FOR the locals it is “The Street of Style for Women.” But Hangzhou’s Wulin Road offers more than style and class. Fei Lai goes window shopping.
Wulin Road in Hangzhou is what Changle Road is to Shanghai and what Xiushui Street is to Beijing. It is a constantly changing wardrobe for the women of Hangzhou.
Clothes, clothes and more clothes lure and attract, encouraging shoppers to linger and perhaps look over yet another rack of new fashion.
This famous shopping strip boasts hundreds of shops offering every size and style for the smart set.
You can find the latest modern, elegant and individualistic designs from Hangzhou, Shanghai, Guangdong, Taiwan and overseas. As well clothing, accessories such as jewels, bags, necklaces and hats are available.
For the locals it is “The Street of Style for Women.”
The stores are not large, most covering a few dozen square meters. However, they can react quickly to the demands of the market and each has its own style.
It is a road that focuses on the charm of individualism. Some of the stores belong to designers who showcase their own brands and styles. Some of these small designers have a fine grasp of beauty and fashion and present their clothes with their own unique styles.
Opened in 2002, Wulin Road runs 1,680 meters. It lies between Jiaochang Road on the south and Tiyuchang Road on the north, with crossroads including Fengqi, Shihuqiao and Longyou roads.
The area is one of the major leisure and shopping spots in downtown Hangzhou.
At present the road boasts more than 1,000 shops and spreads over more than 500,000 square meters. In 2007 sales for the area reached 2.9 billion yuan (US$424.76 million).
It won the title as “The No. 1 Street of Fashion in China” in 2008.
Originally, Wulin Road was not a well-known street even for local people. The Hangzhou government’s resolution to build a top commercial development gave the road a chance to ride the wave of the fashion craze.
With the opening of nearby shopping centers such as the Hangzhou Tower, Intime and Hangzhou Department Store, the road became a place for new entrepreneurs to open small shops selling women’s fashions.
In the mid-1990s, local fashion designers and retailers began opening small shops along the road, making the venue a guide to fashion to some extent.
In the late 1990s, famous Hangzhou brands such as Langmanyishen, JNBY (Jiangnanbuyi) and Hopeshow made up 20 percent of the shops on the road. They have laid a solid foundation for the future development of the road.
Nowadays, the road reflects the rise of Hangzhou’s fashion industry. Wulin Road is highlighted by many well-known boutiques and the labels of local designers.
A trip to Hangzhou without shopping at the road is considered incomplete. The place attracts and entices visitors with modern designs. And with so many voguish fashion stores, Wulin Road has become the main shop window for Hangzhou’s fashion scene.
It is also a place for entertainment. International fashion competitions, hip-hop dancing, hairstyling and lingerie shows help lead people into the world of fashion.
As Hangzhou government promotes its ambition to make the city a fashion capital, business owners here are joining together to make the street more tourist friendly and expand the shopping and leisure possibilities.
With the introduction of famous brands from home and abroad as well as an influx of private investment, Wulin Road is the bright future for Hangzhou fashion.
Source: Shanghai Daily