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BEIJING | Picture for a moment a rusted shipwreck lying on the seabed for decades. Imagine all the captivating treasures it may hide. And think about the excitement of being able to be the first to discovering them all. That is exactly how the two Beijingers, Xiao Qiu and Jin Qiu, wants you to feel when you step into their concept boutique, MONSTER. Opened just a year ago the store has become a must see in the hipster area of Gulou. Xiao and Jin are designers and illustration artists; and their quirky personalities influenced the concept and aesthetic behind MONSTER. “Our love for imaginative and unique accessories eventually lead us to the store name "GuaiWu"; which has the double meaning of “Monster” and “curious objects” in Chinese”, Jin explains. The boutique is certainly earning adepts among young Chinese with a strong personal style who love imaginative and unique accessories; and who are eager to discover new independent designer brands. MONSTER stocks a wide range of accessories fetched from all over the world; including hats, jewellery, sunglasses, bags, ties, etc. The selection process is not random at all. Every item in stock is picked with true passion: cosmos inspired hats; bags shaped like carrots or teapots; frog print ties; double layered glasses; and unicorn sculpted rings among many other things. Celapiu (Cracow), Betina( New York ), Hi Tek (London),HU (Paris), KruKru(Moscow), Kreuz (ShangHai), Macabre Gadgets (Poland), OKIMI (Tokyo) and Percy (HongKong) are just a few of the independent designer brands MONSTER carries.  They also stock a fair amount of Chinese independent designer brands, which are proven to be very popular among their customers. The philosophy behind MONSTER is to bring accessories to the forefront. “We think that in comparison to fashion design, accessory design not only acknowledges designers with more creative freedom, but it also brings consumers strong and unique individualities”, adds Jin. To fulfil their mission, they also create special items under the label MONSTER, which includes collaborations with independent artists and designers; as well as private exhibitions and pop up events. (Ruby's photos courtesy of MONSTER). For Jin, one of the most memorable collaborations is the one with the popular Chinese illustrator NanGuaZi to produce a “Ruby” brooch. Ruby is a fawn puppet character originally created by NanGuaZi; and through this collaboration Jin and Xiao wished that the illustrator’s fans had the chance to wear their much-loved character as an edgy accessory. PHOTOS BY EARTH TO IRIS MONSTER Address: 89 Baochao Hutong, Gulou Dongdajie, Beijing. China 北京市,东城区,鼓楼东大街,89宝钞胡同. See on Google maps.    

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