THETHING design store, Shanghai.

While visiting Shanghai recently, I stumbled upon this store called THETHING. There was something about this store that was different from the others around it carrying outlet-style clothing from American and other foreign brands — this one had clothing that was uniquely Chinese in character, and are all original designs by Chinese designers.

inside thething store, shanghai.

This t-shirt features the koi fish, which is a symbol of wealth and success in Chinese culture. Of course, the design itself has a more updated style. Price? 100 Renminbi (RMB), which is about $15.

the koi t-shirt by thething, shanghai.

You really have to understand Chinese to appreciate this next item, but I’ll do my best to explain it. This “i’m not cultured” tote is really a play on homonyms, in which the actual characters really should be read literally as “(I am ) lying on the plum flowers taking in the aroma of the flowers,” which is supposed to be poetic. Yet the same phonetics sound exactly like “i’m not cultured” (therefore stupid). $15.

the i\'m not cultured tote by thething, shanghai.

There are many nostalgic items as well, as with this particular t-shirt called “we all love 1, 2 and 3 stripes”. I am not exactly sure about the historical significance of this particular piece, but from what I know it was probably used to promote achievement among students. Again, this is about $15.

the nostalgic t-shirt by thething, shanghai.

In addition to clothing, there are also home furnishings and accessories. Here’s a notebook with a silhouette of a Chinese schoolgirl. The image is quite nostalgic as well. $7.

the student notebook by thething, shanghai.

The thing is, if you do want to buy any of these things, you will need to be at one of their stores in Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming or Chengdu. Online shopping delivery is only limited to China. So just in case any of you readers visit Shanghai, here is a map that will help you find the store.

location of thething store, shanghai.