Retro products back in fashion
2012-December-14 Source: Szdaily web edition
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In these materialistic times, we are encouraged to compete to own the latest smartphones, listen to the trendiest music and wear the most fashionable clothes. But sometimes it is better to look to the past than the future. All of us get nostalgic sometimes, so it's no surprise that a lot of retro products are coming back into fashion.

Products that have made a surprise return to fashion among young people include striped navy-blue T-shirts (which were all the rage in the 1980s), Huili sneakers (a brand from the 1930s), and Shanghai-brand watches, according to Li Xiao, who organized a classic Chinese brands party in Shanghai in 2008.

"We want to set ourselves apart, so instead of following everybody else in seeking the best of the latest fashion, we look for the best retro items," said Li.

Tian Bo operates a shop selling Huili sports shoes. He believes young people are starting to see how they compare favorably to major foreign brands such as Nike and Adidas. "I think people are gradually realizing that this old Chinese brand is a better buy when you consider quality and price," Tian said.

And it is not just people in the clothes industry who have noticed this trend. Jiang Yafen, an online shop owner who sells first-generation Chinese skincare products, has had a similar experience to Tian. "Customers trust the quality of old brands, such as Pehchaolin and Youyi, and it is human nature to pine for one's childhood. When they find a bottle of shampoo or face cream packed in the same round flat tin can as the ones they used when they were kids, they are happy. Western brands cannot replicate this," she said.

What some would consider throwback items, are seen by others as important links to their past. Although mass media are now ubiquitous, Sun Yuchen still relies heavily on the radio for news and entertainment. Born in the 1960s, Sun has fond memories of the radio programs that were popular in his youth. "I listened to the radio so regularly that I could identify every announcer just through their voice. I even once made my own radio with spare parts my brother had sent me from Beijing."

Sun, who lives in Shenzhen, collects radios, and his collection ranges from the oldest models to the most cutting-edge. He cherishes the oldest ones the most. When he buys a cellphone, his primary concern is that the phone also has a radio function. He never goes a day without listening to the radio.

Sun said radios made in China enjoyed a good reputation in the 1960s. Collecting radios from that period was his hobby.

The latest technology is great, but nobody should ever disrespect the past.

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Editor: Jecey
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