“City Garden” By Yiwen Studio

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Yiwen Studio is not a brand that gets talked a huge amount by Western fashion media, bloggers, etc.  Former actress Cao Yiwen started her brand about five years ago and has a very loyal following of stylish, affluent ladies in Beijing and Shanghai, where she has boutiques in Sanlitun and Julu Road in the Former French Concession, respectively.  She has also shown at Shanghai Fashion Week.

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Her pop-up at the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing just started.  Click below for more photos. Continue reading

Sebastian, at the Clement

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Here are some pics from a recent photo shoot that we did right outside of the new Pawnstar space at the Clement Apartments, one of the French Concession’s loveliest residential complexes.  Pawnstar is an online platform and physical shop for fashion resale.  We are working to introduce Chinese consumers to the concepts of secondhand fashion and designer consignment.

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Pawnstar at the Clement Apartments

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Not as famous as the Normandie, Astrid, Washington, Liberty or some of the other famous pre-Liberation apartment blocks in the French Concession – sometimes referred to as the Hengshan Road-Fuxing Road Historic Area – the Clement Apartments, at Fuxing Middle Road 1363, is one of the more eccentric unexpected complexes in an area of Shanghai known globally for its art deco.

The first Pawnstar showroom/experience center will be opening on the first floor of the building to the left of the main entrance on the first floor.  You just have to walk in the main entrance and walk left, passing through the small garden.  We are in the process of the renovations and decorating, so we will save the in-depth introduction to our own space for later.  I would like to introduce the Clement first.

Please click below to read more about the Clement.

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Pawnstar Booth @ The HUB

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The Pawnstar booth at The HUB had a few rather fun highlights.

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I think the one to start with is the facade of the former Lafayette Theater, designed by Shanghai’s most famous architect, Hungarian László Hudec.  From my perspective, it’s unfortunate that the interior of the building did not preserve any sort of period detailing.  It was a gut renovation.

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Pawnstar Party at The HUB

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In addition to quite an impressive assortment of sponsors, the Pawnstar first year anniversary party had a great body-painting artist who wrote in very stylized versions of the worlds “Pawnstar”, “Re-love” and “Re-use”.

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Above is Shen Tian, one of the leading designers focused on upcycling in China and a key Pawnstar collaborator.

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Click to see more photos.

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To the Skies!

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Here is the Bifu by Chen Xing pop-up being set-up.

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And some photos from his latest fashion shoot.  Chen Xing is taking off this time as he again brings a chic pop-up lobby of the Four Seasons Hotel Beijing. The fashion show for his latest collection will also be the first event on Opus Terrace this year.  It will be taking place on April 9.

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Coverage of Zamani

Some coverage of the recent pop-up Zamani x Rechenberg pop-up at the Four Seasons includes this interview with founder Matin Zaman from Jing Daily. Matin explains that Chinese are just now getting into having a nice space to live in. He also notes that “people don’t like the rugs that are used in China. People like brand new things. Therefore, in our exhibition we’ve been more successful with the modern pieces,” and that his role is to educate on the “difference between hand-spun wool and machine-spun wool, or what’s the difference between chemical dye and natural dye, or what’s the difference between doing a double knot and single knot” so that people understand why they are paying so much.

Coverage of the pop-up also appeared in the Beijinger as well as here and here.

A Discussion of London Fashion Week

Together with House of Ikons, the Four Seasons Hotel present an opportunity for Beijing-based fashion designers to explore the possibility of participating in London Fashion Week. If you’re interested in learning more througb speaking with House of Ikons founder Savita Kaye, stop by the hotel on Friday afternoon!

This is part of an exhibition that will be in the hotel from March 23 till 31 that showcases some of the gowns and shows that House of Ikons brought to London Fashion Week over the past year.

Click more for the details.

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The HUB at Lafayette Cinema

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Literally on top of the Xintiandi subway exit sits the former Lafayette Cinema, which will be the new venue for The HUB, Asia’s leading premium fashion trade fair.

This truly fantastic venue is now called the Art & Design Centre, at 323 Middle Fuxing Road. This is definitely the most beautiful large-scale venue in the Xintiandi region. One of László Hudec’s masterpieces, the building first opened in 1933 and was renovated again in recent years and has played host to quite a few fashion events, including one by Louis Vuitton, and was also the site for the Kick the Gong Around market in 2014. The HUB will be happening there from April 9 to 11, the same time as Shanghai Fashion Week.
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Hong Huang Critiques KOLs

In her Jing Daily column, the most famous KOL and media figure of all, Hong Huang seems to suggest that we temper our enthusiasm, pointing out that “KOLs can buy fans as well as create fake numbers of readership, just as easily as print can lie about circulation”.  She suggests that customers are getting more sophisticated and less materialistic. Brands need to really represent something deeper and more meaningful if they are to succeed. I would say the same about KOLs. Their anodyne spirit, obsession with taking photos of themselves, and fixation on the latest trends hopefully will make them a trend that passes quickly. People might appreciate them more if they represented something bigger than their latest outfit.

Upcycling and Eco-Design in China

As we try to seek out a direction in the field of upcycling fashion that makes sense for Pawnstar, I have poured through the China fashion blogs, eco-fashion related websites, pinterest etc. to get an idea for what is already happening in this field. I thought I would share some of what I found related to designers and others in China that are using leftover factory fabrics waste, bamboo, discarded clothing, as well as recycled and sustainably sourced materials to create new fashions.

Click below to see some of the sites that I’ve found.

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