Traditional Chinese shoes can be a tricky item to pull off. But walking into Suzhou Cobblers made me consider it. Seriously.
"Covet" is a celebration of the mass accumulation of commodities. Basically, it's just seeing purchase-worthy stuff around Shanghai and sometimes purchasing it.
Handmade traditional Chinese shoes
Store: Suzhou Cobblers
398rmb – 880rmb
Traditional Chinese shoes can be a tricky item to pull off -- hence, I've never tried it before. But walking into Suzhou Cobblers made me consider it. Seriously.
Set amongst the mammoth Cartier and Dolce & Gabbana stores near the Bund, this little hole in the wall is rather refreshing. You walk through a curtained entryway into a single room filled to the brim with traditional Chinese shoes (mostly silk), handbags, and the occasional shirt and skirt. You get the feeling you're walking into a friend's overstuffed closet, mainly because it's not much bigger than one. It doesn't take you long to look through the contents of the store, but what they do have is impressive.
The shoes are completely worked by hand, from the leather soles to the silk embroidery, in a factory in Suzhou. They have the uber traditional slip-on type alongside more modern interpretations that include Shanghai ladies' favorite accessory -- high heels. All of the shoes use incredibly bold, vivid colors that make them pop. This means that the store itself resembles a kind of candy store. A grown-up, really expensive candy store.
Shoes start at 398rmb, but those are for kids. And I mean real kids, not just Chinese women with really tiny feet. Adult styles (of which they have fourteen) range from 450rmb to 880rmb, with most falling between 480rmb and 680rmb. My favorite style is the high heeled one with the goldfish, which I imagine would go better with stripes than plaid.
The shirts, handbags, and skirts are slightly less impressive, if only because they're not quite as delicate and elfin-like as the shoes. But they use the same cherry reds and bubblegum pinks in their shirt and skirt designs as they do in their shoes, so it will certainly be easy to coordinate. All the clothing they sell tends to lean towards a bohemian look. I see this as a welcome change in light of the high fashion monstrosities that abound in this area.
Anyways, custom traditional shoes and silk slippers... great for a very 'thought-out' gift.