Monday, November 28, 2011

Porsche Is Planning A $560 Million Luxury Apartment Tower With Elevators That Carry Drivers AND Their Cars

 High rise condos in South Florida have been the epitome of exclusivity and luxury for years.

But now, one complex is aiming to take that to a whole new level.
According to the Miami Herald, the recently approved 57-story Porsche Design Tower will feature glass elevators that whisk residents and their cars straight to their front door. It will cost an estimated $560 million to build.
It sounds simple enough: pull in, turn off the car, and a robotic arm will lift the car, put it on an elevator, and automatically take it to the front door of the unit, no valet required.
The condos are expected to be between 3,800 to 9,500 square feet in size with prices up to $9 million. Larger units will receive four parking spaces while the smaller ones will have room for just two luxury cars.
These condos are also being designed with large windows in the living room to allow the gearhead residents to keep a doting eye on their prized possessions.
In order to keep it unique, there are plans to only have one of these buildings in South Florida, but there are plans to expand around the world. Parking attendants in the Miami area can breathe a sigh of relief.

Read more:

Friday, November 25, 2011

Kane, the local ladyfish, fried-up and served at Fresh Catch -- a less well-known, but excellent home-style seafood restaurant in Mahim, Mumbai.
Thanks to its large multi-ethnic population and location on the Arabian Sea,  Mumbai is blessed with an abundance of choice when it comes to seafood.
The list below reflects the best coastal Indian cuisine from Malvan to Bengal, and the Mumbai restaurants that do a fine job of keeping their food tasting authentic.
Some of these eating places are so small and so good they don't have, or even need, a website.

Konkan Café: Best fine-dine option

Chef Ananda Solomon's sophisticated kitchen at Konkan Café.
Designed to recreate a seaside bungalow on the palm-fringed Malabar coast, the warm, muted colors are welcoming at this fine-dining seafood restaurant at the Vivanta by Taj hotel.
Likewise, the food is equally inviting.

It is the brainchild of chef Ananda Solomon, who spent months in people’s homes down south, gleaning secret skills from wizened old ladies whom he persuaded to share their recipes.

No wonder it’s all about seasonal freshness and flavor here, and even the cooking is done in earthenware vessels.

Linger over the seafood display before you make your choices from this coconut-rich cuisine.

The average tab per head without alcohol comes to Rs 1,250; not very pricey considering it’s in a five-star hotel.

Know your menu: Curdee (prawns) mango; Mangalorean fish curry; meen polichattu (fish in banana leaves); pomfret recheado and the seafood thali.

Vivanta by Taj -- President, 90 Cuffe Parade; +91 0 (22) 66650808;
Lunch: 12:30 p.m.–3 p.m., dinner: 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m.

Trishna: Best tourist trap

Trishna's famous butter, pepper, garlic crab.
Even though it’s a cramped inside and located in an obscure by-lane in the business district, Trishna is a big draw for the international traveler as well as the local Mumbaikar.
Even though a steady stream of tourists has slowly made the waiters jaded, what brings locals back are some of the plumpest crustaceans and fish on offer in the city.
Even though the cuisine is primarily Mangalorean, a few dishes can be traced back to Hyderabadi influence.
A good meal here should set you back by about Rs 1,800 per head, not counting alcohol.
Know your menu: Crab, either with butter garlic or as a gassi, a fiery red curry; prawns Koliwada, (the medium or small-sized prawns are tastier); butter garlic squid; ravas Hyderabadi; lobster kalimiri.

Sai Baba Marg, Kala Ghoda, Fort; +91 (0)22 2270 3213
Lunch: Noon–3:30 p.m.; dinner: 6:15 p.m.–12.30 a.m.

Highway Gomantak: Best Goan

Highway Gomantak is value for money.
"It’s Goan food certified by the Goans," says Ramesh Potnis, the owner of Highway Gomantak.
Infuriated at being passed over for promotion in the corporate world, Potnis quit and turned his focus to food.
Using age-old family recipes, he got his wife to rustle up 10 dishes that they served in their garden.
As Highway Gomantak’s reputation spread, he turned it from a backyard operation to a fully fledged restaurant.
The kitchen, still supervised by his wife and children, lures the office crowd from the nearby Bandra Kurla Complex during lunch hours. The evenings are more relaxed, with families and children taking in a leisurely meal.
A delicious repast for one will cost about Rs 300, and half that if you just have the set-meal thaali.
Superb value.
Know your menu: Prawns fry; tisriya (clams) masala; chanak fish fry; fried mussels; fish thali and the local Bombil fish fry.

