China's answer to Converse All Stars, Fei Yue have been kicking around China since the 1920s. The original lightweight sports shoe, like so much else of Chinese origin in recent years, has experienced quite a resurgence of late.
Catapulted into European hipster fashion circles by a couple of marketing savvy French footwear enthusiasts back in 2006, the brand's vintage charm has quickly developed a cult following in Europe and around the world. Going hand in hand with this is of course, a predictably ridiculous international retail price that starts at 50 euros.... but if you're in China, they're (still) a bargain.
The style has changed little over their 90 year history (my neighbors find it hilarious to see me wearing their old gym shoes), and the prices have always been low—a very affordable RMB 20-30 a pair. Their newfound fame and fortune elsewhere has meant a bit of a price hike here (basic models now start at RMB 58—a fact that has caused some controversy in local blogger circles), but it's also resulted in a whole bunch of new and funky colors being added to the range, and some big improvements in quality.
If you want to get your hands a pair of Fei Yue and join the ranks of cool kids back home (smug in the knowledge that you paid a snip of the European or US price), then head to one of their authorized retailers in Shanghai as listed below, or check out the online sales website.
Culture Matters (Shanghai stores):
No. 15-2 Dongping Road (1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
No. 63, Lane 1025 West Nanjing Road (Tel: 1502 647 8591; 12:30 to 9:00 p.m.)
No. 112, Lane 1025 West Nanjing Road (Tel: 021 3251 7637; 12:30 to 9:00 p.m.)
No. 198 An'shun Road (Tel: 021 6209 5218; 10:00a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)