Local Shanghainese may be able to get away with the custom of wearing pajamas out to market, but there’s something to be said for looking sharp in China’s capital of all things cosmopolitan. To snap up dapper accessories that will double as souvenirs, make your way to the historic French Concession, whose tree-lined streets form the neighborhood of choice for expats and young, trendy locals. Practice your retail therapy and visit these shops, three of Shanghai’s newest.
Nike’s newest Shanghai outpost is housed in the space left empty by a local streetwear shop. Using thousands of recycled aluminum cans, DVDs, CDs and water bottles, Taiwanese architecture firm MINIWIZ gave the shop a complete overhaul, turning it into an achingly cool green clubhouse. Like a candy shop for sneakerheads, Nike X158’s shelves display rows of rainbow-bright trainers, including an extensive selection of the Flyknit line. Upstairs is a design studio and events space where you can ogle classic kicks.
Where to find it: 158 Xinle Road, near the intersection of Fumin and Donghu roads
Further west, deep in the French Concession, is another sneaker shop, this one doubling as a café-cum-bar-cum-workspace for those whose job is looking good. Most of the shoes sold at Among are from Unbelievable Testing Laboratory, or UT Lab, a Shanghai-based footwear label. Their Light Wing collection is well worth wearing home from Shanghai. The shoes, available in slip-on and lace-up styles, are made from Tyvek. Although they look — and can be dyed and printed — like paper, they’re water- and tear-proof. Best of all? They weigh just five ounces.
Where to find it: 36-2 Tai’an Road, near Xingguo Road
The Back Room
This charming curio shop is filled with neatly arranged trinkets, home goods and a few accessories — including a small selection for men. Among the tiny wares arranged under bell jars are dainty porcelain tea sets and delicate broaches, as well as quirkier objects such as antlers made of cast-iron. Women will find a well-curated selection of accessories to peruse, from bold vintage costume jewelry to sleek, minimalist pieces that seem to be woven from silver wire. Men can shop for bow ties and shoehorns topped with elk heads, just the thing for slipping into a pair of white bucks. At the back of the store is where you’ll find rotating pop-up shops and the occasional art exhibition.
Where to find it: 144 Fumin Road, near Julu Road
Photo Courtesy of Nike