewer players in this realm than there are in the area of women’s clothing.
We are starting with the above personal wechat account, Pawnstar Man, much as we did for womenswear. We will start this way, but there is talk of starting a permanent space, perhaps also in the Clement Apartments. Men do tend to like places where they can come and hangout. Perhaps we will make this something of a bar or hangout spot.
Thanks to Yasu of Xin Tokyo for inviting Pawnstar to participate in their showroom at Moda Shanghai, during Shanghai Fashion Week.
The weather has really been wonderful recently. A trip now to Shanghai might very well change all those notions you had about haze and humidity. The sky is brilliant blue and the air is crisp without being cold. Shanghai Fashion Week really has picked the best time of year to host its events. You can see the schedules for Shanghai Fashion Week here.
Pawnstar has quite a bit planned for Shanghai Fashion Week, but right now we are enjoying the good Fall weather by going outside around our shop and doing some photo shoots.
The three models are Jane, Lotta, and Ian. Good to have some frolicking before before the busy Shanghai Fashion Week schedule gets going (Pawnstar will be participating in MODE Shanghai Fashion Trade Show). Click to see more.
BlackOut Charity Campaign shooting | XINLELU.COM x VIA x Orbis | Pawnstar主理人Jane in ARETE Dress & AWÜ Noir Collection
The Chinese edition of Milk Magazine came by the Pawnstar showroom at The Clement the other day to have a look for items that could be borrowed for this photo shoot.
They found quite a bit: feathered headdresses, pearls, studded gloves and much more.
Here are some new pics of Pawnstar’s showroom at the Clement Apartments provided by rising fashion blogger Swan.
Pawnstar was lucky to have Jing Zhang, one of Asia’s most influential figures in fashion, style a fashion shoot at The Clement Apartments over the weekend. Jing is the Fashion Editor for the South China Morning Post. Beautiful and glamorous, her regular schedule consists of bouncing between Milan, Paris, London, New York, Hong Kong and Shanghai, hobnobbing with legendary fashion designers and researching the inside scoop on what is happening in China. So it was fortunate that we caught her in one her Shanghai stints.
Here is a link to some of her articles at the SCMP and here is a profile of her, as well as her instagram and twitter.
Come by the Clement Apartments and have a look at our menswear.
Not for kids, this death stick pin made from legos is from the collection of a local designer and up-cycler.
Neville from Entrepreneurs Asia Magazine conducted this extensive interview with Jane Jia that provides overviews of her background, how she got into recycling fashion and plans for the future development of Pawnstar. This is about a half-hour interview. Jane explains how her irritation with waste of plastic bags when she was little and working on energy savings while in her former automation jobs were the first seeds that led to her start a business involving giving secondhand goods a second life.
Jane explains that many people in China really are ready for secondhand clothes but that the big challenge is finding an appropriate platform and how in the end, a small business like this really has to be on every platform, which is something of a drag and a risk. Wechat works best for attracting loyal users and for interacting with them in a direct way via the personal accounts. It’s also quite possible to sell items through wechat moments. However, the wechat store system has simply not become a preferred way for customers to shop. Thus, Taobao is still important but on taobao one is at the mercy of taobao’s rules The trick of trying to sell one-off secondhand items in a marketplace that is customized to fit the demands of manufacturers with thousands of products available.
I will follow-up in the next post about the perennial question of the website.
Pawnstar’s new space in the Clement recently received this great coverage from the Shanghai eddition of Time Out magazine.