Cream of the Fashion Crop
One in just a handful of Chinese fashionistas who regularly gain a coveted invitation to the European fashion shows, shop owner Sonja Long makes great use of her unique status by being the first to translate trends from the Paris runway to the Mainland market.
Since opening her concept lifestyle store ALTER, with its jaw-dropping, optical illusion-inspired interior of inverted stairs, mannequins on the ceiling, and understated colour palette imagined by Roman architect Francesci Gatti, only the cream of the avant-garde fashion crop (think Charlotte Olympia, Pierre Hardy, Rupert Sanderson and Roland Mouret) has been hand-picked by Sonja to stock the shelves here.
For the majority of the international brands carried here, ALTER marks the first entry into the Chinese market, and for some – like Istanbulite designer and LUXE City Guides’ favourite Begum Kiroglu – the store is the only place their collection is stocked anywhere in the world.
With this unique position, along with the ever-expanding roster of designers showing since the store’s October 2010 opening, ALTER continues to stand out even as it celebrates two years in business. It’s still the only store in Shanghai where a DJ spins tunes and you can have a glass of wine while you shop, and in case you want to go but are not sure where to start, make an appointment with an in-house stylist to ensure you leave looking like the international style star you are.