THERE’S BARELY ENOUGH ROOM TO SWING A CAT (ESPECIALLY A TIGER) IN THIS SMALL BUT IMPECCABLY FORMED VINTAGE-CLOTHES STORE, FOUND AT NUMBER 211 ON THE NORTH SIDE OF THE GULOU DONG DAJIE ROAD.
“Vintage is all we need” proclaims the signage on the storefront, and this declaration of dedication is backed up by the swag inside.
Tiger, set to mark its tenth anniversary next year, sources clothes from Japan, the US and Europe, as well as China, and the result is a mix as eclectic as the genre-mash culture the surrounding Gulou area demands. The bell-bottom font of the “Open” sign and bold neck scarfs in the window suggest cowboy-ish swagger but retro US sports sweaters stacked on the shelves nearby flip things towards jock chic. Rummage further towards the till at the back of the store and you’ll pull out cute 80s and 90s dresses.
As riffs from AC/DC or local indie bands loudly cascade from the stereo, you’ll notice some of the more unique products strewn across a wall near the entrance. Bags made from repurposed fabrics and containers are a big draw here, due to their one-offness and quirk factor. Pink record bags made from Portland Cement container bags sit next to sleek shoulder-strap bags formed from old black-and-white check-patterned industrial packaging. It’s all intriguingly special, a thumb of the nose in the direction of anyone who regards vintage-clothes shopping as little more than the pursuit of hipsters in dead people’s suits.