You can't buy style. But if you have enough money, you can buy a hundred pairs of Jordans and open a streetwear shop in Shanghai.
A lot has changed since our 2015 edition of this guide. In 2017, hip hop went mainstream in China and streetwear blew up right along with it. Nowadays, you can find a streetwear or sneaker shop on nearly any block in Xuhui. But most of these identical shops and their wanghong décor miss the point – streetwear is about much more than just buying expensive shirts or the latest Yeezys. So to help you navigate, these are some shops that stand out in the sea of shrink-wrapped shoes and Supreme lawnchairs.
We chose these shops because of their history, their role in the community, their curation, or their vibe. They are in alphabetical order. Retail prices are often at least 15% more than you would pay in the US. If you prefer online sneaker shopping, download the 毒 (du) app — that's the big one for resellers.
Good for: Limited edition releases that re-sell for a lot
Boston-based brand Concepts collaborates with other brands to make super-limited sneakers. That's their concept. Together with Versace, they made a pair of shoes based on Jennifer Lopez's 2000 Grammy Awards dress. One of their most famous releases is the Nike SB Lobster, which they released in Shanghai late last year and now resells for around 6,000rmb on the 毒 app. For each concept they renovate the whole front of their store on the Xintiandi walking street, which is… not super environmentally friendly.
Aside from the drops, they have a small collection of sneakers and garments to browse, though overall the shop feels more like branding for Concepts.
Good for: Coffee, sneakers, skate/music events, books and magazines to browse, some drops
Part coffee shop, part streetwear and lifestyle shop, part events space, Doe has everything from sneakers and their own clothing line to Islay-scented candles.
The space feels organic thanks to the wood, natural light, and plants, and it's great to walk in at noon on a Monday and hear some Sonic Youth instead of a trap playlist. They've got stacks of books and magazines like Grind and Highsnobiety to browse while you drink some of their coffee, which is solid.
Community is a crucial part of streetwear, and Doe has hosted events like a photo exhibition by Shanghai skaters and discussions about underground music culture by Eating Music. The clothing and shoes section here is mostly collaborations and more limited gear by brands like Aimé Leon Dore, Asics, Doe, Puma, Stussy, and of course, Nike and Adidas. They've also got their original shop in Jing'an on Tongren Lu and a store in Shenzhen. Shoe releases go down here too, and you can find more info about upcoming drops on their WeChat / Mini program – just search for Doe.
Good for: Real OG Shanghai skateboarding culture, Nike SBs, skateboards
FLY is a must-visit for any skateboarder passing through Shanghai, as they've been around since there were only a few skaters in the whole city. The story: A skater named Jeff Han who used to work for a milk company opened Shanghai's first skate shop way back in 1999. Though he never turned pro, a lot of skaters in his clique did, and you'll still find sponsored skaters hanging out here in 2019.
You can find brands like Nike SB, Vans, Adidas skateboarding, Palace, Polar Skate Co, Evisen, and more, and FLY itself has collaborated with Nike SB, Jansport, and Vans. They also stock decks, wheels, bearings, completes, and FLY's own line of boards and clothing.
The history and community makes this place really special, and their staff are really chill and down to earth. Sometimes FLY hosts events like photo exhibitions, and they serve coffee and beer.
For more on the history, definitely read this interview with the founder.
Good for: CLOT drops, brands like PLEASURES, some sneakers
Edison Chen and CLOT have been pushing streetwear culture in Shanghai for a long, long time. Their five-story multi-brand shop Juice opened on Julu Lu in 2009 and it's still worth a visit or return as the collection seems to change often. Aside from CLOT you can find brands like PLEASURES, Expert Horror, Nike Acg, and more.
This is sometimes the site of exclusive releases, and for info on those it's good to check their WeChat Mini Program – search for JUICESTORE商城. Edison Chen also started the streetwear convention Innersect in 2017 and it's easily one of the biggest in China.
Good for: Garments as well as sneakers, Yeezys, Japanese accessories, more understated and mature streetwear, DROPS
Though their Shanghai store in Fuxing SOHO just opened in late 2018, this well-respected brand started in 2007 and they've released collaborations with some of the biggest names in the game. This boutique gives equal space to sneakers and garments and overall feels more mature and understated than other shops in Shanghai. Nice staff, too.
