产业发展的推动者 ● 城市更新的建设者
Jin Hongxiang (1895～1958), formerly known as Jinmaoluo, was born in Sunqiao Town, Pudong, founder of Shanghai Hongxiang Fashion Company, and council member of Pudong Association. Due to family poverty, the boy went to Harbin to study tailoring. After returning to Shanghai, I went to Gong Yuexing Tailor Shop and worked as a tailor (a wealthy family in Shanghai who went to the tailor shop to make custom-made clothes and delivered them to the door after they were made. This kind of delivery person is called in the industry As a "carrying parcel" tailor).
After a long time, Golden Retriever has more contact with customers, and people are also familiar. Some clients asked him to make a cheongsam with European and American style and showing feminine curves. Later, he encountered similar requests from customers many times. This information made him feel that the old-fashioned cheongsam is no longer liked by fashionable women. The new cheongsam with European and American style and showing female curves will surely become popular among fashionable women, so he sprouted the idea of self-employment. Since then, his spare time has been spent on studying the characteristics of Western-style women's clothing. After some clues, Jinmaoji rented No. 683 Jing'an Temple Road (the current address of Hongxiang Company on Nanjing West Road) to open a clothing store and used the borrowed 600 silver dollars as working capital.
When a store opens, there must be a good name and a loud name. Golden Retriever asked a friend for advice. The friend thought for a while and said, "How about the name Hongxiang when it's a lucky opening?" Jin Retriever continued to applaud. The name of Hongxiang is still in use today.
After the Revolution of 1911, although dress change is the general trend, the conservative forces are still very tenacious, especially for the innovative cheongsam. There are not many women who boldly try, so Hongxiang's business at that time was very flat.
Hard work pays off. At that time, there was a famous lady in Shanghai, Miss Fang, who was about to marry the son of a senior staff member of the Shanghai HSBC Bank. She usually likes to wear western-style clothing that reflects the female curve, and she is not afraid of people's rumors. This time she wanted to customize a new-style cheongsam for wedding dresses and dowry clothes. She has walked through several fashion stores, but the fashion stores declined because they had not done it. The young lady from the rear came to the Hongxiang store and was warmly received by the Golden Retriever. According to the style proposed by Ms. Fang, it was agreed that Hongxiang would make her a wedding cheongsam first, and if Ms. Fang was satisfied, he would make various styles for spring, summer, autumn and winter. The wedding cheongsam was made, and Miss Fang was very satisfied when she tried it on. Then, he customized various other cheongsams and filled a box full. On the wedding day, the bride wore a new-style cheongsam, which was chic and elegant, with clear curves, and looked graceful and graceful, which made the female families attending the banquet very "jerk". Some female relatives are so curious that they actually ask the bride to open the dowry box in the new house and see it quickly. Yo! All the cheongsams with gorgeous colors and novel styles make everyone dazzled and envy them. Someone asked: "Where did it make it?" He replied: "Hongxiang!" Ms. Fang wore a new dress at the wedding, becoming a voluntary fashion show. Since then, Hongxiang's reputation has spread widely and business is booming. Jin Mao Lao expanded the original three-bay store to six-bay, and the store number was changed from Hongxiang Fashion Store to Hongxiang Fashion Company. As the days are longer, many old customers met him and didn't call him Mao Lai, but called him Hongxiang. Jin Maoyu took advantage of the trend and changed his name to Jin Hongxiang.
In order to expand the business, Jin Hongxiang opened a branch on Nanjing Road. The head office and branch each have more than 200 employees. He also hired foreign designers and design experts in the same industry with a high salary to design the latest fashionable women's fashion in the West. In this way, the clothes displayed in the Hongxiang store have new styles throughout the year. When many colleagues imitated the Hongxiang style and introduced it to the market, Hongxiang has renewed the style.
Soong Ching Ling admired Hongxiang’s innovative spirit very much. It created a pioneer in women’s clothing innovation and conformed to the new trend of women’s liberation. Soong Ching Ling has been to Hongxiang to customize clothing many times, and inscribed for Hongxiang: "Introduce the old to bring forth the new, the wonderful hands are natural, the essence of piano goods, and the economy." The relatives of Cai Yuanpei, a senior in education, have also made clothing in Hongxiang many times. A horizontal plaque of "Chinese products Jinliang" was presented to Hongxiang.
Jin Hongxiang is not satisfied that Hongxiang has made a brand in Shanghai, he also wants to make foreigners know Hongxiang. He read the news in the newspaper that Queen Elizabeth is about to ascend to the throne, and immediately rushed to make a set of Chinese evening dress as a gift. The Queen appreciated it very much, and signed and sent a thank you note. Jin Hongxiang put the thank-you note in a beautiful frame and hung it in the shop, attracting many foreigners, especially the British, to flock to see the Queen's thank-you note. After seeing it, they all gave their thumbs up and praised "China Hongxiang is amazing!"
