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.
Time Out Shanghai asked me to come up with the trends for Spring 2017 that I like and don’t like:
Here are “like”:
1. Volume will…continue to be big in Spring 2017 with the rejection of skintight jeans and super slim reaching the mainstream and even convincing men to return to pleats and more billowy styles such as slouchy trousers, that are more comfortable in hot weather anyway.
2. Rejecting the new global realities, the resurgence of activism and punk will gain steam as girls become bad girls, as seen from the Mark Jacobs show to the ample British punk references and a predominance of rippedness, mixed messages, and bondage and such.
3. Men will continue to become more dapper on the streets of Shanghai and Beijing as the multiple benefits of seeming well put together are discovered, the proliferation of local bespoke tailors achieve more and more success and the benefits of technology and social media for customization are utilized.
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.
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.
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.