The recently reopened building. (Photo courtesy of No. 22, the Bund)
Shanghai's Bund — the most visited tourist destination in the city — welcomed the reopening of the building at No. 22 on Nov. 23 after three years of renovations. Taiwanese businesswoman Li Yu-lin invested 200 million yuan (US$32 million) on the touch-ups, and reportedly will be welcoming high-end commerce into its redesigned halls, reports Want Daily, our Chinese-language sister newspaper.
On the Bund, the waterfront area formerly part of the Shanghai International Settlement, sits 52 historic buildings of various Western, Eastern, and fusion architectural styles. No. 22 was built in 1906 as the headquarters for the British company Swire, known in China as Taikoo.
As the founder of Yonghe Dawang (Yonghe King), a fast-food restaurant chain that specializes in traditional Chinese breakfast and "midnight snack" foods, Li has made a turn from the catering business to the customized fashion business. Wang Jilin, the deputy director of the building, said they will invite 30 stores to open shop, including restaurants and customized clothing tailors, despite the high cost.
Li said many high-end global brand names gather in Shanghai and along the Bund, which would fit well with the customized services she will offer at No. 22. As wealth becomes more accessible and luxury loses its uniqueness in China's expanding luxury market, an increasing number of wealthy Chinese are taking the extra step to individualize their riches. High-end customized services are the future of China's fashion brands, Li said.
Yonghe Dawang 永和大王
Li Yu-lin 李玉麟
Wang Jilin 王季羚