Exception de Mixmind
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 Chinese design.
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.
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.
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 teh 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 (Ritan Shangwu Luo)
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 locations in Beijing
Beijing Capital International Airport
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.
This Hong Kong-born New York designer’s first Beijing boutique opened in the China World Mall
in 2006 -something of a surprise given that Tam made the Mao jacket fashionable and
presented her 2002 collection on the Great Wall. The shop features silk dresses, chiffon tops,
comfortable trousers and dozens of other versatile creations to suit all ages.