44/2179 Pranav Co-op. Housing Society, Gandhi Nagar, Highway Service Road, Bandra (E); +91 (0)22 2640 9692;
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–3:30 p.m., dinner: 7–10:30 p.m., Thursday closed.  

Fresh Catch: Best home-style meal

A home-style meal including grilled rawas fish, for Rs 500 at Fresh Catch.
A pelican with a full beak 
stands by the door. As far as welcoming metaphors go, nothing could be more appropriate. Because here, the catch is always fresh.

This wood-paneled, seven-table restaurant may be small, but it's big on taste.

That’s because its owner, Francis Fernandes, handpicks every ingredient and spice from his hometown in Karwar and has it shipped to Mumbai. Even the coconuts.

The food is Karwari and delectably light -- no greasy stuff here. The spices don’t smother the food, but enhance their flavors.

A sumptuous home-style meal here can be had for Rs 500 per head.
Know your menu: Konkan treasure prawns; rava fried kané (ladyfish); fish roe; rechad prawns; pomfret curry; crab meat butter garlic and tisriya (clams) sukke.

Lt. Kotnis Marg, near Fire Brigade, off L J Road, Mahim (W); +91 0(22) 2444 8942
Lunch: Noon–3:30 p.m., dinner: 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m.

Chaitanya: Best spicy Malvani

Chaitanya's tisriya (clam) masala. Cheap and yum.
For the best home-style Malvani food in town, head to Chaitanya.

Relatively new on the seafood map, this tiny 10-seater in the heart of Mumbai is the labor of love of a simple housewife with a love for cooking.

Hot to scorching, yet rich and tender, Surekha Walke’s cooking style exploits the spices to bring an earthy, lemony flavor to her seafood.

And she’s not stingy on the use of coconuts or garam masala spices.

This is where Chaitanya scores over other commercially-run establishments that only focus on the fieriness of Malvani food.

A hearty meal won’t cost you more than Rs 250 per head here. The mini combo fish thali costs as little as Rs 90.

Know your menu: Bangda (mackerel) tikhale; tisriya (clams) masala; crab masala; surmai fish fry; pomfret curry; mori (shark) masala; crab lollipop.

Shop No. 4, Shivaji Park House, L J Road, Shivaji Park; +91 (0)22 2437 2242, +91 96199 09014
Lunch: 11:30 a.m.–3 p.m., dinner: 7 p.m.–11 p.m., Thursday closed.   

Oh! Calcutta: Best Bengali

Bengal's most famous fish, the illish, cooked in mango at Oh! Calcutta.
Oh! Calcutta is one of the few places that serves traditional Bengali food in Mumbai.
From a gourmet’s point of view, this is great news because here one gets to try Bengal’s favorite sweet water fish, which are not a common treat.
Taking authenticity to a new level, the chefs fly in most of their stock of fish -- pabda (butter fish), hilsa (ilish), rohu (carp) and bekti -- all the way from Kolkata.
It’s no wonder then that Bengalis make a beeline to Oh! Calcutta.
A satisfying meal full of mustard goodness will cost you about Rs 1,000 per head, without alcohol.
Know your menu: Bhapa Ilish (boneless Bengali fish delicacy, steamed in a banana leaf); smoked hilsa; fried-fish Kolkata style; prawn cutlets; chingri (prawn) malai curry; rui (rohu fish) maachher dom jhol (curry).

Hotel Rosewood, Tulsiwadi Lane, opposite Mahindra Heights, Tardeo; +91 (0)22 23539114;
Lunch: 12:30–3:30 p.m., dinner: 7-11 p.m.

Gajalee: Best Tandoori crab

The original Vile Parle outlet of Mumbai seafood chain Gajalee.
Even though there are several branches of Gajalee in Mumbai, you should make a trip to the mothership in Vile Parle.
Many a die-hard fan still trudges all the way from south Mumbai regularly, as if on pilgrimage to seafood heaven.

