Design for Life: Shanghai’s Best Local Designers

Design for Life: Shanghai’s Best Local Designers
By Susie Gordon ,

At first glance, Shanghai isn’t a city that exudes originality when it comes to fashion (unless you’re talking about those bizarrely creative Chinglish T-shirts). A cursory glance down any street in Shanghai reveals a mix of pyjama-clad pensioners, young women in glittery, acid-washed jeans, and guys dressed head to toe in Burberry or Gucci. But even though Shanghai’s fashion scene is cluttered with luxury designer labels on one extreme and strange outfit choices on the other, there is actually a healthy local design scene that’s well and truly on the rise. Here is our pick of the ones to watch (and buy).


1) NuoMiView In Map
With five stores around town from Jinqiao to Luwan, NuoMi (meaning ‘brown rice’) is an eco-aware label run by Filipina fashion designer and philanthropist Bonita Lim. If you don’t want to compromise sustainability in your clothing choices, NuoMi is the place for you. It’s the right side of hippy (i.e. flowing cashmere and linen, not frumpy hemp), and organic materials are used in the designs. NuoMi’s gear runs on the expensive side, but it’s all so stylish, chic and environmentally friendly that it’s worth the expense.
Various locations:
Add: 196 Xinle Lu, near Donghu Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 新乐路196号,近东湖路
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00
Add: No. 12, Lane 274 Taikang Lu, near Ruijin Nan Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 泰康路274弄12号,近瑞金南路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-21:30
Add: Rm. 86, 1/F, 890 Changning Lu, near Zhongshan Park metro station on Line 3, Exit 3, Shanghai
地址 : 长宁路890号1楼86室,近中山公园地铁站
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-21:30
Add: 3186 Hongmei Lu, near Huaguang Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 虹梅路3186号,近华光路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-21:30
Add: 562 Biyun Lu, near Yunshan Lu, Shanghai
地址 :  碧云路562号,近羽山路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-21:30

2) Frau AnaView In Map
Born and educated in Hamburg, Germany, Frau Ana moved to Shanghai just over three years ago to start her own fashion label. Attracted by Shanghai’s creative energy and relentless dynamism, Ana creates bold, bright, colorful womenswear and accessories, which are stocked in several locations around town. Ana is definitely a rising star of Shanghai’s fashion scene. She held her first show at Not Me in September 2009. Frau Ana cites her inspirations as Gameboy games, comic books, cartoons and electronic music from the 1990s.

FUSION Fashion
Add: Rm. 1, 272 Julu Lu, near Maoming Nan Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 巨鹿路272弄1号,近茂名南路
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00
Add:  Be.u, 4/F, Plaza 353, 353 Nanjing Dong Lu, near Henan Zhong Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 南京东路353号,近河南中路, 地铁2号线南京东路站
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00

3) MrktView In Map
Favorite brand among the MacBook toting hipster crowd, contemporary accessory brand Mrkt was set up in 2007 and is affiliated with Shanghai architectural design firm MRT Design. Its products range from reliable but stylish laptop bags and handbags to notebooks and iPad sleeves. All products are made from sustainable materials and come in a selection of bold primary colors. Quirkier items include cigarette lighter pouches, tissue holders and flower hairclips. Their new range for the Year of the Rabbit is about to be released.

Add:  3/F, Infinity Plaza, 138 Huaihai Zhong Lu, near Pu'an Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 淮海路138号 无限度广场3楼,近普安路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-22:00

Add: 741 Julu Lu, near Fumin Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 巨鹿路741, 近富民路
Opening hours: Daily, 11:00-22:00

4) Helen Lee (李鸿雁)View In Map
Probably Shanghai’s best-known designer among those in the know, Helen Lee runs the Insh label out of her Taikang Lu boutique. She graduated from the prestigious fashion institute DHU Lasalle, and has won both the Chinese Jeanswest Fashion Award and Belgian Les Etoiles De La Mode prize. After graduation, Helen worked for several Japanese fashion lines before creating her own denim line in Tokyo. She moved back to Shanghai three years ago to start the Insh label, pushing local fashion away from a Communist aesthetic. Simple T-shirts and highly wearable accessories are some of her most popular and stylish pieces.

Add: Shop 11A, 210 Taikang Lu, near Sinan Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 泰康路210弄11A商铺, 近思南路
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-21:00

5) NioView In Map
Shanghai-born and Paris-educated, Ni Hua (a.k.a. Nio) draws on both cities for her fashion influences. During her three years of study at the prestigious Studio Bercot, Nio learned how to mix traditional Chinese style with French influences, creating an attractive and quirky “Marie-Antoinette meets Old Shanghai” line called Miss Mean. Nio showed at this year’s Shanghai Fasion Week, displaying her 2010 Spring/Summer line, Goldfish.

Miss Mean
Add: 1462 Fuxing Zhong Lu, Shanghai
地址 : 复兴中路1462号, 近宝庆路
Opening hours: Daily 11:00-20.30

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Keywords: fashion shanghai accessories shanghai local designers shanghai fashion design shanghai fashion boutiques shanghai


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