Hidden Glory

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In collaboration with VSCO, we recently explored Shanghai’s Jinhuanghuang secondhand market, one of the last of its kind in the city, to find out what makes it so special. All of the images in this story were edited with the powerful presets and tools that come with VSCO X. Click here to start your free, seven-day trial.

I thought I’d prepared myself, but when I finally found the Jinhuanghuang General Wholesale Market, I was still taken aback.

Jinhuanghuang is tucked away between West Gaoke Road and the elevated highway of South Pudong Road. Even with GPS guidance, the cab driver had trouble finding it. In retrospect, the difficulty of even locating the market’s entrance foreshadowed its labyrinthian interior, where a mishmash of shops hawking old appliances, antiques, and secondhand clothing stretched out everywhere you looked. The people, however, you could count on one hand.

I’d been to the market more than once, back when it was still on Dingxi Road. Yet its new incarnation left me a bit shocked: everything had changed.


我们与 VSCO 携手走进上海仅存的二手服装交易市场之一“金煌煌”,试图向大家记录和呈现这个市场所经历过的辉煌。本文中所有照片都通过 VSCO X 强大的预设及编辑工具。现在就开启你的 7 天免费 VSCO X 试用创意之旅吧。

尽管此前已经做好了心理准备,但在我终于找到“金煌煌综合批发零售市场”的时候,内心还是震惊的。

整个市场,坐落在浦东南路高架与高科西路中间极其不起眼的一个位置,甚至哪怕依照着导航指示,司机师傅都仍走过了一条岔路。可以说,这里由外至内都有如迷宫,旧家电、老古董、二手服饰,一溜烟地铺陈开去,但视野范围内的人,却屈指可数。

纵然对以前“安西二手服装市场”有所了解的我,也不禁一愣:它变样了。


The “Hidden” Market

 

Sprawling across two floors, Jinhuanghuang is the successor to two different secondhand markets that no longer exist: one on Yuntai Road in Pudong, on the east side of the river, and one on Dingxi Road in Changning district. It offers all kinds of secondhand wares, but it’s still mainly a destination for the vintage apparel trade, as its alternate English name – “Golden Glory Textile Market” – makes clear.

Oddly, since the market isn’t small, the shops are packed tightly together. The cramped feel, along with a lack of ventilation and daylight, gives the place the damp, musty smell of flea markets everywhere. Still, the shop owners say they’re grateful for the space.


“躲起来”的市场

 

如今的“金煌煌”有两层楼,由以前浦东新区云台路和长宁区安西路两地的二手市场集合而成。虽说试图平衡各种类的二手货物,但仍主要是二手服装交易市场(这个市场的替代英文名称甚至被称为“金色纺织市场”)。

这里空间虽然不小,却和所有二手交易市场一样,到处充斥着一股陈年的、潮湿而晦涩的味道。这或是因为店面之间的空间都过于逼仄,久不通风采光所致。但即便如此,这里的店家对能找到此地也颇为“感激”。

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On the day I visited, I ran into several shop owners who had relocated from the old markets. Still as enthusiastic ever, each one without exception called out to the people passing by: “Come on in and take a look!” When I told them I used to be a regular at the old location, they opened up even more.

“This place is a bit out of the way, but it’s huge,” one shop owner told me in Shanghainese. “It’s actually been over a year since we moved from Dingxi Road.”

“That long?” I gasped. “I only recently heard about this place from a friend of a friend, and I decided to make a special trip out here today.”


我到访的那日,遇上不少从前从旧市场迁址而来的老板和老板娘,但凡有顾客路过的时候,他们无一例外,都会热心又腼腆地和人打招呼:“进来看看!”当得知我是以往的熟客时,谈话便显得更顺畅。

“这块虽然偏,但地方还算蛮大。阿拉从定西路搬到这里一年都有了喔!”听这位店老板的口音,是纯粹的上海人。

“噶长辰光!阿拉才听到消息,今天还是听朋友的朋友介绍的,特特为为跑过来!”

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Reportedly closed for fire safety concerns, the market on Dingxi Road was slated for demolition. The plans kept getting delayed, until one day, without warning, it finally did get demolished, and within a few weeks, no trace of the market remained.

“They tore it down so fast. They cleared everyone out in no time at all, and in the last few days, we were selling at fire-sale prices because we had to leave behind what we couldn’t sell,” the shop owner recalled, voice tinged with regret or sadness.


从前的安西市场,据说是因为消防原因不过关,早说要拆,却迟迟不见动工。到了真的拆迁时,几乎进行得悄无声息,不过几周,市场早已不见了踪影。

“那时候拆得太快,没几天工夫就都清场了。最后那些时候的价格实在是‘放血’甩卖,因为卖不掉的也都不会带走了。”老板说着,言语里竟听不出是遗憾还是感叹。

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“This new spot is pretty hard to find,” I said to the shopkeeper. “If one of my friends hadn’t been here before, I would’ve had no idea where to go.”

