Shanghai Faces: Elfa Huang

Elfa Huang

Elfa Huang

Hometown: Shanghai

Occupation: Owner of a Clothing Boutique

Age: 27

How long have you had your store?

Four years. I opened it right after I graduated from university.

Wow, that took some courage!

When you’re young you don’t think about the risks involved. You’re more na├»ve.

So what did you study in university?

Design!

What kind of clothing do you sell in your store? Did you design it, is it imported?

It is a mixture of international brands – from Hong Kong, Korea – and Chinese brands. I have thought about designing my own clothing, but I’m not ready for that yet.

Do you think the Shanghainese are the most fashionable people in China? Why?

Of course! Shanghai has been the most fashionable place in China for a long time now. It’s part of our history. I think this is because Shanghainese, the young Shanghainese, are more open to new ideas from other parts of the world. Another important thing is that today foreign brands are all based in Shanghai. We have more access to new styles. And women here can afford to care a lot about their appearance because they are more independent. In Shanghai, women are equal with men. All of my friends think this way. We don’t need to depend on men, so we can be more demanding of them.

Who are your most common customers? How much does an average customer spend at one time?

Most women are 20 to 30 years old and they are at least middle class – they have money to spend. On average I’d say they spend between Y700 to Y1000 per visit.

What do you do in your free time?

Umm…I go shopping! And on the weekends sometimes I go dancing at Muse.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?

A lot – around thirty!

Do you prefer to speak Shanghainese or Mandarin?

Shanghainese, but I’m speaking Mandarin more and more now, particularly because over the past two years I have had a lot of customers from other provinces.

If you could change one thing in Shanghai, what would it be?

Nothing. I’m quite satisfied with my life here.