My Chinese slippers
I am excited to tell you a little about my line of Chinese slippers. My name is HUANG Mengqi. But everyone calls me Denise.
The all-silk slippers are 100% hand-sewn. My colors and patterns reflect Shanghai's grandest era, when my hometown was a fashion capital. I drew on my background in graphic design, painting and sketching to recreate the kind of high quality slippers that style-conscious Chinese women like my grandmother once wore.
Good quality slippers had sometime ago ceased to exist in China. So, in want of a pair for myself, I had to create them! My project has been in the works since 1998. I'm thrilled by the result.
I call my line of shoes and slippers 'Suzhou Cobblers' (pronounced: sue-joe) after China's beautiful garden city.
My own Suzhou Cobblers boutique is actually located in Shanghai. The shop is tucked into a grand section of classic buildings just a few steps off the city's famous waterfront Bund. I opened the shop in October 2003 and we have entertained visitors from all over the world, plus plenty from right across town in Shanghai. I have been very proud to see the historic Bund neighborhood near the Huangpu River start to blossom with stylish places.
The shop has also given me a chance to branch out into bags, hats and small toys. Each follows the time-tested Suzhou Cobblers formula: handmade style. The bags are especially fun. Most are silk, but others have corduroy stitching and one is even made from recycled rice bags.
The footwear is my specialty. Sales have been nicely brisk since I introduced the inaugural line to Hong Kong in 2001. All along, customers have ranged from trendy 20-somethings to bridesmaids to those who just have a nostalgia bone. My care extends to a small number of high-quality boutiques in other cities chosen to stock my slippers.
I am constantly refining my styles. (Partly that's to stay ahead of the style pirates. Don't accept imitations!) I've named my shoes and slippers such things as 'Mandarin Duck,' 'Green Tea,' 'Calligraphy,' 'Good Morning,' 'Plum Flower' and 'Propaganda.'
Two shoe types are available for women: slip-ons and arched-back shoes
Leather soles make the shoes and slippers appropriate for indoor and outdoor use.
Every pair of Suzhou Cobblers arrives in its very own plush velvet bag.
The arched-backed shoe and the slip-on slippers have a range of sizes: 36, 37, 38, 39, 40.
Also, my handbags and other surprises are ready for viewing.
The products of Suzhou Cobblers are my vision. But I rely on a small group of expert men and women to actually sew and stitch the ideas into high quality products. These people are artists. With each purchase, my customers are paying homage to their skills and sustaining the rich tradition of Shanghai style.
I am always eager to answer questions about these products. Please write to me.....Denise.
Zen Life store
118 Xingye road
Fuyang Section, Hangfu Yanjiang Road,
Hangzhou, Zhejiang, 311401 China
Lai Fu Fu
Opening Ceremony, LLC
35 Howard St
New York, NY 10013