And why not? Gajalee has consistently served up mouthwatering Malvani food over the years.
Some of the dishes use tirphal, the cousin of the Sichuan pepper, to leave your tongue numb.
That’s when you should reach for the solkadi, which acts as the perfect mouth fire extinguisher.
Don't miss the Tandoori crab either.
Budget Rs 1,200 per head if you are going the crab route. Otherwise, Rs 500 per head is sufficient.
Know your menu: Clams koshimbir; tandoori crab; fried bombil; crab masala; prawns masala; stuffed bombil; pomfret capri.

 Kadamgiri Complex, Hanuman Road, Vile Parle (E),  +91 (0)22 2616 6470;
Lunch: 11 a.m.–3 p.m., dinner: 7 p.m.-midnight.
Writer, filmmaker, foodie, and digital artist. Currently working on my first 'Bollywood' feature film.
Read more about Sanjiv Khamgaonkar

Read more: 7 best Indian seafood restaurants in Mumbai |

Thursday, November 24, 2011

9 Luxury Casinos With World-Class Restaurants

Built more than 250 years ago, the Casino Baden-Baden is striking, with gold and red accents throughout. Dostoyevsky wrote The Gambler while playing cards here, and Marlene Dietrich is said to have called it "the most beautiful casino in the world." The main restaurant, Sommergarten (meaning Summer Garden), is tranquil with water fountains, palm trees, mosaic tables and Mediterranean cuisine like Carpaccio "Cipriani," scallops with risotto and pork with morel cream and seasonal vegetables. 

Anyone who has seen "Casino Royale" knows that with high-stakes gambling comes expertly crafted cocktails, white-glove service and fine dining in gilded rooms. But even non-high rollers need to eat, and well, to be encouraged in their risky nights of raucous gambling. And some of the world's most luxurious casinos are more than willing to oblige, offering food served by celebrated chefs in opulent settings.
Outside of, say, Las Vegas and Macau, casinos are often housed in buildings with rich histories and an old-world feel. In Paris, the Aviation Club sits on the Champs-Élysées and was once an exclusive club for pilots. It is still a members-only club, though anyone of age (and who abides by the dress code) can become a member for €100 ($135) per year. Open 24/7, the club throws lavish events and serves traditional French fare in their restaurant and bar. Parts of Quebec's Casino de Montreal were originally built in 1967 for the World Expo, though the casino in its entirety didn't open until 1993. Since then, it has built up four restaurants and three bars that range from fine dining to casual eats.
Las Vegas' brand of luxury has, over the last 15 years or so, become infinitely more culinary-focused. Every luxury hotel on the Strip boasts a handful of celeb-chef restaurants and lavish bars, not least of which is the two-year-old Aria Resort & Casino. Within its confines, gamblers find Bar Masa, American Fish, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Sirio and Julian Serrano, among other eateries. The Bellagio was among the pioneers of the food revolution in Vegas, with Le Cirque, Picasso, Prime Steakhouse and Michael Mina throughout, most of which marked the famed chefs' first foray into Vegas dining.
In this world of high risk and high reward, fine dining is the perfect fit. Nothing motivates a gambler to continue winning quite like the mouthwatering promise of a leisurely meal prepared by a passionate chef with expert wine pairings -- except maybe the beauty of a growing stack of chips.
-- Nicole Campoy-Leffler, The Daily Meal

Monday, November 21, 2011

BoF Daily Digest | Redefining luxury, Fashion’s next frontier, Touchy-feely, Paul Smith’s highest honour, Carine Roitfeld Q&A