He laughed. “Yeah. When I first moved in, the whole market was a ghost town. No one came here.”

Even after I found the entrance, I got lost again amid the sprawl of shops. Only after wandering around in circles for a while did I finally stumble across a stairwell next to a stall. Above the dimly lit stairs, looking like a long-lost friend, a sign read “An’xi Fashion Market.”

But now, after a year, patrons of the old market have begun returning, and business has picked up. “Still, it doesn’t compare to what it was like before,” the shopkeeper sighed.


“这个地方实在难寻,要不是有熟人带路,根本不晓得哪能走。”我感叹道。

因为在找到市场大门之后,我又迷失在偌大的市场里面,几经兜转,才摸索着找到某个摊位边的楼梯口,昏暗的台阶上贴着“安西服饰楼”,才算重会了“故地老友”。

老板一笑,说:“是的咯,刚搬到这里来,整个市场简直是空荡得吓人,完全没人的。”

好在现在由于熟客的回流,生意比开始要稍好一些。“但跟以前是没法比的。”老板又半带感慨地说了一句。

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Less is More

 

Maybe because I saw so little foot traffic, the clothing selection seemed especially broad. Mountains of second-clothing from overseas sat waiting to be ironed and put up for sale.

Wholesale secondhand markets like this used to be quite large and do a brisk business. Bundles and bundles of clothes would arrive and get sent off again within a few days.

“In the old days, when the market was still on Dingxi Road, it was a madhouse! People would show up just after 9:00 in the morning, and on the busiest days we wouldn’t close till after 11:00,” recalled Xiao Chen, another shop owner. “Back then my son was just a little boy, and now he’s 29!”


麻雀虽小,五脏俱全

 

或许是因为人少,显得这里的服装货物尤其多。无数漂洋过海而来的各国二手服装,在这里堆积如山,等待熨烫出售。

曾经有很长一段时间,二手服饰批发的市场很大,“走货”速度也很快,衣服一捆捆地来,不日又一捆捆地被批走。

“最早的时候,市场还在老定西路靠近愚园路的地方。那时候是真忙,每天早上九点多就有人来了,最热闹的时候要到晚上十一点才好关门。”老板娘小陈与我说道,“那时我的儿子才只有几岁,现在已经 29 了!”

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“Sounds like you’re a veteran!” I grinned.

“Not at all,” she laughed. “The real veterans have all retired. I’m one of the younger ones.”

As we made small talk, I rummaged through her clothing, looking for potential additions to my wardrobe.

Each shop arranges clothes in its own way, mostly because the shop owners all choose their clothing differently. Some shops lay the items out right in front, with clearly marked prices ranging from a few dozen to a few hundred renminbi. Some are more selective, and some specialize in outerwear, intimate wear, or secondhand items from international brands. Sometimes you even find things by Gucci, Louis Vuitton, or Dolce & Gabbana, sold at a fraction of the original price.


“那你算是这里的老牌啦!”我说。

“哪有,以前老的那批人都不做啦!我们还算是年轻的喽。”她笑着说。

我和老板娘一搭没一搭地聊着天,一边随手翻着这里的衣物,试图找到合眼缘的一些。

这里的衣物分类方式与众不同,主要也是因为各家店主们的选衣定位不同。有很多店铺的衣服直接铺陈在外面,几十块到几百块不等,明码标价;有些店铺则精挑细选,或是专卖外套、内搭,或是主营国际大牌的二手老款,很多诸如 Gucci、LV、Dolce & Gabbana 等国际品牌,也会在此露脸,并且以低于市场价好几倍的价格抛售。

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Xiao Chen says there used to be even more kinds of shops, with some that specialized in leather accessories and clothing. Many of the most famous vintage or buyer shops in town still source items from Jinhuanghuang. “My customers range from older folks out for a deal to merchandisers who come to buy in bulk,” she explained.

When a regular shows up, Xiao Chen brings out the latest items, often still bunched out and wrinkled in large bags. As a favor she lets them comb through the clothing before it even makes it onto the shelves.


老板娘小陈告诉我,以前市场里的衣服种类更多,还有专门卖皮衣皮鞋皮包的。那些知名的复古买手店,也有不少是从这里进货,“我这里常来一些中老年的客户,也有固定的大客户,一次进好多咯。”

这些大客户倘若来,老板娘们会拿出很多刚进的、没来得及整理挂烫的衣服,直接装在袋子里,熟客来的时候优先让他们挑选,权当送个人情。

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A Hundred Different Styles

 

In Shanghai, where it can feel as though things get more expensive by the day, the market’s down-home prices are a rarity.

