Why buy off the peg in Shanghai when you can commission a unique, customised wardrobe? Here’s your guide to the best tailors, ateliers and showrooms in the city
Its important to stand out from the crowd and nowhere more so than in one of the worlds most populous cities. Shanghai is brimming with options to personalise your look, often at a fraction of the cost of customised services elsewhere. Beautiful bespoke buys range from suits and cheongsams stitched by Shanghai's legendary tailors, to funky footwear and accessories infused with Chinese motifs.
Tailoring at WW Chan & Sons
First stop for many travellers is the South Bund Fabric Market (399 Lujiabang Road), offering three floors of fabrics and tailors ready to whip up a wardrobe in mere days. Prices depend on your chosen materials, design and, most importantly, bargaining skills (always start low!) for a simple suit or cashmere coat.
A cut above, WW Chan & Sons Tailor on Maoming Road (Shanghai's mini Savile Row) has a lineage that dates back to the 1940s. This is a classic choice for bespoke suits, shirts and tuxedos using imported Italian and British fabrics, and they will keep your paper pattern on file for future orders.
A design for a Peony Rice fascinator
ROJO Clothing helps you suit up in made-to-measure tailored outfits that will be completed within seven days. Suits are affordably priced, and ROJO will even come to your hotel or office for fittings. In accordance with its hipster clientele, they offer everything from hand-embroidered initials to jaunty stitching.
Ladies looking for some wardrobe whimsy should make a private appointment at the Peony Rice showroom tucked away on quaint Jiashan Road. The ethical brand creates ethereal cocktail dresses, sleek cheongsams and bridal gowns often featuring stunning French lace or sequins. Ready-to-wear, made-to-measure and bespoke options are available, styled with gorgeous Art Deco-style hair accessories and fascinators.
Shoes by Charles Philip Shanghai
SPECIALLY MADE SHOES
Jack Peng has been crafting made-to-order leather shoes in Shanghai for over a decade. Be fitted for handmade Oxfords, dress boots and other classic styles in Italian and French leathers (allow 10 days or a month for bespoke). The helpful staff speak English and completed orders can be shipped worldwide.
Trendy local brand Charles Philip Shanghai creates fun, custom-fit footwear at its atelier in the former French Concession district. From floral-pattern slippers to tassel loafers and colourful moccasins, there are plenty of fashion-led styles to choose from, or you can design your own bespoke pair from their selection of bold materials, even cobra calf-hair.
Ring making in the studio of AWU
Angie Wu grew up in Taipei, Buenos Aires and Montreal, and chose Shanghai as a suitably eclectic base for her fine jewellery brand, AWU Studio. Inspired by nature, architecture and the modern nomad, the contemporary sterling-silver designs are handcrafted in her lane house atelier and look striking yet warmly sentimental. All of her pieces are limited edition and can be custom-modified by size or design. She also creates personal wedding rings.
Kava Kava Home is a local go-to for Chinese furnishings with a functional modern twist. From altar tables to medicine chests and Ming-style TV cabinets, the pieces are coloured in vibrant, classic shades like cherry red and mint green. The custom-made service enables clients to choose their own hand-mixed colours, dimensions and trimmings. Global shipping is also offered.
All of the above locations are within an easy drive from Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai. After a day of Shanghai shopping, return to your riverside sanctuary and celebrate your one-of-a-kind purchases with a favourite cocktail custom-mixed, of course, at the hotels contemporary Qi Bar.