Bottega Veneta Autumn/Winter 2011 | Source: Style Frizz
How The Uncertain Economy Is Changing The Definition Of Luxury (Forbes) “With the emergence of new wealthy consumers from the BRIC countries and the economic downturn for most nations outside of the BRIC superfecta in the past few years, luxury has taken on a multitude of new meanings. No longer does it exclusively equate to expensive products that are mostly of French or Swiss origins.” Fashion’s Next Frontier for Social Media (WWD) “The fashion industry is quickly learning that men and women engage and shop differently in the digital sphere. Brands and retailers such as Coach, Mr Porter, Gilt Man, Ben Minkoff, John Varvatos and Ermenegildo Zegna have spent a lot of time studying the differences between the ways men and women approach fashion, tapping into their male audiences with a host of initiatives they feel will resonate best with their target consumer.” Touchy-feely (FT) “An amorphous white dress, like an alien wedding frock, crafted from 14,000 rubber gloves; a black leather ballgown bristling with 43kg of dressmaking pins; mind-boggling numbers of latex balloons hand-knotted into a floor-skimming fringed opera-coat – are they art, or are they fashion? The answer could be both.” Paul Smith to be honoured at British Fashion Awards (Telegraph) “Paul Smith was 15 when he left school, got on his bike, and pedalled off to his first job at a clothes warehouse in Nottingham. Now, some 50 years later, Sir Paul has been awarded British fashion’s highest honour… The Outstanding Achievement in Fashion Design prize – given posthumously last year to Alexander McQueen – will be presented to Sir Paul at the British Fashion Awards.” Q&A Carine Roitfeld (Guardian) “At the beginning, when you’ve stayed for 10 years in one place, you do miss the people. It was like the baby blues. So immediately I did something new and I didn’t stop working. I didn’t go on holiday, I didn’t have time to regret it, and now I’m very much more positive and have a new project.”

The Approachable Master of Wine

Like a Dionysus in jeans and flip-flops, Eddie McDougall wants Hong Kongers to liberate their minds and drink a lot of wine. 
"Wine should be fun, wine should be approachable," says the 28-year-old wine expert. "Wine doesn't need a fancy glass or a fancy place."
Hong Kong-born and raised in Australia, McDougall started making wine when he was 19. Returning to Hong Kong in 2009 as a winemaker for the 8th Estate Winery, McDougall has now struck out on his own, creating "The Flying Winemaker" brand.
The Flying Winemaker is ultimately about making more wines more accessible to more people. It's what most wine marketeers strive for, but McDougall goes about it in rogue style.
The Eurasian winemaker tries to break down stereotypes of elitism and snobbery amongst wine drinkers with the tongue-in-cheek slogan "Vino La Revolution."

Less posing, more drinking.
"It is a revolt against the stuffy, snobby, and pretentious in order to allow for great wines to stand on their own merits," says McDougall.
"An open system of sharing knowledge, creating connections and finding humanity is our revolution."
In practical terms, this translates to campaigns such as the Plastic Cup Movement, where McDougall encourages drinkers to consume wine using non-expensive containers -- plastic or reusable or anything at all -- as a statement against the elevated status of specialized wine glasses.

Drinking is educational
Last Saturday, McDougall opened The Flying Winemaker wine store and education center in Lan Kwai Fong.
The integrated space offers by-the-bottle wines from "weird and wonderful wineries around the world." Free tastings are taken for granted here and staff are friendly, making the shop feel more like a hangout for wine-lovers.
"Wines are selected because of the stories behind every bottle," says McDougall. "We give an opportunity to small wineries that otherwise wouldn't stand a chance of making it here. Not only does the consumer get to explore the wine but producers also get to fly in and show off their creations.
That's why we're called 'The Flying Winemaker' as it is like taking a vineyard tour around the world when you step in here."
For instance, McDougall is now selling Chateau Musar 2002, a spicy, herbal Cabernet blend from Lebanon.
McDougall's tasting notes say: "I never thought Lebanon could produce such cool examples of Cabernet blends, but boy, was I wrong. Probably will pair up well with a kebab."
On the second floor of The Flying Winemaker space, McDougall holds his WineSkool. Different workshops are tailored to different lifestyles, such as WineSkool Executive to boost your confidence at that next power lunch, or Wine 101 where students can learn the nitty-gritty of winemaking. 
Get a taste of WineSkool on YouTube.
The Tongue Explorer class sounds enticing; a short and sweet course on understanding how your tongue reacts to wine, it promises to teach students how to distinguish between a "good wine" and a "bad wine" by the end of the session.

