By now you've no doubt heard that Shanghai is the place to go for custom-made, well, everything. While you're not going to get the cheapest price possible on these types of things (I recommend going to Vietnam for that), you will snag some great deals on everything from custom-made coats to sunglasses to lamps – yes, lamps. So let your creative juices flow and spend the day (week? month?) customizing items that are uniquely you. Below are some ideas to help get you started.
A rapidly growing trend in Shanghai is to wear custom-made shoes. While you can certainly find cheaper versions at your local fake market or Big Toe shoe store, the idea behind these shoes is that you pay a bit more for better quality – although that can vary as well. Overall, look to pay between 600 RMB (for rubber soles) and 700 RMB (for leather soles) for ordinary dress shoes. Women looking for a pair of knee high boots will most likely pay 1,000 RMB or above. Again, it all depends on the quality of the material you choose and the skill of the shoemaker. I recommend finding the shoes or boots you want in a catalogue and bringing in a picture. You can then further tweak the design and have brand new custom-made shoes in two to three weeks!
Mr Billy's Handmade ShoesView In Map
Add: 1238 Changle Lu, near Huashan Lu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 0216248 4881
Opening hours: Daily, 10:30-20:00
Benzhou Handmade ShoesView In Map
Add: Rm 110, 90 Nanyang Lu, near Xikang Lu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 0215213 5770
Opening hours: 9:30-22:00
For a truly unique conversation starter, stop by Paper Art Life to check out their funky collection of paper-based lamps. The designs they have in-store are already pretty wild (like the white mummy figure encased in a black floral-patterned coffin) but if you're feeling that itch to go a bit further, or simply want to have a hand in the design process, you can make your very own. The shapes of the lamps are fixed, but once you choose your shape, you can go nuts with its cut -out shapes, fabric and colour. Expect your unique creation to take about twenty days to process, as the store must manufacture your order in their Guangdong factory.
Paper Art LifeView In Map
Add: 849 JuluLu, near FuminLu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 138 1886 5907
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-18:00
3) Bloody Mary's
Shopping can be a tiring ordeal, which is why you should head to KABB for their weekend brunch and (in)famous do-it-yourself Bloody Mary. For 70 RMB, you get a glass full of vodka and tomato juice (and a celery stalk, of course!), along with a multitude of shot glasses filled with Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, and all the other fixings for a proper Bloody Mary. From there you simply mix and match until your heart's content. There's something to be said about making your own hair of the dog concoction – although mine rarely turn out the same two times in a row!
KABBView In Map
Add: XintiandiBeili, 181 Taicang Lu, near Madang Lu, Luwan District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 3307 0798
Opening hours: Sun-Thurs, 07:00-01:00; Fri-Sat, 07:00-02:00
The number one thing to get custom made here is clothes. Men's dress shirts, slacks, dresses, business suits, coats, you name it – they can make it. Prices vary from booth to booth, but it really all comes down to how well you can negotiate and how much time you want to spend doing so. Finding a "regular" will help, although from year to year prices tend to go up a bit, even from someone you've been working with for a long time. Really the only thing I wouldn't recommend getting done is jeans – the "jean" material is flimsy and, not even close to the quality and texture you get from a store-bought pair.
South Bund Fabric Market南外滩轻纺面料市场View In Map
Add: 399 Lujiabang Lu, near NancangJie, Huangpu District, Shanghai
Opening hours: Daily, 9:00-18:00
Tony the TailorView In Map
Add: 684 Changle Lu, near Fumin Lu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 0215403 6138
Opening hours: Mon-Sat,11:00-20:00; Sun, 11:00-19:00
Cheap sunglasses abound in this city – every fake market that's worth its salt has about a dozen shops selling everything from "Gucci" to "Ray Bans." But if you've decided that what you need is originality over a cheap price, try Baodao Optical Shop, across from the Shanghai North Railway Station. You'll pay about four times as much for a pair (around 70 RMB) than you would at the fake market, but you may very well decide that it's worth it to be able to choose your own frames, lens colour and tint.
Baodao Optical ShopView In Map
Add: 2F, 228 Moling Lu, near Tianmu Xi Lu, Zhabei District, Shanghai
Opening hours: Daily, 10:00-18:00
If you're in the mood to make a statement, look no further than Shanghai's custom-made jewellery shops. Drop by Silvermaker to choose your own gem and setting to create a unique combination. Or, if you're really interested in the technical and artistic specifics of jewellery making, sign up for Yves Lemay's workshops, where you'll learn about general jewellery design, stone characteristics and quality, and be able to make your very own piece.
SilvermakerView In Map
Add: Shop 5, 2F, Metro Line 3, Zhongshan Gongyuan Station, near Zhongshan Park, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6216 7084
Opening hours: 08:00-22:00
Yves Lemay JewelryView In Map
Address: 888 Xinzha Lu, near Shimen Er Lu, Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 137 7443 6146
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Keywords: Custom-made sunglasses Shanghai custom-made lamp Shanghai Custom-made jewellery Shanghai custom-made clothes Shanghai
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