Just as with movie stars and athletes, some retail shops
also rise above the competition and establish themselves as something more than
simply a place to spend money; they embody entire lifestyles, blazing trails by
setting trends instead of following them. For a very few shops, their names
become synonymous with quality and style and gain recognition among the general
public, even those of whom have never set foot inside their premises.
And so it is for Shanghai's Simply Life, one of the city's most beautiful
home decoration shops offering a fine array of quality merchandise both with
Chinese influence and without. With its flagship store located in the buzzy
Xintiandi district, close to the Simply Thai restaurant that gave entrepreneur
Richard Lim a foothold among the city's style mavens, Simply Life was quick to
establish itself as a lifestyle shop offering more than tangible items for the
knickknack shelf at home. The products are lovely, yes, but it is the wide range
of merchandise, convenient locations, and level of service that sets Simply Life
apart from the others--for example, offering a beautiful florist service within
the shop itself.
With so much good taste flowing from the front door, it is a welcoming
development to know that Simply Life has moved from restaurants to retail to now
to publishing, bringing its take on Shanghai to readers in the city and beyond.
Shanghai Chic is not a travel guidebook in the traditional sense; luckily,
the people at Simply Life do not feel constrained by tradition and have created
a book that is equally at home on a coffee table as in a backpack. The best of
Shanghai in one volume? Handy and dandy. Simply Life the shop is an eclectic mix
of merchandise; not all of it is expensive, though all of it tasteful and out of
the ordinary. And so it is with Shanghai Chic, a wonderful assistant to anyone
looking for just the right place to shop, eat, or sleep in China's largest city.
Naturally, the book's images are cleverly artistic and suitably beautiful. With
everything from hotels to restaurants to spas, Shanghai Chic gives the city's
visitors and residents alike an excellent overview of what's hot in China's