 Top 5 Cantonese food and wine pairings
So how does a professional winemaker pick wines at a Cantonese dinner?
"I don't believe there are any real rules. I would just order what I want to eat and order wine I want to drink and not think too much about it," says McDougall.
But to make it easy for us less experienced hedonists, McDougall suggests a "nice, juicy, fruity, very chilled rosé, perhaps sparkling" as an almost fool-proof wine for Cantonese food. An Australian, Portuguese or Spanish rosé would be better than a French one in this case.
Some Cantonese dishes that go particularly well with wine for McDougall are:
1. Stir-fried beef ho fun and a Cabernet Sauvignon
2. Barbecue pork that has charred crispy bits on it and a fruity rosé
3. Crispy chicken with a Gewürztraminer
4. Clams in black bean and chili sauce with off dry German Riesling
5. Shiitake mushrooms, wood ear fungi and black moss braised in soy sauce with dried oysters, paired with a New Zealand Pinot Noir

Read more: The Flying Winemaker Hong Kong |

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Luxury Train “Maharajas’ Express”

Launched in January 2010 Maharajas’ Express is the most luxurious train of Indian Railways and one of the most expensive in Asia. It’s newly-built train with all the modern amenities of a 5-star hotel combined with the ageless charms of classic Indian culture. This year it was recognized as the best of such kind in the world. For eight days this luxury train will carry you across the country by the most famous attractions of India. Cost of trip per person ranges from $800 for deluxe coupe to $2,500 for the presidential suite per day.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Luxury consumption on Jinbao Street

Inhwa Chung and Lucy March are currently interning at Danwei. They have spent
 several weeks researching stores and consumers on one of Beijing’s luxury shopping streets by talking to sales staff and customers.
Jinbao Street screams wealth. Jinbao (金宝) means “gold and treasure” and the name is apt:
The Hong Kong Jockey club squats in the middle of the street, surrounded by stores that sell Bentleys and Ferraris with price tags in the millions (please refer to our previous research for more about the cars and background to Jinbao Street). Private drivers in expensive cars roll up to five-star hotels to pick up their customers. During lunch hour, men and women in designer suits come out from their offices suites and descend upon the street which is lined with stores offering luxury goods.
We asked sales staff at nearly all the stores on Jinbao Street what their most expensive and cheapest items were and for comments about their customer demographics. Some were more talkative than others.
The most expensive item on the whole street is a Pagani sports car that sells at 26 million yuan. Other products with outrageous price tags include:
• A password-protected cabinet with a price tag of 5 million yuan;

• A diamond encrusted watch for 6.6 million yuan;
• A medicinal fungus for 200,000 yuan;
• Men’ suits for a million yuan;
• A cell phone for  840,000 yuan.

Not far from the Hong Kong Jockey Club is Jinbao Place, a seven-story mall. This self-described “Palace of Global Luxury” is on most afternoons almost completely devoid of customers, save for the few who are grabbing a latte at Esquire’s Coffee, or sitting down for lunch at the Dadong Peking Duck restaurant.
Salespeople we spoke to at Jinbao Palace were almost never busy with a customer, and some said that they had not had a transaction in months. Still, it seems there are enough people who can drop tens of thousands or even millions of yuan on an impulse to keep the stores on Jinbao Street open.
Who are these people?
A recent McKinsey report titled “Understanding China’s Growing Love for Luxury” found that 73% of China’s luxury consumers are under 45, and 45% are younger than 35, which corresponds with the typical age range of customers on Jinbao Street, according to sales staff we interviewed. Many of the sales staff said their customers were from Shanxi; Inner Mongolia, Northeast China, Shandong and Shaanxi were also mentioned. Although the Jinbao Palace Mall seems to have more women shopping and window shopping, many of the sales staff said men were the main customers.
The following is a list of descriptions, prices and anecdotal information about the stores on Jinbao Street (see also Luxury cars of Golden Treasure Street for information about luxury cars sold on the street).
Orchard Farmer

A well-known dried fruit and nut chain store.
Cheapest item: Torreya nuts, 9.8 yuan / 1 jin (500 grams)
Most expensive: 302 yuan / 1 jin
Sell about 100,000 yuan of goods per month.

Good Neighbor Convenience Store (好邻居)

Cheapest item: 1.5 yuan (bottled water)
Most expensive item: 1,000 yuan (liquor)


Home furnishings
Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan for flooring, several thousand for a bathtub.
Most expensive item:  6,000 yuan for flooring; 350,000 yuan for a bathtub.

Time (时光)

Home furnishings
Cheapest item: 27,000 yuan, a watch winder.
Most expensive: 5 million yuan, a password-protected cabinet.
Customers range from age 30-60, most of them are men.
Sell about 10 million yuan of goods per year.