That’s why fashionistas from nearby universities come here to shop: the deals are good and the styles are quirky, with plenty of clothes to choose from. But perhaps an even bigger draw are the shop owners themselves, especially the women, who all have their own unique style and are happy share a few fashion tips.


一件衣服的一百种搭配方式

 

对于上海日益攀升的物价,这里的衣物价格拥有与之完全不符的亲切。

所以周边大学里的热衷服装搭配与设计的学生也会选择来此地消费,一来便宜量多,二来风格迥异,可供选择的余地也多,再有,就是这里的店主,尤其是老板娘们,对穿衣打扮也有着自己独到的眼光,能说出不少门道。

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That’s especially true of the shop owner Li Zi.

Her shop was one of the main reasons I came, and she certainly lived up to her reputation.

Dressed in a colorful sweater, she excitedly offered fashion advice as I browsed her racks of clothes.

“He’s tall and skinny. I think he’ll look better with loose, baggier clothes,” she told another customer before turning to me. “Those dress pants are a bit flamboyant, but if you pair them with a solid-colored top, I guarantee they’ll look amazing.”


尤其是这家老板娘,俐子。

这家店我是慕名而来,未曾想真的收获颇丰。

“他人高,又瘦,要穿宽大一点的衣裤,显得更好看。”
“你别看这西裤格子颜色花,但配素一点的上衣,上身绝对好看。”
……

老板娘俐子热情地拉着我,分享着她的穿搭心得。

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“You’ve got a real eye for fashion. Do you ever help your kids pick out what to wear?” I asked.

“My son used to look down on these clothes because they were secondhand. But now that he’s got a job and has learned a thing or two, he’s slowly taking an interest. Now he says, ‘Mom, this brand’s too expensive! My boss wears clothes that cost only a few thousand, and what I have on costs ten times as much,” she laughed.

Here, if you’ve got a keen fashion sense, you can create an eye-catching look with seemingly ordinary vintage wear. You don’t need a lot of money to put together an outfit, just patience and personal taste. After a day spent scavenging the market, while some visitors might come away empty-handed, others might walk out with armfuls of loot.


“阿姨眼光这么好,个么(那么)会给儿子女儿打扮伐?”

“以前我儿子他不肯穿,嫌弃是二手的。但现在工作了以后,‘识货’了,慢慢接受起来。但他现在倒要跟我说,‘妈妈这个牌子的衣服太贵了喔!我老板才穿几千块一件的(品牌衣服),我倒要穿上万的!’”

俐子阿姨爽朗地笑着,她身上的衣服也是一件设计独特的针织衫,款式十分雅致。

在这里,独到的眼光往往能让简单的搭配异常出彩,点亮不少看似平凡的旧衣;在这里,选搭衣服的时候,甚至也并不是依靠消费能力,而要考验各人的品味与耐心——四处兜转了半天,有些人很可能一无所获,有些却能满载而归。

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“GOLDEN GLORY TEXTILE MARKET”

 

For all the warmth the shop owners show, they’re noticeably on their guard. Each time I asked, “Ayi, do you have a business card?” the answer was a resounding “no.”

This is because of the legal gray zone these shops operate in. On the one hand, they want more people to know about the market, so they’ll get more customers and do more business. But they’re even more worried that too much exposure might hasten the market’s closure.  “It’s only a matter of time before this place is demolished, too,” they told me.


“GOLDEN GLORY TEXTILE MARKET”


连问几家店铺的老板娘:“阿姨名片有伐?”得到的回答却都是“没有”,热络地招揽之余,那些防备的神色也显得格外突出。

介于这里的灰色属性,店家们往往带着一种极其矛盾的心理,一方面他们当然希望知晓这里的人越来越多,好带来更多客流量跟生意;但另一方面,更让他们不安的是,这种过度曝光不知道会在什么地方加速推动市场的再一次消亡,这里迟早也是要拆的。

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As the last of the daylight receded, and I slowly made my way outside, I turn back to take one final look at the market. The neon red sign seems to be using its last remaining strength to illuminate the words “Golden Glory Textile Market.” But once I crossed the hectic traffic of West Gaoke Road, an overpass blocked the market from view. And just like that, it was gone.


天色渐晚,我慢慢踱出市场,回身一看,那块红色的招牌好像用它仅剩的一点微不足道的力气追赶着印着“ GOLDEN GLORY TEXTILE MARKET ”,但一穿过车流不息的高科西路,一切都被巨大的天桥挡住,什么也看不到了。

Edited with VSCO X Preset AV8 / VSCO X 滤镜 AV8 处理

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Contributor: Chen YuanShou Xing
Photographer: Chan Qu


供稿人: Chen YuanShou Xing
摄影师: Chan Qu