22 Apr 2019
Shanghai’s cityscape is the stuff of science-fiction – a huddle of water-cradled megastructures, crowded with architectural wonders, from Shanghai Tower’s folded walls to the lightning rod frame of the Oriental Pearl Tower. Beneath these Goliaths you’ll find a cosmopolitan hubbub of luxury shopping and fine dining. Discover an effortless blend of East and West. Streets lined with shikumen houses, open-air markets, Michelin-starred restaurants, designer boutiques and slow-flowing waterways. Make no mistake, this is a city on the move, riding the crests of the ever-changing fashion landscape and earning its designation as the ‘Paris of the East’. The Chinese have developed a taste for all things designer and the city is home to some of the world’s best stores. This is our luxury shopping guide to Shanghai.
A silver-lettered sign ensures you’ll have no difficulty finding this luxury five-storey mall. Gorgeous and glass-wrapped, Plaza 66 is a sight to take in, with a backdrop of two adjoining skyscrapers and an all-white modern interior scaled by open escalators and overlooked by curved tiers of balconies. This is one of Shanghai’s premier shopping destinations, home to a selection of designer flagships and luxury boutiques, including Canali, Valextra, Lalique and a four-floor Louis Vuitton boutique. There’s also a modern VIC lounge, designed by Ilse Crawford, and reserved for those who spend over 1m RMB a year at Plaza 66.
When you’ve you’re satisfied with your shopping experience, there’s room to relax, stroll and enjoy your surroundings on the 6th floor rooftop. You’ll also find a good selection of restaurants offering a mixture of Asian and Western cuisines, such as Marea – a New York Italian restaurant from Michelin-starred chef Michael White (a relatively new arrival on Shanghai’s culinary scene).
More of a maze than a mall, Tianzi Fang’s renovated residential streets and alley ways have supplanted homes in the old French Concession with art galleries, craft shops, bars and cafes. The stores are much more individual, eschewing large international brands for local designers who have created a beautifully-presented jewellery, pottery, painting, Tibetan handcrafts and all manner of curiosities. You’ll also find plenty of progressive labels, like French sneaker brand, Feiyue, famous for their comfortable canvas sneakers, popularised by wheel-kicking martial artists and iconic celebrities (Miranda Kerr, Reese Witherspoon et al).
They call it the Champ Elysées of Shanghai, this is one of the city’s two major shopping streets. The stores, malls and department stores are housed in a mixture of old French architecture and shiny new palaces. All the major designer stores are found along the busy thoroughfare from Louis Vuitton through to Tiffany, as well as some of the more mass-market fashion of H&M and Zara.
Nanjing Road is Shanghai’s most popular commercial street and also one of the world’s busiest. The shopping district runs for three miles from one end to the other and is all things to all people from shiny shopping malls, to old school stores and department stores. Plaza 66 (above) is found on Nanjing Road, alongside the Shanghai Center and the 10-floored Westgate Mall, and for coffee lovers the world’s largest Starbucks.
The Bund is the fertile soil from which modern Shanghai has sprung. It stretches for 1.5km along the waterfront, beside Huangpu River. Bustling crowds flow amongst historical and colonial buildings and soaring skyscrapers – strollers, photographers, river cruisers and, of course, shoppers all arrive in droves. Newly gentrified, The Bund happily accommodates them with myriad luxury brands, from Cartier and Ermenegildo Zegna to Omega and Blancpain. A sprawl of designer boutiques and craft shops have unfurled into side streets that bloom with handcrafted clothing, hand-painted porcelain and silk décor. Discover elegant shawls of silk, cashmere and linen in Annabel Lee, or the finest in exclusive Asian haute couture at Shiatzy Chen, from the eponymous Taiwanese designer.
Jumeirah Himalayas Hotel is centrally located in Shanghai and the perfect base for a complete luxury shopping experience.