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Cultured and Stylish: Neo-Chinese Style

Cultured and Stylish: Neo-Chinese Style

For those of you too busy to check in on the RADII website every day, we’ve got you every Tuesday with a summary of all we got on China’s youth culture from the last week. In this edition:

  • Sinicized fashion is here to stay, and ‘neo-Chinese style’ is its latest, coolest development.
  • The beloved independent bookstore Bleak House Books from Hong Kong is turning a new page and reopening in the U.S.
  • Entertainer Lamuyangzi has abandoned her stage name in favor of her real name, Li Jiaqi, and speculation is rife that other Chinese celebrities are preparing to follow suit.
  • Although table tennis is loved in China, many netizens are questioning the point of having a luxury ‘ping-pong’ set.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

What Is ‘Neo-Chinese Style’ and Why Is It (Still) Trending?

Never thought you’d ever see a cyberpunk Tang suit? Or a Y2K version of the qipao? Think again!

‘Neo-Chinese style’ (新中式, xin zhongshi) is the latest and most exciting chapter in the unofficial book of guochao (国潮) fashion.

Literally meaning ‘national trend,’ guochao is fueled by Chinese consumers’ increasing interest in domestic brands that celebrate Chinese traditions, customs, and culture. Its early days saw a prevalence of streetwear and athleisure brands such as Li-Ning.

Neo-Chinese fashion, meanwhile, often features Chinese elements in subtler ways and pairs them with other modern aesthetics, such as dyed hair and bold makeup.

Fashionista Mirabelle (left) modeling three autumn outfits in pastel and earthy tones, and 落水三千 (right) sporting a dark, avant-garde look. Images via Xiaohongshu

Following the publication of a white paper titled ‘2022 Taobao and Tmall Apparel Industry Trends Report’ on August 26, the hashtag ‘Why has neo-Chinese style gone viral?’ (#为什么新中式穿搭火了#) has been trending on the microblogging platform Weibo and garnered more than 230 million views.

According to the report, Zoomers are undoubtedly the most significant players shaping the Chinese fashion industry. Moreover, they are embracing a variety of more diverse styles, including the neo-Chinese style.

Ever liked the idea of rowing down the Huangpu River or cruising along the Bund on a bicycle? The Shanghai Virtual Sports Open is your chance to do so — all while staying stationary.

The first event of its kind to be held on a large scale in China, the sports competition opened for registrations on September 1, and will take place in the Meita Sports Metaverse (莓塔元宇宙), which was built by Juss Intellisports. Organizers first exhibited the technology for the event on August 5, when the metaverse — inspired in part by iconic Shanghai locations — officially ‘opened.’

From September to December, registered participants can compete in five virtual sporting events: rowing, cycling, skiing, running, and golf. Regardless of fitness, age, or nationality, anyone may sign up via the event’s WeChat mini program.

In-person registration is also available at select locations, which have been outfitted with virtual rowing and cycling trial stations. In the contest’s promotional broadcast (see the image above), several influencers are seen riding stationary bikes and checking on their progress using mobile phones.

The event reflects the potential of Web3 development in China, as well as a worldwide commitment to growing the virtual sports industry. Global revenue from virtual sports is estimated to have risen from 493 million USD in 2016 to 16.5 billion USD in 2021.

  • Paris Baguette has been fined 585,000 RMB after employees sold food to hungry Shanghai residents from an unlicensed location during the city’s lockdown.
  • Pizza Hut China and Genshin Impact have joined forces for a limited-edition meal promotion across China. Fans have formed epic queues outside Pizza Hut locations to get their hands on collab swag, forcing authorities to intervene.
Image via @GenshinUpdate/Twitter
  • With the arrival of Amazon Prime’s ‘The Rings of Power,’ it seems like an excellent opportunity to explore China’s relationship with Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’

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