(Text by Reporter Xing Beilin/Photograph by Yu Ruwen) In September this year, the Professional Time-honored Brand Street of Shaanxi North Road was completely upgraded and transformed, and a group of fashion brands that was once popular and famous in Shanghai are gathered together to re-polish the gold-lettered signboards of "Shanghai-style culture" and "Intangible Cultural Heritage Technique". On December 12, 2018, the "Double 12 shopping carnival" day, the "Custom Festival" full of sense of experience was launched in Professional Time-honored Brand Street of Shaanxi North Road. LongFeng Cheongsam, Hongxiang Women's Wear, HUMSUIT, No.1 Siberian Furs, Dameihua Cloth Shoes and other brands have launched experiential activities, such as on-the-spot display of their unique techniques, the consumers' experience of intangible cultural heritage production techniques, holding clothing appreciation salon and the mix-and-match show of national apparel and fashion trends, on-site guidance on dress fitting by senior designers, launching the latest customized styles for "Double 12" and derivatives, to attract consumers to offline physical stores. They can experience the Shanghai cultural atmosphere and craftsmanship that cannot be felt online while evincing nostalgia.
The Professional Time-honored Brand Street of Shaanxi North Road was once again popular on the day of "Custom Festival". The consumers who have registered online in advance entered into the offline physical stores to interact with each other, have DIYs, and experience the enduring and classic charm of time-honored brands. In the store of LongFeng Cheongsam, the only owner of state-level intangible cultural heritage in the cheongsam industry, the skillful master of LongFeng was teaching the experiencers to make the latest frog pendants and bookmark designed and developed by LongFeng. As the "finishing touch" of the Chinese traditional cheongsam, the frog has become an iconic cultural symbol. The reporter saw at the scene that in addition to the innovation of frog design, LongFeng also introduced derivative products, "Shen · Li" frog coaster set, for the first time this year, adding more artistic interest to the Shanghai lifestyle.
HUMSUIT, founded in 1929, is also a national intangible heritage project and focusing on the theme of "Chinese tunic suit can be stylish". It will use the classic "techniques of Hum Fengbang tailors" to design and produce Chinese tunic suit, young men's coat and other national clothing, which were displayed with stylish kerchief, gold button, sport trousers and other fashion items, making traditional techniques and fashion trends collide with new vitality. At the same time, a highly customized "Appreciation Salon" was being held in the century-old store of "Hongxiang Women's Wear". The participants freely chatted with senior designers about the changes of Shanghai-style fashion, the design concept and matching skills of the latest products of "Hongxiang Women's Wear", while enjoying the healthcare series of scented tea and herbal paste made by "Leiyunshang", a famous brand of Shanghai style. Thus, you can experience both fashion and healthcare.
On the scene, the consultation of "leather and fur maintenance" was conducted in the No.1 Siberian Furs store; a senior technician from Kaikai Shirts showed and taught weaving and mending techniques; a "dinosaur craftsman" from Dameihua Cloth Shoes demonstrated the technique of intangible cultural heritage of cloth shoes that only can be passed from a master to a single disciple. During the "Custom Festival", the intensive salon, production and experience activities not only showed the cultural connotation and production techniques of a group of time-honored brands that have been sticking to for decades or even centuries, but also attracted more young consumers and won their attention and recognition.
In addition to developing in national fashion industry, the time-honored brands were also active in the food and healthcare sectors. Leiyunshang stores provided interactive activities such as the inquiry of professional pharmacists, on-site production and explanation of donkey-hide gelatin and constitution identification with black technology. Xinzhenjiang introduced a customizable "crab banquet" package, while the "Sixth Grain and Oil" store had a cooking display of coarse cereal porridge for healthcare.
The Professional Time-honored Brand Street is not only a good place for consumers to shop, but also an unmissable scenic spot full of elegant Shanghai style. In order to attract more consumers to offline experience, Kaikai Group also launched a "Street View Photography Contest" on its WeChat platform to further promote the charm of the time-honored stores as Shanghai brands.
The reporter learned from Kaikai Group that in the three months since the upgrading and transformation of Professional Time-honored Brand Street of Shaanxi North Road have been completed, the total monthly revenue of the street has increased by more than 60% on year-on-year basis, and among more than a dozen single stores, most have increased by 70%-90% on year-on-year basis; some brands have sold as much in just three months as they did in the first nine months of last year. The head of Kaikai Group said that the upgrading and transformation of Professional Time-honored Brand Street of Shaanxi North Road was aimed at creating a center of cultural display, customized experience, technical practice, new product release and marketing experience of time-honored brands. This "Double 12 Custom Festival" highlighted "customization + experience" to give consumers a special experience of "seeing is believing" and personal participation. In the future, it will also try more forms of activities to attract more consumers for the offline physical stores and enhance their attraction, helping time-honored brands to continue to interpret and inherit the unique craftsmanship and the cultural connotation of Shanghai.