Helen Lee Fumin Lu Boutique (Image: Smart Shanghai)
Over the past year, Fumin Road (富民路), a once-sleepy street in Shanghai's French Concession, has become something of a hotbed of activity for young local designers, several of whom have opened boutiques there as rents in fashion districts like Changle Road (长乐路) have skyrocketed. Much like Beijing neighborhoods like Nanluoguxiang, Baochao Hutong and Wudaoying Hutong, which have seen an influx of local designers and boutiques in recent years, Shanghai's Fumin Road is now attracting everyone from independent designers like Helen Lee to multi-brand curated shops like Dong Liang (Jing Daily interview).
This week, Fashion Trend Digest takes a look at some of the area's most promising stores and designer showrooms, suggesting that the creeping commercialism of Changle Road that chased out or dissuaded many up-and-coming local fashion designers has worked out in nearby Fumin Road's favor. After taking a peek at some of the street's more interesting boutiques, Fashion Trend Digest eventually concludes, "Changle Road is dead."
While this may be a stretch, it's clear that Fumin Road is indeed transforming into a spot that anyone interested in new local Shanghai designers has to keep his or her eye on. From the article (translation by Jing Daily team):
As Changle Road has sought to rebrand itself as "Shanghai's Harajuku," local designers have gradually been pushed out by soaring rents. And while some designers have set up shop at malls or places like Xintiandi, others have disappeared completely. A few days ago, I ran into [designer] Helen Lee, who told me that the Beijing boutique Dong Liang had just opened its new store on Fumin Road and I decided to hit the area over the weekend to take a peek.
As I got to Fumin Road, interesting stores began to appear one by one.
Madame Mao's Dowry
First was Madame Mao's Dowry (毛太设计), which had old statues of Mao inside and lots of items for sale influenced by the Mao period. I don't know where Mao's wife was supposed to be in all of this.
Helen Lee's first store on Fumin Road. (172-1 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu)
Li Liming is known for creating clothing that's more traditionally Chinese, and a bit more suitable for older women, much in the style of old Shanghai.
This three-story Western-style building is Dong Liang's new boutique on Fumin Road. It's much larger than Dong Liang's Beijing flagship, and features lots of collaborations with different Chinese designers. The store stocks hot young designers and labels like He Yan, Vega Zaishi Wang, Ranfan, Xander Zhou and Zhang Da.
Fumin Road isn't long, and at the junction of Fumin Road and Changle Road sits The Hive. Considering the energy of the area, it seems that the owner is trying to be metaphorical with this name.
The new Fumin Road fashion street sits between Julu Road and Changle Road