S H A N G H A I  T O F U 

FREIRAUM  

What seems like the title of a Chinese take-out menu is every meme-posting millennial’s fashion dream. Shanghai Tofu is the intersection of Berghain-vibes, the Baguette-holding Savoir-Vivre of the Parisians and Shanghai’s viral internet culture. The Berlin-based brand does not only offer hoodies, berets, tennis-socks, jewellery and smartphone-necklaces, it also comes with a ramen-sized portion of humour. Thus, the colours bear names like Pork Belly Pink or Sweet Chili Red while a necklace might be named Chainsmoker and a hoodie Unspeakable B. Whereby the latter is an anecdote about a Chinese saying, containing an unspeakably bad swearword which is often related to tiny cats. Shanghai Tofu’s signature piece, the beret, is called Je Ne Soy Quoi and relates to a viral video clip which shaped the phrase “I just want to buy soy sauce” as a metaphor for minding one’s own business. But this is not the only thing about the Berlin brand which went viral. Within the last couple of months, one could find Shanghai Tofu’s designs all over cool kids’ Instagram pages, in fashion magazines and featured on international blogs. It does not come as a surprise: The two sisters Lina and Inga Zangers founded their label with the intention to create a hype-brand. The designs, the aesthetics and communication are not only made to wear but also made to share. Flashy colours meet zodiac signs, flames and astrology, paired with a Gen YZ-attitude. With an obvious sense of irony, Shanghai Tofu brings together smartphone necklaces with healing crystals like rose quartz, snowflake obsidian and green aventurine. In line with their true take-out-manner, the brand’s shirts feature sales slips and the socks are decked with the word Sendnoods – another hint at the current meme-landscape. Little details like this make the brand so relatable, so different and so special, that party-queens and -kings as well as couch-dumplings, weekend- and weeknight-people can identify with it. The sisters dive deep into their social media accounts and streetwear-trends for inspiration and the outcome is a 21st-century clothing- and accessory-collection which does not differ between ages, races, genders or the star-constellation you have been born under. Seeing all of the yummy pieces of Shanghai Tofu’s current collection, we don’t only want to buy soy sauce!

Nele Tüch – Freelance Writer