Layefe Home carries on
Shanghai Daily news
Layefe's popular table ware range contains a selection of modern and
stylish items which are perfect for dinner parties or casual
Chen Yifei was once China's most successful
contemporary artist. His paintings were being sold for up to US$300,000 and his
impact on Chinese fashion was second to none. It was this history that enabled
him to establish a home ware store and fashion label that were at the forefront
of Chinese style.
Chen was one of the first to capitalize on China's
growing middle class. It didn't take long for Chen to move from being a
successful artist to an equally successful entrepreneur.
oil-paintings to silk apparel, Chen moved seamlessly into the world of fashion
and designer home ware.
However, last year, aged 59, Chen died due to a
stomach hemorrhage. Yet Chen is survived by his East-meets-West style of
interior decoration promoted by his flagship store in Xintiandi, Layefe Home.
Layefe (a play on Chen's first name) was originally a fashion label the
late artist launched in 1998. Then in 2000, the flagship store was opened to an
Since Chen's passing last year, there has been a
lot of speculation about the future of Layefe Home. However, the store seems to
be doing as well as it always has. The vision Chen had for Shanghai's style
continues to thrive in the designer boutique.
Chen had always focused on
local materials with international appeal.
From the Ming (1368-1644)
style pottery of Jiangxi province (which was once the center of Imperial China's
porcelain production) to embroidered cushions and table cloths that are made of
the finest Suzhou silk.
Layefe Home lives up to this focus and is still
one of the best places to go when looking for home wares that will impress.
While still fairly expensive (as stores in Xintiandi are apt to be), Layefe has
an international style that is worth paying for.
Large glass vases are
priced from 350 yuan (US$43.21) upwards and the price suits if you are looking
for something without the blemishes and irregularities that are common in many
Large leather magazine holders are another triumph of
Layefe. They are priced at around 900 yuan and are worth every last jiao
considering the stylish cut and handsome dark leather.
The same goes for
their small to large leather boxes that are priced from 100 yuan to 300 yuan.
Layefe Home also stocks an arsenal of designer table ware which, while
it may be too pricey to consider using for a standard meal, would surely score
some points for those looking to host a dinner party.
platters and some rather good looking scented candles would also come in handy
for those inviting over some style conscious guests.
Another plus of
Layefe Home is that not all the goods are of super-stylish, minimalist design.
There is also a nice collection of tribal masks and wall hangings that
balance out the collection.
Layefe Home may hold some extra appeal of
late due to Christmas sales.
Their collection of towels and bathroom
accessories has been cut by 30 to 50 percent and many of their vases are now
going for half price.
Layefe is also not only a home ware store.
The fashion label namesake of the store continues to operate and a
collection of handbags and clothes are still available.
Home continues to do well, Chen's art is now seeing steep appreciation. His
previous record was broken recently by the sale of one of his paintings for 6.1
One wonders how much of a parallel can be drawn between
Chen's art and his fashion/home ware empire.
Zhang Qing, who was the
director of the Shanghai Biennale at the Shanghai Art Museum, said of Chen's
art, "It was very commercial...Chen was a smart person. He fused enough western
bourgeois tastes into his paintings to interest Chinese buyers." Perhaps this
comment indicates that a similarity between Chen's art and his business is not
so far fetched.
Address: No. 12 North block Xintiandi