Tucked behind rows of lanehouses on Jiashan Lu, there is a three-story building where a group of designers showcase their creative products. We are talking about Studio 5. A selection of independent designers from around Shanghai who have come together with their unique, original designs. Whether you’re searching for a special gift for a special someone, or happen to be in the area on a Tuesday when the showroom is open to the public, we urge you to pay Studio 5’s showroom a visit. Here’s a look inside.
The longest-running designer at Studio 5 is eco-conscious swimwear brand Finch. Co-founded by Itee Soni from India and Heather Kaye from the US, the brand has transitioned from producing rainwear to stylish swimwear. Their success comes down to Soni’s contemporary prints and Kaye’s marketing vision along with their fabric, which comes from recycled plastic bottles, converted into polyester. As of now, customers can find Finch’s swimwear within prestigious hotels in Shanghai, such as The Middle House and Park Hyatt Shanghai.
Find out more about Finch on its official website here.
A la maison
The first designer you’ll meet upstairs is Park Chiang. His worktops are laden with lamps of diverse styles: from pom-pom bedside lamps to a flamboyant black feather chandelier. In his hometown of Taichung, Park worked in visual merchandising for many years until he and his partner relocated to Shanghai in 2017. He was redesigning simple IKEA lamps and shades for his new Shanghai apartment when the idea of turning his passion into a business came to mind. “There’s something special about lamps,” says Park. “To me, a lamp is the center of a home.” This ethos explains the inspiration behind the name 'A la maison,' and why each design is different from the other; it’s up to the customer to find a lamp that represents his or her idea of ‘home.’
Scan the QR code for A la maison's WeChat account.
C’era una volta
There are many stories about moms who launch their own business after becoming inspired by having children - C’era una volta’s version is as sweet as any other. The founder and designer Emanuela Nurra met Paola who today is co-founder of the brand by chance back in 2015. They talked about their life’s passions, motherhood and partnering on a brand that delivers timeless children’s fashion. As the name suggests (‘Once upon a time’ in English for those of us who don’t speak Italian), their designs are delicate, pure and refined. It is a modern Italian brand dedicated to dressing children beautifully just as they are.
Scan the QR code for C’era una volta's WeChat account.
Fernanda Sung Jewelry
Upstairs you’ll find jewelry designer Fernanda Sung’s show space and workbench. Her inspirations are a blend of her dual heritage: from Brazilian split-leaf philodendrons to window patterns spotted in traditional Chinese gardens. You can see these symbols reflected in her elegant silver necklaces and earrings, sometimes with an added touch of pearl to elevate the charm. At the end of the day, Fernanda's designs are about telling stories and creating memories: she also works on personal designs for wedding rings and special gifts, so keep that in mind for the next time you need something unique.
Scan the QR code below for Fernanda Sung Jewelry offical WeChat account.
Mon p’tit boudoir
Mon p'tit boudoir is a children’s bedroom accessories brand founded by Elodie Tardat. A native of Lille in the north of France, Elodie previously worked for an established children’s clothing label before launching a brand of her own. Her collection is designed for kids aged 2-12 and their parents and includes sleepover bags, light up pillows and bathrobes. The prints and designs are lovely as they are, but if you are looking for something more personal, Elodie can also custom make pieces on request.
Scan the QR code below for Mon p'tit boudoir's WeChat account.
The Shanghai Gift Company
With five kids between them, it’s incredible that Lili Gleason and Posy Pearson have time for their sixth child - The Shanghai Gift Company. They thoroughly enjoy creating unique gift sets and presenting them to the Shanghai community to ensure we always have a place to go we need a little something special. Maneuvering within a modest 15-square-meters space, the duo produces every batch of hand poured candles, postcards and cushions among other signature gifts, with precision and care.
Scan the QR code for The Shanghai Gift Company.
Studio 5 is open to the public every Tuesday, 10.30am-1.30pm. Alternatively, arrange an appointment with one of the designers above. Studio 5.
For more Step Inside reviews, click here.