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.
Stylites has documented Chinese street style, from the Beijing hutongs to Shanghai Fashion Week. Now I’m fusing the Chinese street fashion of Stylites, what has been one of the most popular Chinese fashion blogs, with Pawnstar, my online platform and secondhand shop in the French Concession of Shanghai that features vintage, designer consignment and unique upcycling.
The most interesting part about Pawnstar is the customers. They live throughout China and are pioneers, since until recently only the poor wore secondhand fashion. It was even called dead people’s clothing.
China will soon be the largest consumer market in the world. Hopefully, Pawnstar will encourage more people in China to re-use and recycle fashion items.
Here is an article I wrote for Cobo Social on “GET A LIFE!” with Vivienne Westwood that will run from December 20, 2016 to February 28, 2017 at Shanghai’s K11 Art Mall, the brainchild of Adrien Cheng. The exhibit pulls together a great body of Westwood’s activism related output and links it with works by Chinese artists curated by Song Zhenxi of the K11 Art Foundation.
As you will see if you read my article, the overwhelming focus of this is on climate change, a topic quite relevant in a city like Shanghai that sits close to the sea and at a very low elevation.
Another perspective by Jing Zhang of the South China Morning Post, Jessica Rapp from the Jing Daily, and some basic info on Adrien Cheng at the Art Newspaper.
The Pawnstar wechat QR Code in a special place.
Come to Pawnstar for Duval Leroy champagne to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Year of the Cock is upon us. Yes, we realize that you are probably not actually in town but some people are and for them this could be quite fun. It says in the above flier that you need to bring a group but I think we can probably bend the rules if you spend 3000 yourself. In any case, we hope to see you for a few flutes of Duval Leroy champagne at the Clement Apartments.
China’s leading secondhand and consignment shop, Shanghai-based Pawnstar, focused mostly on contemporary fashion, but upcycling is one of the more unique things that this platform offers. Locally-based independent designer Shen Tian, whose English name is Nisa, works exclusively for Pawnstar on upcycling, often right on the second floor of the Clement Apartments.
This post contains some images of some of recent items created by Nisa. All of these items are completely one-of-a-kind. Above is a fascinator made from a combination of a necktie and other items.
These are earrings using feathers.
An interview with me focusing on Stylites at elitesem.com as part of their expert interview series. Elitesem is a marketing company with HR practices that seem very attractive, including flex-time and salary transparency. This article from entrepreneur.com has some interesting elite SEM This company is ranked No. 1 in our large-company category on our Top Company Cultures list.
This focuses mostly on Stylites as a Chinese street fashion blog and my endeavors as a consultant and doesn’t really touch on my latest ventures related to shopping in Shanghai and eco fashion.
The top Shanghai vintage and secondhand shop, Pawnstar, just came out with some new fliers:
Our message to Chinese customers is that people have way too much stuff, so there is no reason to buy something brand new especially when you consider the environmental impact of the fashion industry. Instead of paying retail every time or just wearing something that is overly recognizable since it is from the latest season, women (and men) should consider shopping on consignment. At the moment, we are more-or-less the major option that is available as the Shanghai vintage and secondhand store par excellence.
We want people to give up that urge – that pressure – to always be seen in the latest trend and start incorporating vintage accessories with designer pieces that may be a season or two old. Hey, for people who really will only wear the latest trend and wear it just once, please just bring those items to us!
Above, Fashion Blogger Yanie Durocher wears an item she found at Pawnstar’s shop in the Clement Apartments, the heart of Shanghai’s French Concession.
The ever-style Yanie Durocher’s shoot and interview with Marie Claire Italia (in Italian) that happened on her last trip to Milan. See the companion piece on her blog, The Marginalist, here, Yanie as Fashionista in the Shanghai edition of City Weekend, an interview on That’s Shanghai, her PR Agency, and here is the piece that she wrote on fashionstatement.asia.