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August 30, 2011

While traveling through the 798 District, we happened upon this door behind a corner.  I loved the finish on the door and had to take a picture because of my love of horses.  It didn’t even seem like anything, actually thought it was an empty space.  But luckily my curiosity overcame me and we proceeded through the door into the FEI Shop.

The amazing felt chandeliers by Christopher LaBrooy wowed us as we walked up the stairway.  The light passing through the openings created a beautiful display on the surrounding walls.  We knew we had found something special.

FEI was conceived by a group of friends who saw a need for a tightly-edited, fashion-forward venue in Beijing that could bring together talents both local and international, emerging and established.

“We want this to be an intimate, unpretentious place where you can find things not available elsewhere in China,” said Lin Jing, a FEI co-founder and a well-known Chinese product designer who previously lived in the space and has sold her work to stores like, well, 10 Corso Como in Milan.

“It’s about going in the polar opposite direction of China’s obsession with big brands,” added Ray P. Lee, FEI’s creative director.

The space’s main attraction is a giant iron teepee that I immediately fell in love with.  I was completely mesmerized with everything I saw in the shop. The bedding inside the structure had an image of a man and a woman sleeping next to eachother.  That was the first thing I coveted.

Then I saw the shoes.  And it went on from there with a fantastic selection of furniture and antiques, accessories and apparel. 

Their display techniques were fabulous and I loved the table for the shoes with the stainless mirrored finish contrasted against the industrial white surroundings.

The decor was minimal but perfectly combined with industrial accents and a green/outdoor bohemian feel.  Subtle hints of history combined well with their modern use of propping.

I hardly have words for how amazing this horsehair collar is by Zhang Da.  I would die to have this as a part of my home decor.  I love to decorate with special items of adornment and this piece would be coveted in my closet and house forever!!!

The space serves as a gallery of various artists and designers with men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and fragrances from international cult favorites Bless, Henrik Vibskov, Gareth Pugh and others. Experimental fashion designer Zhang Da(newly appointed Head Designer of Hérmes)
displays his Boundless collection of stark, conceptual garments such as the horsehair piece and the embellished leather jacket below.

 I loved their fixtures and hanging system they developed.  All the special pieces hung within inches of the other meant to give each their own special moment.

The fitting room

The space served as a great art display of fashion and accessories and was right at home with the other amazing art galleries in the 798. 

I Really lost it when i saw this display.  The painting of the Chinese children in the background was an outstanding contrast to the jacket.  It amazed me how this two pieces fit together so well.  A great representation of the current culture clash that is currently happening in Beijing.

Rounding out the selection in the space is InRetro, the dealer Shannon Lu’s assortment of vintage furniture and objects.

I found out after researching the store that they created a recent partnership with Topman to be their first distributors in China.  The FEI Space is working closely with the Topman team to choose pieces from various collections, alongside a mix of designer collaborations and limited edition ranges.

Love this rug

All in all, I was blown away by the assortment of product and the way it was displayed.  The aesthetic of the store was very unique and was one of our most inspired retail visits during our entire trip from both a visual and product standpoint.

If you ever make it to Beijing, stopping into this shop should not be missed.  It is by far the edgiest boutique in the city and is curated spectacularly.  It was a huge contrast to the new brand outposts we visited in Beijing, and showed us that there most certainly is an undercurrent of cool fashion happening in this creative city. 

Contact Information: B-01, 798 art district, 4 Jiuxiangqiao Lu, Chaoyang district Tel: + 86 10 5978 9580

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