China Post #8 Tian Zi Fang Art Street

By Joe Duffy Dec 8, 2006

A day off in Shanghai and a little shopping is in order.

I first visited this little back alley area off Tai Kang Road in the Luwan district three years ago with Chris Lee who headed up Duffy Singapore at the time. Chris now runs Asylum,  an outstanding design shop with a retail shop attached selling their wares. He’s a man of style and substance who can smell the next big thing in fashion as well as design in general, from a thousand miles away. He’s also in Shanghai every month, so he definitely knows the lay of the land.

Today I called Chris in Singapore to get the directions that I had forgotten and I really wished he had been along again to do my serious negotiating in Mandarin.
Fortunately one of our translators for the One Show Workshops, Emma volunteered to be my guide and do the wheeling and dealing. Now Emma’s no slouch when it comes to style, she drives a really hard bargain with the shopkeepers and she’s a hell of a lot prettier than Chris. We made a fairly powerful shopping duo and did it the way I like to shop, accomplishing everything in about 90 minutes.

What’s really cool about these shops is that in many, you can see something you like, modify things like pockets, collar, buttons as well as fabric and lining, be perfectly measured up in ten minutes flat and then have the custom-made garments delivered to your hotel the following afternoon. Today I spent less than $500 at my favorite shop, “Feel” for a cashmere jacket, a wool suit, 2 pair of wool slacks, 3 scarves and a velvet Chinese dress for my grand daughter. All i need now is a larger suitcase.

Rather than bore you with my purchases, I thought I’d show you lovely Emma and the shop signs on Tian Zi Fang Art Street. Don’t miss this area when you come to Shanghai.

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