Shanghai and her Street Style
by Raul Franco
Shanghai Street Style has no rules. The street style in this city is young, controversial, and has colors, texture and the most important ingredients of all: taste. Looking around town, it is very easy to see how people every day dress to impress in this concrete jungle. Every day more young designers expose their creativity; their designs encouraging and motivating a large mass of people to give a fashion taste to this cosmopolitan city.
With more young designers like Coko wan, Nio and Helen Lee, Shanghai is swiftly cementing its status as a global fashion destination. The city is celebrating its Fashion week’s 10th anniversary this year with a success week where all the fashionistas in town had the delight to witness the latest Fashion designs.
Shanghai Street Style celebrates the rich tapestry of one of China’s most fashionable and accessible cities where day by day ordinary people can be caught wearing not-so-ordinary styles, avant-garde and chic street style. People adopt and adapt fashion. Fashion no longer resides in the hands of a few but in the provenance of many.
Color and texture, symmetrical or asymmetrical design does not matter because there are no rules in this jungle of fashion, and you can see people dressing from the fabulous 50’s through 60’, 70’s and even in the "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" style. A few years ago only some people with good style and good economic position could afford incredible designs coming from the high fashion brands around the world, and just a few could fly to different fashion capitals like Paris, London and Milan. Nowadays this is changing and thanks to the different fabric markets around town, local designers and crafty fashionistas alike have the source of their creativity at their fingertips.
The Pearl Oriental Market which is located in the neighborhood of Gubei is the most visited for local Chinese and Foreigners alike and here you find the best quality of fabric and the best tailors is town. And with more than 4 massive accessories markets in town such as Qipulo and Shanghai scientific market, lots of beautiful shoes and accessories can be found to complement any outfit.
Shanghai is big, wonderful and beautiful and is home to at least four of the best Chinese designers. Some of them are already well known in Asia.
- Helen Lee’s brand insh does much more than just Shanghai t-shirts, but the insh t-shirts and bags are one of the most recognized fashion icons in town and is number one on every fashionista's wish list.
“Shanghai is the city we grew up and live in. Why don’t we use it as a theme and make a flag fashion brand of China?”
said Lee in her latest interview for Time out Shanghai where she describe her work as an innovative and cultural fusion.
- Nio is a modern Marie Antoinette. Growing up in Shanghai and educated in Paris, Nio is the best young face of the new group of young Shanghai designers who present a nostalgic French style, a style which is very well know and one of the favourites for all Shanghainese teenagers. Nio displays her absolute love of culture in her designs.
- Jenny Ji. Like her brand name La Vie claims, Jenny Ji’s design has become more than just a fashion icon. It represents "the way", and a lifestyle pursuit for many morden Chinese women.
There is no doubt that this city is a big icon of fashion. How will we see Shanghai in a future? My guess is not far from one of the big Capitals of Fashion. I would even go as far as to say that Shanghai is the new Milan of Asia...
Raul Franco started his career in Fashion at the age of 16 while working with the fashion brand Diesel in Caracas, Venezuela. After 8 years he decided to move to Switzerland to start his studies in Hospitality at the prestigious school Le Roche. After one year, he moved to London where he studied Fashion Marketing at Saint Martins College. Raul has for the past 6 years collaborated with Fashion magazines, Designers and Fashion events all around the world. He has been the Managing Editor of a Fashion Magazine in Caracas and New York called Idem Magazine and is currently working with Elle Magazine in Czech Republic. He is based in Shanghai.