‘Cause a girl’s gotta shop. Beijing’s clothing markets, the Dongliang showrooms, Hong Kong’s Green Ladies, random vintage markets, good ole H&M; all have their individual flow of followers who regularly pass by to stock up on ensembles. Taken together, one can do some serious China shopping. Do the followings just reach for that trusted Zara sweater or do they sometimes unleash their inner agent provocateur in search of that new China fashion scene? The question remains… The New “Made In China”: Myth or Mode?
Casually roaming the streets of your favorite city, spotting that paradisiac secondhand yet-to-be-taken-in 70s summer dress… Oooh, be still, my beating heart!
Certain people will get some kind of high from addictive behavior such as shopping, meaning that endorphins and dopamine, your brain’s natural opiate receptor sites, get switched on (Google’s my BFF). Yes, surely certain people are bona fide shopaholics. The term “shopaholic” first appeared in fine print in 1983 and to this day remains a playful way to suggest somebody is a, mmm, shall we say “devotee” to the activity of shopping. Others may very well consider it their cardio (enter: my hit TV-show rip-off). Be that as it may, it’s fun. Full stop. Casually roaming the streets of your favorite city, spotting that paradisiac secondhand yet-to-be-taken-in 70s summer dress, throw in a drop of latte and… Oooh, be still, my beating heart! (Please let the record show that I am a devotee, not an addict. And with my bank balance, window shopping is Queen.) Moving on, then.
To China. With Chinese consumers traveling to Seoul and Tokyo to get their brand fashion fix, all the while resuscitating another nation’s flatlining consumer spending in a very generous act of mode mercy, China’s luxury (and average Western brands) market dwindles. China’s young and restless wealthy venturing out into designer athleisure wear territory only adds fuel to the “fashion-fail” fire. With the nation’s flow of new designers coming into view, there must be more to fashion shopping than mere labels and leggings. Where do we shop that new “Made in China” swift ‘n savvy style; aside from your designer studio, that is. In sways Shanghai-based multibrand store The Covetry.
Inspired by creating a hub where design philosophies can be shared and trends are born, three designers huddled together and decided to unite and realize their unique dream: The Covetry was born.
The Covetry was founded by three designers — Rinnie, Joanna and Zac — as a place to share a mutual passion for fashion, art and travel. Inspired by creating a hub where design philosophies can be shared and trends are sprouting, the three decided to unite and realize their unique dream. Offering up a curated mix of original, exclusive and trendy creations of emerging and established designers from around the world, The Covetry caters to the fashion-savvy, style-conscious, internationally-minded consumer who appreciates the art of being original. The store also aims to supply promising talents with a platform that allows for them to develop and showcase their body of work, as well as receive that essential support in the commercialization of their brand on an industry-wide scale.
“The point is that each of our indie and emerging designers takes pride in their creations and works. Every piece is meant to transcend in terms of season and time.” Founding Mother Rinnie.
Many designers The Covetry works with are very creative and careful in their material selections. Madame Pure by Elena Loesch, for example, has created a range of pieces made from Bamboo fibers. OBA Asia showcases a collection of singlets, dresses and outerwear produced from vegetable-dyed silk and organza. Shokay, known for their emblematic yak (“shokay” is Tibetan for “yak”) yarn, features a full range of summer and winter knitwear and hand-woven collections. Mozaik, Rinnie’s line of luxurious, affordable handbags and clutches, launched its Nina Woven Pandan Leaves collections for which every single satchel was hand-dyed and handcrafted by a women cooperative organization. The Covetry cusp is that each of its featured indie and emerging designers takes pride in their creations and works. Every piece is meant to transcend in terms of season and time. There is no fast fashion to be found, just a resonance to being socially and ecologically sustainable.
Once a myth, three times a mode. The new “Made in China” has never been a myth, but always a mode. The Chinese fashion creative hub has become highly skillful thanks to the last few decades of development. “Made in China” is now getting on par with its counterparts in the West. On that note, The Covetry founder Rinnie dishes the very necessary deets on some of her personal picks. One worth to remember is Arete Studio. The womenswear brand employs high-quality fabrics, top-notch talent and five-star machinery, with all lines are produced in Shanghai because of its local sowing talent. Aside from Arete, Rinnie has been a long-time devotee of Helen Lee, adding: “I think the cool thing about Helen Lee is always about how bold and different her collections are. She designs her own fabric, which you won’t find elsewhere. She is consistent in her approach and quality.” As is The Covetry, where we can get our fashion filthy paws on those socio- and eco-sustainable silky drawers.
As we watchfully walk that fine line between customary client and full-blown fashion addict, I leave you with a few words of TV wisdom: Whoever said money didn’t buy happiness, simply didn’t know where to shop.
Visit The Covetry at: 242 Nan Chang Lu, near Rui Jin Er Lu