Convenience Store (便民商店)

Cheapest item: 0.5 yuan(meat snack)
Most expensive: 70 yuan (a pack of cigarettes)

Millennium Wine Cellar

Cheapest item: Over 80 yuan (liquor), 3 yuan (pack of cigarettes)
Most expensive item: Over 1,000 yuan (liquor), 60 yuan (pack of cigarettes)
The store owner told us that customers prefer Chinese cigarette brands to foreign brands.


Cheapest item: 164,000 yuan
Most expensive: 6.6 million yuan (diamond men’s watch)
They have at most five customers per day, from age 18 and up, and from all around China.

Jinbao Street-image by Inhwa Chung
FFF Automobile - image by Inhwa Chung
Starck by Warendorf

Home furnishings
Cheapest item: 500,000 yuan
Most expensive: 1.5 million yuan
Many customers per day, some from as far away as Macau.
Most popular item is a glass kitchen counter, of which they typically sell ten a year.


A medicinal fungus popular in traditional Chinese medicine.
Cheapest item: 10,000 yuan
Most expensive: 200,000 yuan
They claimed to have many customers per day, but couldn’t tell us how much they sold in a month.


Authorized Apple product reseller
Cheapest computer: 7,600 yuan
Most expensive computer: 18,000 yuan
An used iPhone costs 5,999 yuan for 16GB; the storekeeper told us that 32GB iPhones are sold out all over China. They will start selling the 4GS iPhone at the end of the year.
Customers are of all ages, including students. They have 50-60 customers a day.

Iran Carpet Company

Cheapest item: 1,500 yuan
Most expensive item: 270,000 yuan
They sell two to three items per month.
Most customers are male, usually “bosses or managers” (老板) aged 30-40.


Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan
Most expensive item: Several hundred thousand yuan
Customers are mostly female and come from everywhere.

Marco Bruno

Brand suit rental
Cheapest item: 3,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 10,000 yuan
Most customers are men aged 20-40 looking for wedding tuxedos. About ten shoppers a day, most of whom are just passing through during their lunch hour.


Luxury shopping mall containing 49 stores.
Cheapest stores: (on average) Siu (cheapest item: a shirt for 1,000 yuan) and Beprine (women’s clothing – 1,000 yuan).
Most expensive store: He Sheng Jewelry (和生珠宝 ) had the most expensive item (a jade necklace for 3.8 million yuan); Omega on average has the most expensive items (including a 1 million yuan diamond watch).
The average customer at Jinbao Palace is 30-40, usually a Chinese male from all over China.

These are stores in Jinbao Palace:
Burberry - image by Inhwa Chung
Burberry - image by Inhwa Chung

Men’s and women’s clothing / accessories
Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan (card holder)
Most expensive item: 60,000 yuan (clothing); 20,000 (bag); 4,000 (scarf)
They sell 100-200 items per month; customers range from age 20-50.

Bottega Veneta

Men’s and women’s clothing / accessories
Cheapest item: 1,340 yuan (keychain)
Most expensive item: 340,000 yuan (bag)
They typically sell 500 items per month; customers range from age 20-50.


Formal men’s clothing
Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan (tie)
Most expensive item: 130,000 yuan (suit)
Typically sell 700,000 -800,000 yuan per month. Most customers are from Shanxi and Erduosi (Inner Momgolia).

Pal Zileri

Formal men’s clothing
Cheapest Item: 1,000 yuan (tie)
Most expensive item: 130,000 yuan (suit)
Prices go up in the wintertime, when they usually sell more products.


Men’s clothing
Cheapest item: 128 yuan (socks)
Most expensive item: 1 million yuan
Typically sell about 500,000 yuan per month.


Formal men’s clothing
Cheapest Item: 100 yuan (socks)
Most expensive item: 60,000 yuan
Typically sell 1 million yuan of goods per month.


Men’s and women’s clothing / accessories
Cheapest Item: 1,000 yuan (key chain)
Most expensive item: 40,000 yuan (accessories), 70,000 yuan (clothing)


Luxury cellphones with concierge service
Cheapest item: 39,500 yuan
Most expensive item: 840,000 yuan


Cheapest item: 20,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 1 million yuan
Typically sell 3 million yuan per month.


