A graduate of the Suzhou Institute of Silk Textile Technology, Changchun-born Ma Ke held
her debut fashion show in 1995, before launching her ready-to-wear women’s collection
(Exception de Mixmind) in 1996. This respected Guangzhou-based chain uses high-quality
knitwear, funky linens, and soft cottons to create edgy clothing that’s functional, minimalist
and statement-making. Definitely a place to check out if you’re looking to support innovative
other two locations:
3.3 Fashion Mall
If it weren’t for the overpricing and snobbish attitude of the shop assistants, this six-story mall
would be the best place in Beijing to browse the city’s quirkiest fashion boutiques. 3.3’s still
worth a visit, however, as its 300-plus stores are crammed with local and imported goods and
increasing numbers of local designers are beginning to set up shop within.
Jimmy & Tommy Foreign Trade Fashion Club
If clothes shopping has been a frustrating experience with the bargaining too hard and the
clothes too small, the rows and rows of casual fashions in Western sizes at Jimmy&Timmy may
be a balm to your soul. For once, men have it better than women and menswear dominates.
Tightly packed rails filled with Ralph Lauren shires, Abercrombie and Fitch sweaters and gap
chinos are bargain priced-around 70 RMB for a shirt- and absolutely no bargaining is
accepted. It’s also good for men’s shoes.
Tucked in behind Salitun’s busy bar street, this short strip of stores offers an intimate
shopping experience. Thoush it’s more expensive, the selections are more distinctive and the
salesgirls less cloying and annoying than those found
at Xiushui and Yaxiu market. Carrying modern designers like Philip Lim and Marni.
For funky T-shirts and gifts, Noise, run by a Singaporean and Chinese combo, is a must-visit.
The arty T-shirts bearing funky designs or sly slogans cost 250RMB and cotton retro-style
bags made from recycled material are under 200RMB.
The recent gentrification of Nanluoguxiang Hutong is due in part to the planned razing of
older developments, and in part to the entrepreneurial spirit of bar and restaurant owners,
who advertise free Wi-Fi and cheap Tsingtao beer. Directly across from the Downtown
Backpackers Hostel, two British lads have raised the ante for T-shirt shopping. Shop here for
T-shirts with Chinese slogans, pictures of Gong Bao Ji Ding — the foreign-friendly dish of
chicken, peppers, and peanuts — or opt for one that captures those nostalgic days of Old
Peking. It’s on the expensive side, but fun for the kitsch.
Ask anyone in the know which local designer the rich and famous go to and they’ll tell you Gu
Lin. Her modest boutique at the top of the Sanlitun Bar Strret houses a small collection of
trademark silk embroidered gowns, Tibetan-inspired qipaos, jackets, tops and dresses and is
the perfect place to find modern clothing with beautiful Chinese finishing touches.
Ritan Office Building
Don’t let the gray-brick and red-trim exterior fool you: Ritan Office Building is a newly
discovered shopping paradise and very popular among Beijing locals looking for latest
fashions. More than 70 shops stocking high-quality womens’ clothing, footwear, and
accessories. Name brands include Ann Taylor, BCBG, DKNY, and Eileen Fisher.
Shanghai Tang is the only Chinese luxury brand: the apogee of the Chinese Art of Living and
Chinese Creativity. The name Shanghai Tang was derived from the Chinese translation of the
famous embankment in Shanghai known as “The Bund.” Launched in 1994. This Hong Kong
based international retailer is the ambassador for modern Chinese Style. Their clothes
feature luxurious knits and silks worked into innovative Chinese designs.
Other Shanghai Tang locations in Beijing
2)Beijing Capital International Airport
Address: International Departure Lounge, Boarding Gate No 12
3)Beijing Capital International Airport
Though Tongli Studio is overhyped, this cluster of internationally owned boutiques, cafes, and
rooftop bars are worth a gander if you’re already cruising Sanlitun. Feng Ling Fashion
displays sexy thigh-high embroidered silk boots and punky qipaos emblazoned with red stars
(Feng Ling also has a boutique at 798 Art District, Tianzi). At Things of the Jing,
Londeoner Gabrielle Harris alchemizes silver with images of feudal-ear Chinese women to
create funky-elegant earrrings and pendants.
If you’re in the market for designer labels, try one of China’s handful of international
successes and the most wearable. The Cantonese-born designer does not have the fame
she deserves, so that means you won’t see her clothes on all your friends. While colors are
muted, the chinoiserie designs, including kitschy Chinese prints on luxury fabrics as well as
more sedate and grown-up cashmere evening dresses with cutouts similar to the style you
see on Ming dynasty furniture, are lovely if expensive, but the clothes are beautifully made.
Conveniently located near the city’s embassy district, this chaoyang tailor is popular with
those in the diplomatic community, the barebones setup is easy to overlook given the shop’s
reputation for fitting.
Wu Ba’s mixture of homegrown floaty fashions are Western-designer factory sample make it a
prime destination for Beijing’s fashionistas looking for something stylish on a budget.