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Putting their best feet forward

By Wang Ying | Shanghai Star | Updated: 2015-01-26 05:49

Bobu 博步

Putting their best feet forward

Originally named Diwujie (Fifth Avenue), the Bobu Leather Shoes Store was founded by Huang Qilin, the second son of lingerie entrepreneur Huang Hongjun.

Huang Qilin decided to enter the leather shoe business after seeing many of his friends showing off their imported leather shoes. Huang decided to create a Chinese brand in this unfamiliar business.

Huang called his shoe brand Diwujie because he heard that Fifth Avenue in New York is a place where all the best shoes in the world are available.

In 1945, the Chinese Diwujie Shoe Store opened at No 751 Nanjing Road, with the workshop on Kangding Road of Jing'an district.

Huang decided to label Diwujie's shoes Bobu, which means high quality.

From the very beginning, Diwujie only provided tailor-made service to ensure all the shoes were totally unique. The store's special business mode and its high prices meant the shoes were only affordable for foreigners, businessmen, and social celebrities.

Diwujie strived to keep its doors open even during the worsening economy of the late 1940s, and was renamed Bobu in 1954.

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