The Shanghainese label that everyone is talking about

The Shanghainese label that everyone is talking about

Alternate universe

Text: Andrea Sim

Image: Instagram | @tongtongj
Image: Shushu/Tong

Get to know the young Chinese duo who design for alter egos

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be someone else just for a day?

Perhaps a rockstar, that girl-next-door, or dare we say it: Even your favourite cartoon character. Imagination is a powerful tool — one that Shanghainese label Shushu/Tong counts as the bedrock of its quintessentially girly threads.  

Masterminded by 26-year-old Chinese designers Liushu Lei and Yutong Jiang, the creative pair build their collections around different personas every season; the ethos of this need-to-know label grounded upon the belief that girls just want to have fun. And if that means indulging the alter egos of our dreams by slipping into a doll-like frock or punk-inspired lace-up platforms, then really, why not?

Here, we present five fast facts about the oriental label worth keeping an eye out for: 

1. Simon Rocha and Gareth Pugh are amongst the brands... Lei and Jiang gained experience at before launching Shushu/Tong. Look closely and you'll find traces of the former's sugary aesthetic and the latter's darker inclinations manifested in their designs. We call this girl-meets-punk.


2. They scored their first major retailer straight out of school... with Hongkong multi-label store, Lane Crawford; their debut post-grad collection was purchased by the retailer in 2015. Score. 

3. They often describe their clothing as 'chintzy'... a term laced with irony, defining the label as the antithesis to that 'cool girl chic'. Instead, think endearingly awkward yet achingly stylish. 


4. Despite the designers having graduated from London College of Fashion...  Shushu/Tong is based in Shanghai and produced in their home country, China. 

5. J-pop singer Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and anime character Hana no Ko Lunlun, AKA The Flower Child... are just some of the off-kilter characters and personas the design duo have been inspired by. 

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