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When In Beijing, Check Into A Stylish Enclave

By Guan Tan

3-year-old fashion concept store Sanlipop is located in Beijing's famed shopping district Sanlitun. It's an increasingly gentrified area. Earlier this year, neighbouring old streets were forcibly taken down.
 
Sanlipop
3-year-old fashion concept store Sanlipop is located in Beijing's famed shopping district Sanlitun. It's an increasingly gentrified area. Earlier this year, neighbouring old streets were forcibly taken down.

Rates

From RMB 30 (approx. S$6) for stationery and small lifestyle items to RMB 20,000 (approx. S$4,078) for designer coats. 

Basics

Sanlipop opened in 2014 in the shopping district of Beijing, Sanlitun. "Its NYC-like clash of different cultures and locals gathering here to find something new... made Sanlitun the only place where we could open our shop in Beijing," co-founder Jolie Chen quips. Sanlipop is a slice in the rise of independent fashion 'concept' stores sprouting in mainland China in the past decade. 

Location

The store is "located in a shopping mall called Taikooli, which is a well-known landmark itself in Beijing. There are buses and [an] underground Metro stop in the neighbourhood to access the mall. But it seems [like] all the locals here use taxi apps or RMB 1 rental bicycles to get here." 

SanlipopA quiet, well-curated space in a bustling shopping district.
A quiet, well-curated space in a bustling shopping district.

Brands

You'd expect a Chinese fashion store to stock Chinese designers, but Chen begs to differ. To her, design is impartial. "We never 'looked' for Chinese brands for the sake of having them," Chen explains. She buys clothes when she sees elements of good design in them – Chinese womenswear label Shu Shu Tong for instance. 

There are many familiar Western labels stocked as well. "[The] Chinese are still in favour of big-name luxury brands such as Balenciaga, Gucci, and Givenchy – that's where we come in, and why we exist." Other brands include Finnish furniture line Artek, Swiss furniture company Vitra, Italian interiors label Fornasetti, and British brand Tom Dixon

SanlipopClockwise from top left: Vitra toolbox, black and red wall mounts, and Fornasetti candles.
Clockwise from top left: Vitra toolbox, black and red wall mounts, and Fornasetti candles.

Customers 

The majority of Chen's regulars are locals who drop in for clothes, and occasionally lifestyle items for their friends. "But we get a fair amount of tourists from other countries, as well as Chinese customers from other cities." 

Bottom Line

Chen believes that "everyday casual and luxury" should co-exist. In fact, this relationship validates the philosophy of "good design – not just in aesthetical perspectives, but also how well-designed objects improve our lives." 

Sanlipop is located at 11 Sanlitun Road, Taikoo Li North, NLG-43 in Beijing.