A trip through Beijing’s bustling streets will reveal a fascinating meeting of the old and new. Young designers, and one-of-a-kind boutiques that have re-focused on cultivating native talents have found clandestine homes in ancient hutongs turned trendy by an influx of the hip, young, fashion crowd. The genesis of the mega center as a one-stop shop for clothing, accessories, entertainment and leisure has also dramatically changed the vibrant landscape of Beijing. With the completion of Park View Green, Shin Kong Place, and other sprawling mega malls, luxury shopping in Beijing has become as easy as stepping outside your hotel room. And while the stores and malls are as numerous as the old city’s winding, narrow roads, there are a few that far outshine the rest.
Dong Liang Studio
Charles Wang and Nan Lang translated a passion for supporting local designers who make high quality clothing into a tangible business model when they founded Dong Liang Studios in 2009. It’s no coincidence the dynamic duo set up shop in Wudaoying Hutong which is within prime real estate access to the areas funky, young ,hipster crowd, and constant tourist foot traffic. Within the boutiques inviting walls–warm color tones are a staple of the design–visitors can find a carefully selected variety of high-end, avant garde collections and limited edition pieces, all made by a collective of local Chinese designers. Currently Dong Liang stocks over 20 up-and-coming and established lines including notables such as Uma Wang, Vega Zaishi Wang, and He Yan. The likes of Xander Zhou, Manchit Au, Liu Qinyang, Leo Kong, Ling Wu, and more also grace the racks here. If you’re hoping to get a dose of off shore luxury this is not the place for you. What makes Dong Liang unique is their fierce dedication to supporting and cultivating local talent.
Address: Unit 102, 6 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie, Building 2, Central Park, Chaoyang district
Phone Number: +86 10-8404 7648
An antidote to the overcrowded, impersonal feeling of shopping in a mega mall, WUHAO boutique and art space offers a quiet, curated shopping experience that’s hard to find anywhere else. The intentionally under the radar shop is marked only by its address number, and while at one time potential shoppers were required to make appointments prior to arriving, walk-ins are now welcome. Each seasonal collection is edited by director Isabelle Pascal to reflect one of the five traditional Chinese elements. Due to its fluid nature, and the fact that it doubles as an event and creative space, Wu Hao requires a fresh visit every time you come to Beijing–trust us, it never stays the same for long.
Address: 35 Mao’er Hutong, Dongcheng district
Phone Number: + 86 1891 1355 035
Having already garnered the interest of some of the world’s most respected fashion authorities, Beijing-based Vega Wang has been called one of China’s brightest young designers. The Central Saint Martins graduate established her brand in 2008, the very same year she earned her B.A. Known for her wholly original point of view, and the slightly exaggerated yet still flattering silhouettes of her clothing, Wang’s collections are very much experiential and largely based off of her time spent in the UK and China. Her designs are currently carried in a number of high-end boutiques around Beijing; but if you’re lucky you can do better than a boutique buy. Wang recently acquired a new hutong studio space which she quickly imbued with her brand of quirk, rustic charm, and of course, the whimsical spirit that is so much a part of her designs.
Address: ＃63Yanyue Hutong,South Dongsi Street,Dongcheng District,Beijing City
Phone Number: +86 10 5900 2279
Yet another of a new breed of concept stores championing the talents of home-grown designers, Brand New China or BNC was founded by iLOOK Magazine publisher Hung Huang. The 540 square meter shop was designed to reflect the experimental spirit of the more than 70 designers it carries. Everything from the clothing and jewelry, to accessories and homeware has been curated to support the cutting edge narrative of BNC. Those looking for high-quality Chinese collections from avant-garde rising stars in all disciplines will find the thoughtful, focused, edits here refreshing. Famed Chinese architect Zang Yonghe’s clothing line is exclusively sold through BNC, as well as pieces from Emma Zhang, Guo Lisha, He Yan, Yin Ming, Tong Yung, Weiteng Fei, Liu Min, Masha Ma, Yang Du and a plethora of others.
Address: NLG-09a, Sanlitun Village North, Sanlitun Lu, Chaoyang district
Phone Number: +86 10 6416 9045
The former home of the stores founder and creative director Lin Jing, Fei Space combines the best of art, fashion, and design. The eclectic selection of clothing is punctuated by a mish-mash of reclaimed furniture, hodgepodge decorations from several eras, and the odd art installation; all sprinkled with a wonderfully childlike abandon throughout the space. In keeping with the creative theme, the fashion forward collections are obsessively edited to seamlessly meld up-and-coming local talent with international emerging and established designers. Whether you walk away with something from Antik Batik, Zhang Da, 5Preview, Front Row Shop, Alexander Wang, Stine Goya or Armani, you’re guaranteed to find a truly unique piece.
