by Stylites in Beijing, China
Rocker and entrepreneur Fox Pang plays keyboard in New Pants, one of China’s top independent pop acts for nearly fifteen years. Listen to Bye Bye Disco, Go East, and other New Pants hits here. They are one of my favorite local bands.
The national color of China stands for joy, fortune, and, more recently Communism. Pang and his type redefine red, creating a new cool.
Trends like retro from the West are eagerly greeted in China but often reinterpreted in gripping ways. Retro ’70s or ’80s in China means a vast array of distinctive items many of which Pang offers in his shop on Nanluoguxiang, the alley where bohemian meets Beijing (and for too many tourists), called Bye Bye Disco.
Items include thermoses, Mao Zedong lighters, formerly discontinued shoe brands like Feiyue, and track jackets with the words China emblazoned across the front.
Is it patriotism, irony, chic, or a combination of the three? Whatever the case, this is part of a global trend toward embracing and redefining our own regions, roots, and traditions. The great thing about today’s global youth is that they make their own heritage cool and interesting without any hint of provincialism or prejudice toward others. Embrace the style of your own!
Stylites in Beijing, China