In addition to Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Stussy, and Converse, as well as Invincible's original collaborations, you can find brands like WACKO MARIA, Paradise Tokyo, WTAPS, and SOPHNET. This place also gets huge lines for drops. A recent afternoon saw lines around the block for Converse x AMBUSH and ASICS x Chemist Creations as well as new Yeezys. For news and alerts about all that, follow their WeChat: INVINCIBLE上海.
Good for: Luxury brands, shoes
The line between luxury and streetwear gets blurry sometimes. Though Lane Crawford opened their massive department store on Huaihai Lu in 2013, the brand itself has been around since 1850. This is the place to come when you want to peep items by hundreds of luxury brands in one spot instead of running around to all the different flagship stores.
Lane Crawford stocks everything from Balenciaga and Alexander McQueen to Maison Margiela, Vetements, Adidas, Comme des Garçons and lots, lots more. There's actually a lot of shoes here, from dress shoes and heels to sneakers (sometimes you can find collaborations), as well as cosmetics, apparel, and more. Make sure to check out each floor.
Nike House of Innovation
Good for: The most impressive Nike store ever, Shanghai exclusives, your own personal Nikes that no one else has
Part museum, part shop, part lab, part preview-of-the-Matrix 12, the futuristic Nike House of Innovation aka Nike 001 is perhaps the most impressive Nike store in the world (along with Nike 000, which opened in NYC right after this one).
The 40,000+ square foot space on Nanjing Dong Lu is a wonderland where shoes move around on conveyors shaped like shoelaces, robots work tirelessly, and numbers, letters, and videos drip from the walls. For the full experience, download the Nike app and spend some time wandering around each floor.
Among this space are the Nike By You studio where you can work with designers to customize your gear; space for lectures and discussions; a basketball court; a ton of apparel - including lots of Shanghai exclusives - and a solid shoe section; and lots of retail tech working behind the scenes. Basically this place is a massive update of Niketown and Nike ID aimed at the 2020s.
Bonus: The reusable bag they give you at checkout is great for trips to the wet market.
Nike Lab X158
Good for: Exclusive Nike releases / collabs, exhibitions
If Nike 001 is the massive flagship, Nike Lab X158 is the low-key boutique. This space used to be a real OG Shanghai streetwear and sneaker shop called The Source, then became one of six Nike Labs in the world in 2014 (the others opened in NYC, Paris, London, Hong Kong, and Milan). Basically, the first floor is for exclusive Nike shoes, apparel, and collaborations, and the second floor is an exhibition space that's hosted events like a 35th anniversary retrospective of Air Force Ones.
This place stocks items you won't find anywhere else in the world, including other Nike Labs, and kids will sometimes line up overnight for the latest drop. If you're a real Nike head, this is one of two must-visit shops in Shanghai.
Eight Other Shops You Might Like:
Avenue & Son: Skater-owned brand and shop in Shanghai. They sell their own clothing and decks as well as lots of Helas gear. They've got a Taobao shop too.
FASICART: Small but well-curated shop on Jinxian Lu selling Japanese brands like PHIRE WIRE, Undercover, Shoop, pieces by local artists like Kim Laughton and Wang Newone, and fashion books and magazines. There's lots of crossover with the underground club music scene, specifically ALL in Shanghai and OIL in Shenzhen. Sometimes FASICART hosts pop-ups and events.
Galeries Lafayette: Massive French department store in Pudong with more casual / indie luxury. Lots of brands like Maison Kitsune, Maison Margiela, PHILIPP PLEIN, and Adidas x Raf Simons.
Honor23: Big two-story shop on Nanjing Xi Lu with Jordan’s (hence the name), other Nike’s, Adidas, New Balance, Puma, New Era caps, apparel and accessories, and coffee. Lots of kids line up here for new releases.
I.T: Big multi-brand boutique with tons of streetwear and luxury brands, from XLARGE to Off-White and Versace. Much younger vibe than Lane Crawford. Also serves as an incubator for smaller brands that later have their own shops. I.T is a massive company that also owns BAPE, Izzue, CHOCOOLATE, and several other brands you see in malls here.
Pawnstar: Vintage shop now on Xiangyang Lu. Good selection, especially for women.
TYAKASHA: Colorful, cartoony Shanghai-based streetwear brand. Good prices and quality. They've collaborated with brands like New Balance and Puma.
WZK: Big shop in a new mall in south Huangpu across from a beautiful park. They have one of the bigger shoe collections in the city, plus some accessories like socks and hats, though not so many garments.