Beijing is huge. Ginmormous. Everything here is wide and big…monsterous. I really love it. It feels a lot like Berlin to me. Very grey and kind of quiet, but creativity buzzing everywhere. You can feel it about to burst. In fact, I felt like it had a lot more culture going on than in Shanghai…especially in streetwear culture.
Here are some shots from the city. It’s hard to capture the enormity of everything in photos. But, trust me, you feel like an insignificant pea in front of these places.
Tiananmen Square. This places means a lot to me because it was the basis for one of my first t-shirt designs back in 1996. The concept of a student led revolution was very inspiring to me at the time…and it still is today.
The food in Beijing lived up to its reputation for being…um…interesting.
KFC in China is bigger than McDonald’s. Unbelieveable but true. The secret? The chicken making process in Western countries involves chemically frozen chickens as we all know so well. In China, that process is more expensive than just hiring the labor force required to kill fresh chickens and prepare them. Hence, you get better tasting chicken than you would in the States. WAY better.
Beijing is the land of bootlegs. That is no secret. But I was suprised at the sophistication of what they bootleg. I think its really interesting that these bootleggers are more on top of the fashion and trends than most magazine editors. Case in point:
Air Jordan belt buckle. Clot tee with some bootie ass Staple logo on the back. Air Force 1 with Bob Marley and dollar bills all over print! Scott (Ten Deep)! You’re huge in China!
But some spots were really trying to do their best…repping the culture.
Yaxin is a 16 year old sneaker shop completely dedicated to Nike Basketball and Air Jordan. The store merchandising and the collection he has is amazing because he is NOT a Nike account. Its really just a devout representation of his passion for sneakers.
On the first night i arrived, I went to the Vivienne Tam fashion show sponsored by VW. I respect Ms. Tam for her success and positive representation of Asians in fashion. Props to this mackin lady. She is much too humble considering everything she has done.
(l-r) Shake Magazine and Size Magazine (one of the few sports and sneaker culture mags in China) founder, Cheng Yang. Carol and Joe from Nike China…great dinner at Green T. House. Holly and Ros from NYC. Just happened to run into them coincidentally at a Peking Duck restaurant. The chances of that are like running into someone while sailing in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And Li Chen, a VJ from Channel V (the MTV of China) and his friend, MC Yang Fan. Thanks for the good times at Club Mix.
And finally back home. China was amazing, but its good to be back in NYC.