Women’s clothing
Cheapest Item: 1,000 yuan (belt)
Most expensive item: 200,000 yuan (leather jacket)


Men’s and women’s clothing, specializing in Italian furs.
Cheapest Item: 2,000 yuan (belt)
Most expensive item: 60,000 yuan (fur coat)
They sell less than 10 products a month; customers range from age 30-50.


Formal men’s clothing
Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 200,000 yuan
Customers range from age 30-50.


Women’s clothing
Cheapest Item: 3,000 yuan (blouse)
Most expensive item: 300,000 yuan
Customers are in their 30’s, and are mostly from Northeast China and Xi’an.

The Swank

Men’s and women’s clothing / accessories
Cheapest Item: 120 yuan (very small item)
Most expensive item: 200,000 yuan (leather jacket)
Customers are from all around China.

High Quality Suit Care (优凯高级西服护理)

Suit care
Services costs 100-800 yuan

Ludwig Reiter

Men’s and women’s accessories (mostly shoes / bags)
Cheapest item: 300 yuan (shoe shine), cheapest shoes 2,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 110,000 yuan (shoes)
Customers range from age 40-50 mostly from Shanxi.


Men’s and women’s shoes
Cheapest item: 2,000 yuan (belt)
Most expensive item: 200,000 yuan (bag)
Customers are age 30 and up.


Clothing and Jewelry
Cheapest Item: 1,000 yuan (shirt)
Most expensive item: 15,000 yuan
Typically sell 30 -50 items per month, sometimes more. Customers are age 25 and up.


Men’s clothing and accessories
Cheapest item: 600 yuan (purse)
Most expensive item: 60,000 yuan (marten fur coat)
They sell less than 10 items per month. Customers range from age 30-40

Hesheng Jewelry (和生珠宝)

Jewelry and jade
Cheapest Item: 8,000 yuan (bracelet)
Most expensive item: 3.8 million yuan (necklace)
Customers mostly from Northeast China and Shanxi.


Women’s clothing
Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 15,000 yuan
They typically sell about 5 items in a month. Customers range from age 30-40; most of them are actresses and they usually rent the dresses.


Home electronics (TVs and fridges)
Cheapest item: 15,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 20,000 yuan
They initially sold 50,000 yuan per month, but have not sold anything in a while. The sales person said that very famous people shop there so she couldn’t tell us about them.

Gts High Quality Cashmere (Gts档羊绒)

Women’s clothing
Cheapest item: 100 yuan (gloves – on sale)
Most expensive item: several million yuan
Customers are age 30 and up.
Usually there are no customers during the summer, because they sell winter clothing.

La Belleza Salon丽莎发沙龙)

Hair salon
Cheapest service: 80 yuan (shampoo and styling)
Most expensive service: 980 yuan (perm)

Yuming Jewelry (嶎明珠宝)

Cheapest item: 1,000 yuan (popular with younger customers)
Most expensive item: 1 million yuan
Customers range from age 30-40.

Anshangte Salon (安上特美容院)

Japanese style massage salon
Cheapest service: 280 yuan (facial massage), 320 yuan (full body)
Most expensive: 5,000 yuan (facial), 1,080 yuan (full body)


Massage salon
Cheapest service: 600 yuan
Most expensive service: 6,800 yuan for five sessions of laser treatment; also offers botox.
Customers are of all ages “because they all want to be pretty.”

Tanya - image by Inhwa Chung
Bailigong Cinema (百丽宫影城)

Movie theater
Price range: 60-70 yuan


Women’s dresses and bags
Cheapest Item: 2,800 yuan (shirt)
Most expensive item: 20,000 yuan
Customers range from age 30-40.
Most customers are friends of the boss, mostly actresses.
Need notification two weeks in advance.
Had Hermes bags on display that belonged to the boss.


Home accessories
Cheapest Item: 3,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 200,000 yuan (wolf skin rug).
Customers are mostly from Shandong province.

Run Bao Xuan (润宝轩)

Cheapest Item: 30,000 yuan
Most expensive item: 100,000 yuan
Typically sell 1 million yuan per month.

Written and Researched by Lucy March and Inhwa Chung, all images by Inhwa Chung.