Address: Second floor, Building 1, Jiuxianqiao Lu, Area B, Chaoyang district
Phone Number: +86 10 5978 9580
Fashion first edits and a dedication to providing a truly luxe environment set Lane Crawford apart. Founded in 1850 in Hong Kong, the iconic specialty store has since expanded to the Seasons Place mall in Beijing. Featuring award-winning (literally) visual merchandising, and stunningly curated spaces which intentionally blur the boundaries of fashion, art and design, shopping here is a full-on sensory experience. For the best of brands like Robert Clergerie,Chloe, Alexander Wang, Valentino, Helmut Lang, Stella McCartney, Whistles, Charlotte Olympia, Rick Owens, Armani, St. John, Givenchy, Rag & Bone, Marchesa and many, many, more, Lane Crawford is it.
Address: Seasons Place, 2 Jinchengfang Street, Xicheng District, Beijing
Phone Number: +86 10 6622 0808
Si Tou Ai Ran Se, better knowns as S.T.A.R.S. boutique is yet another one of Beijing’s many emerging curated shopping spaces/creative areas. Featuring artwork, and an impressive Zen garden, the immaculate design and charming touch of French lifestyle inspiration only enhances the vibrancy of the many off-the-wall, avant garde collections it carries. In the short time since its opening S.T.A.R.S. has already managed to become one of the go-to shops for the fashion obsessed consumer looking for for up-and-coming names, and hard to find labels. Alexis Mabille, Jeremy Scott, Gareth Pugh,Moo, Jehee Sheen and Boy London are just a few of the names you’ll find behind the red doors of Si Tou Ai Ran Se.
In 2011 the unapologetically cutting edge luxury retailer Joyce finally opened doors in Beijing. Founded by Joyce Ma in 1971, the company’s firm commitment to discovering blossoming talents in the East and West hasn’t waned in 2013. Carefully selected edits from remarkable, up-and-coming and established talents from around the world have allowed this concept to stand the test of time. Over the course of two years, the newly minted Beijing store has already gained favor with the cities fashion elite for carrying brands such as Lanvin, Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Azzedine Alaïa, 3.1. Philip Lim, Alexandre Vauthier, Alexander Wang, Jil Sander, Maison Martin Margiela and Patrick Li-to name a few.
Address: No.1 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue, Beijing
Phone Number: +86 10 8535 1698
All-in-one entertainment is one of Beijing’s most attractive lures. The Swire Groups massive investment called Taikoo Li Sanlitun is a prime example of the concept successfully at work. Whether it’s shopping, art, entertainment or leisure, you’ll find it here. Lovers of luxury will not be disappointed either; the behemoth space houses stores like Balenciaga, Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, A.P.C., Furla, Lanvin, Isabel Marant and Versace. And the roster is only growing with Marni, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Uma Wang and Swarovski among the latest newcomers. The best part? When you’re ready to drop from shopping exhaustion you can check into the Opposite House boutique hotel for some shut eye, or treat yourself to the plethora of spa and fine dining options that are a mere hop, skip and jump away.
Address: 10/F, Zhong Yu Plaza, No. 6A Gongtibei Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing PRC 100027
Phone Number: +86 10 6417 6110
One of the first spaces to introduce the mall concept to Beijing, China World Mall offers some stiff competition to more recent encroachers. Established in 1990, the already massive space has steadily continued to expand, courting a laundry list of luxury brands from China and abroad. Here you’ll find a true one-stop shop for all of your fashion and design needs. Fendi, Celine, Prada, Bvlgari, Hermes, Gucci, Chloe, Kenzo, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Dior and more currently call China World Mall home. Fine jewelers Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier have also set up shop inside the cavernous space. Diamonds, RTW and all the accessories you could ever need; it’s quite literally all here.
Address: N0.1 Jian Guo Men Wai Avenue Beijing 10000
Telephone Number: +86 10 6505 2288
Opened April 2007, the sprawling 180,000 square meters that make up Shin Kong Place has been filled to the brim with 938 brands from around the world. It is conveniently located near two luxury hotels and three office buildings, so whether you’re in Beijing for work or play, shopping is only a quick subway trip away. Though the six floor space is a lot to cover in one day, the neatly separated floors, and color coded directories mark the luxury and international boutiques floors to help avert some of the confusion. Look forward to finding Marni, Jean Paul Gaultier, Red Valentino, Kiton, Gucci, Prada, Versace, St. Johm, Marc Jacobs, Etro, Chanel, Bottega Veneta and many more.
Address: 87 Jianguo Rd. Chaoyang, Beijing
Phone Number: +86 10 6530 5888
Also known as Park View Green, Fangcaodi is Beijing’s newest hip, mega mall space. The ambitious project puts a fresh, authentic, spin on the all too common all-in-one art, dining, shopping and leisure center. While winding your way through the multiple stories of the modern art studded, luxury oasis you’ll have access to over one hundred high-end stores. If you’re in the market for a new wrist piece iconic brands like Van Cleef & Arpels, Chopard, IWC and Wempe have you covered. The clothing obsessed will love Mulberry, Roberto Cavalli, Carlo Pazolini, Karen Millen, Stella McCartney, Tadashi Shoji, Ted Baker and COS. At Fangcaodi fashion runs right down to the skivvies with La Perla recently opening and Agent Provocateur being one of the original stores on the malls impressive roster.
Address: No.9, Dongdaqiao Road, Chaoyang Dist. Beijing
Phone Number: +86 10 5690 7000