Shanghai's best shops: 20-11

The countdown to our best shops in the city


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20 Celia B


Fourth Floor, Takashimaya, 1438 Hongqiao Lu, near Yili Lu

One of our favourite Shanghai designers, Celia B opened her first store last year, taking over a small spot on the fourth floor at the Takashimaya mall in Gubei. Known for bright, eye-catching designs, clashing patterns and ethnic tribal prints, Celia B’s space is instantly recognisable from its wall of colours and patterns, packed not just with trendy womenswear but also crochet cushions (450RMB), bright laptop covers (450RMB) and funky necklaces (from 400RMB). Lively Shanghai-based designer Celia Bernardo, originally from Spain, travels the world to hunt out the best fabrics, coming up with her new creations in her Jingan showroom, and this store is an explosion of her work. See full address details

19 Uniqlo


969 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Maoming Bei Lu.

The huge Uniqlo between Nanjing Xi Lu and Wujiang Lu may have been gazumped as the Japanese fast fashion chain’s flagship store by the mammoth outlet above Shaanxi Nan Lu metro station, but the Nanjing Lu branch is still our favourite for its bright and breezy feel. Uniqlo may not be top of the list for cutting-edge designs, but the brand does offer cheap, basic clothes that work best as good building blocks for your personal look. The rainbow of styles coupled with cheap prices means it tops our list of high street chains once again. See full address details

18 Madame Mao’s Dowry

"20111207031512392_Medium"Arts & Handicrafts

207 Fumin Lu, near Julu Lu

A Shanghai staple for quality memorabilia and classy mementos, this long-running store on Fumin Lu is a good place to pick up propaganda posters, retro prints, photos and general nick-nacks. A three-metre statue of the Great Helmsman himself stands at the entrance (usually wearing an accessory from the store). But we really love this boutique for its championing of local designers and contemporary China-themed designs, such as Pinyin Press’ brilliant range of tea towels, bags and porcelain. See full address details

17 Xing Guang Photographic Equipment City


300 Luban Lu, near Xietu Lu

Xing Guang Photographic Equipment City is easily biggest and best place to buy new and used cameras in Shanghai. It stocks everything from old Seagulls (from 200RMB), and Leica M4 and M6 SLRs (10,000RMB), to brand new Fuji Instax Minis (830RMB), compacts like the Olympus XZ-1 (3,500RMB), and top of the line DSLRs. A little bargaining can lower marked prices by 10-20 percent, so don’t accept the first offer. As well as cameras, there are handy accessories available like bags, remote shutters and tripods, plus a secondhand area (Building C) selling vintage models. See full address details

16 Triple-Major

Triple MajorFashion

5 Shaoxing Lu, near Ruijin Er Lu.

This smallish space is as hip and self-aware as the goods it houses. Wares comprise a mix of indie menswear, womenswear and accessories alongside shelves of obscure or out-of-print design literature which makes up the ‘publishing’ arm of Triple-Major’s tripartite ‘independent fashion, design and publishing’ concept. The store is home to more than 20 different brands including Triple-Major’s zany in-house label, plus a host of offbeat designers. Popular for funky men’s footwear, preppy shirts and knitwear, prices start from below 100RMB for smaller accessories. The majority of goods, though, are in a higher bracket. See full address details

15 Cheers In

"20110704033508236_Medium"Specialty food

129 Daxue Lu, near Songhu Lu

Cheers In may have closed their much-loved Yongkang Lu shop, but their branch on Daxue Lu still provides a treasure trove of international beer with drinks from over 30 countries. Bottles (and some cans) fill every available space in the store and there are some serious beers here – Estrella Damm’s Inedit (55RMB/750ml), for example, a coriander, liquorice and orange peel-flavoured barley malt and wheat beer developed by El Bulli. There’s also a good price range, meaning that trying a new beer needn’t break the bank. It’s well worth checking out the website too; along with being able to arrange cold beer delivery, a new variety is added every month, and there are weekly promotions. See full address details

14 Spoiled Brat


Bldg 6, Lane 123, Yanqing Lu, near Huating Lu

Designer Steffie Wu’s tiny independent jewellery boutique is an elegantly understated space, with an attractive brand of affordable, East-meets-West cool. It’s a cosy, glass-fronted box, where jewellery nestles on tufts of artificial moss, tiny pot plants sprout from every available nook and cranny, and two candy-coloured stags’ heads, custom-designed by a Taipei-based artist friend, adorn pastel-blue walls. Every piece is handmade and one of a kind, with materials sourced from diverse locations around the world. Ranging from daywear jewellery to stand-out pieces, this is a firm favourite for our jewellery temptations. See full address details

13 WtF

"JIT_1526-1s-crop"Bikes & Outdoor gears

B101, No. 25, Lane 550 Shaanxi Nan Lu, near Shaoxing Lu

This stylish fixed gear bike shop offers a winnable formula of huge enthusiasm for their topic, friendly approachable experts in-store and reasonably-priced drinks at Jiashan Market. Like all good things, the name was created by friends over a beer, (they claim it’s short for ‘World Toward Fixies’), and this design-centric bike brand has built a reputation for good value, fully customisable fixed-gear rides. Don’t be intimidated – a simple question regarding your favourite colour is often the starting point rather than any technical jargon, and the guys here really want a bike to reflect the buyer’s personality. Customised models start from around 3,000RMB. See full address details

12 Xinlelu Boutique


414 Shaanxi Bei Lu, near Beijing Xi Lu

This sophisticated Jingan space is a sleek store and showroom of a select line of designers, both from China and abroad. Selling classic womenswear, owner Yilei Wu also runs regular events, launches and parties from the store in her quest to champion independent designers. Having studied journalism in China, fashion in the UK, worked for retail giant H&M, and run her own line from a garage in Jingan, Wu has poured all her experience into the success of the store and its online presence.

Championing brands such as Viktoria Chan, Aijek, Momocreatura, House of V, REdesigns and Alex Monroe, Wu enjoys telling the story of the designers featured on the boutique’s recently redesigned website, where you can simultaneously shop online and read interviews with many of the designers and customers. But for a face-to-face experience, we still suggest its better to get yourself down to the Shaanxi Bei Lu showroom, browse through the rails of sophisticated items, and let yourself be infected by Wu’s relentless enthusiasm for all things fashion. See full address details

11 Spin Ceramics

"20120329061822768_Medium"Home & Interiors

360 Kangding Lu, near Shaanxi Bei Lu

Spin Ceramics is lit like an art gallery and the beautiful pottery, designed and made in-house, is certainly worth being spot-lit.

A great place for gifts or unique pieces for the home, at Spin you’ll find beautiful items like miniature vases, candle holders, chopstick rests and hugely popular dim sum paper weights presented in a bamboo steamer. What began as a project to design tasteful crockery for a Japanese restaurant has rapidly evolved into the go-to place in the city for beautiful ceramics and crafts. See full address details

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