In 1931, Jin Hongxiang met Miao Kaibo, an acquaintance who participated in the preparations for the World Exposition at the Golden Gate Hotel. Miao said to him: "At the exposition, all countries have costumes for exhibitions, but China does not." Jin Hongxiang felt that this was another Hongxiang brand. A good opportunity, so I mobilized the best skilled masters to carefully craft 6 kinds of fashionable cheongsams, and asked Kaibo Miao to post them for exhibition at the Chicago World Expo. The result was a silver award.
In 1933, Shanghai's "Xingxing Daily" held a movie queen campaign and movie star Hu Die was elected. Subsequently, the press held a grand coronation ceremony for the "Queen of Shadows". The ceremony was presided over by Wang Xiaolai, President of the City Chamber of Commerce, who put the "crown" on the head of the "Queens of Shadow". The dress and crown of the "Queen of Shadows" were made and presented by Hongxiang for free. However, Jin Hongxiang stated in advance that the dress and the crown were in two sets, one set was given as a gift, and the other set was displayed by him in the company's window for advertising. The glittering and gorgeous dress and the solemn and exquisite crown, under the radiance of the light, looked extremely brilliant, attracting the attention of many Shanghainese. Then Hongxiang invited Hu Die to perform in the Paramount Ballroom in a dress made by Hongxiang Company and embroidered with hundreds of colorful butterflies, which once again created a sensational effect. Hongxiang also set up a women's fashion show team of Hongxiang Company, which held fashion shows in stores and related occasions. Hongxiang is actually one of the pioneers of fashion model shows in Shanghai.
In the 1930s and 1940s, the Pudong Association of Countryside Association held 23 group weddings. The Gaoqiao Rural Improvement Association also held group weddings frequently. All the wedding dresses used were provided by Hongxiang Company for free.
Clothing production has been laid on the table for flat cutting since ancient times, but some technicians in Hongxiang Company have three-dimensional cutting (also known as "flying scissors" personal cutting) special effects. In the shop, the technician puts the whole piece of clothing tightly on the customer or the model, follows the curve of the body, uses a pin to figure out the body shape, holds the scissors, and clicks a few times to cut out the clothes. The shape is amazing. With this cutting method, the curve after the garment is accurate, considerate and graceful, does not wrinkle or hang, and is comfortable to wear.
Technician Hongxiang also has a special skill. He is good at tailoring and sewing special-shaped clothing to make up for certain physical defects of customers. He can make clothes with collapsed shoulders, curved backs, and chests straight. The appearance of the clothes he wears is almost normal. It makes the fat people look less bloated, the lean people look plumper, the short ones have higher vision, and the customers are all satisfied.
Jin Hongxiang always treats customers with enthusiasm. After becoming a big boss, he is even more modest and cautious. He often warns employees to treat customers as their parents. He stipulated that the reception staff in the store should have a neat suit and be upright and generous; the trainees should wear student clothes, neat and decent. A receptionist is also specially set up, and the guests sit down and immediately deliver tea; when there are male guests, they must offer cigarettes, and samples will be sent immediately for selection. Salespersons must be able to serve as good advisers to customers, and they must also be able to receive customers in English and be able to issue English invoices. For this reason, Jin Hongxiang mobilized all the salespersons to study English in part-time schools, and the company paid all the tuition and fees.
The locker room on the second floor is neat and tidy. The sample room is magnificent, with large floor-to-ceiling glass mirrors on the front and back, which is very stage style; try on the new clothes, you can see the front and back, left and right, and feel confident about the quality. Especially when the bride comes to try on new clothes, the whole family is accompanied, and a few words of praise from relatives and friends, beaming with joy.
In 1933, when raising funds for the construction of Pudong Building, Jin Hongxiang took the lead in donating money and also mobilized Pudong colleagues to donate more than 10,000 yuan. In 1936, the building was completed, and a special class titled by the Association of Hometowns was "Xuanyuantang 11 Jin Hongxiang, the leader of the suit industry, and his colleagues raised huge sums of money to commemorate this forever." The statue of Jin Hongxiang was also hung in the clubhouse. Xuanyuan is the Yellow Emperor and the patriarch of the garment industry. With the name "Xuanyuan", it can be seen that Jin Hongxiang's position in Shanghai's garment industry.
(Excerpt from "Rise of Pudong Association", author: Wu Hao)