West Coast New Area

Shinan's fashionable transformation brings new charm to district

By Cao Yingying | (China Daily) | 2018-01-25

Shinan, one of the most developed districts in Qingdao, has sped up its transition from using old development drivers to new ones by integrating fashion and its social economy, to create a diverse and trendy urban area.

The district has been inspired by the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which put forward that the principal contradiction of Chinese society in the new era is between unbalanced, inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life.

"The report reminds us that development in the new era should concentrate more on life quality and the environment," said an official of Shinan district. "With favorable natural conditions, we should set a good example for others to follow."

To ensure the area is vibrant and active, Shinan has hosted a large number of fashionable and cultural events and activities in recent times.

Among them, a flower show was launched with great success in April last year which attracted some 200,000 visitors.

Just two months later, the Qingdao International Wind Music Festival was held in July with 10 top oboe masters from around the world and 500-plus oboe performers and hobbyists nationwide taking to the stage.

To carry the fashion and culture theme further into the year, a series of 11 top-level fashion shows were held in September featuring designers from China, France, Thailand and Japan.

In November, the 2017 Qingdao International Wedding Festival exhibited wedding dresses from renowned worldwide brands aiming to attract more new couples and revitalize the city's wedding service industry. The event created a buzz around the trend for international wedding fashion.

Shinan district is in the process of constructing themed fashion blocks, similar to that of Beijing's 798 Art Zone, aimed at attracting stylish and artistic people as well as fashion experts. The district intends to elevate the visibility and influence of the blocks to promote innovation and cultural development, and to set up an industrial cluster from 2018-20.

According to the commercial bureau of the district, 20 policies were released to support industry development in 2016, as well as 10 special teams which were set up to attract fashion business, technology innovation and other industrial services.

Golden Leaf Jewelry is one of those businesses attracted to Shinan. It is one of the most famous jewelry manufacturers in China and settled in the district last April, owing to the large jewelry throughput in Qingdao.

Additionally, the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology cooperated with Shinan district to build a fashion industrial park and attract fashion-related industries to it last July.

On the consumer spending front, Shinan district's 10 largest shopping malls earn on average a healthy 7 billion yuan ($1.1 billion) a year. When Resource Group's Mix C shopping center opened in 2015 it set an opening day sales record for Qingdao.

The district also plans to rejuvenate and develop its old western area by protecting and utilizing its architecture and highlighting the high-end cultural tourism industry in the form of homestays, youth hostels, museums and exhibitions.

The 1907 Shadow Club, a cultural saloon themed on the art of film, has been rebuilt on the site of an old restaurant and turned into a part of the city's Film Museum.

"Guests can not only visit museums, attend lectures, eat western food and drink coffee, but also read books, watch movies and hold weddings here," said a spokesperson for the club.


(China Daily 01/25/2018 page12)