“What does the thin Liao silk look like? Neither like gauze or raw silk nor like fine silk or damask. It should be compared to a forty-five feet waterfall in Tiantai Mountain, flowing down before the bright moon.” China is the homeland of silk. Literati write poems about silk; painters use brushes to paint on silk, and Chinese people always have affection for silk.
“Wide Liao silk was cut into sleeves and long Liao silk was made into a dress. The creases were ironed out and the patterns were cut with scissors.” Refosian (Rui Fu Xiang), which has been dedicated to the inheritance of Chinese charm for a hundred years, tailors garments, accessories, furs, and home textiles, etc. Refosian’s Qianmen store in Beijing is a traditional quadrangular courtyard house. The house structure with a light court, the hitching post used to park carriages at the entrance for dignitaries in ancient times, the stone carvings on the facade, the canopy, etc., make you feel as if you were in a traditional silk store in the downtown area a century ago.
The character “Fu” in the name “Rui Fu Xiang” came from the ancient Chinese story of “Qingfu brings money back to the owner”. According to Huainanzi and In Search of the Supernatural (Soushen Ji) written in the Jin Dynasty, “The Fu is an insect similar to a cicada but slightly larger. It gives birth to a larva on a grass leaf, which is as big as a silkworm. If the larva is taken away, the mother would fly to it, no matter how far away it is. Even if the larva is stolen, the mother definitely knows its whereabouts. If you apply the blood of the mother Fu and the larva on 81 coins respectively, and then go to buy something, whether you use the money with the blood of the mother insect or that of the larva first, the money will fly back and never run out.” Meng Hongsheng used the character “Fu” in the name of his store to imply that the money invested in the business would come back to him. He used the characters “Rui” and “Xiang” to pray for good luck and business prosperity.
There was a shopping rule known in Beijing: Wearing Ma Ju Yuan hats, Refosian clothes, and Nei Lian Sheng shoes. Refosian was the most famous silk store in the capital city at that time. With excellent fabrics and exquisite workmanship, Refosian, which was founded in 1862, topped the eight silk stores with the character “Xiang” in their names. The fabric of the first national flag of the People’s Republic of China was provided by Refosian. Made of fine fabrics, Refosian’s garments are appropriately tailored and well piped, with beautiful frog fasteners. Refosian’s traditional style garments require more than a dozen processes from the selection of fabrics to the production of the finished garments, and are particularly elaborate in terms of decoration techniques. It follows the “piping, hemming, line cutting, inlaying, buttoning, and embroidery” techniques of the Qing Dynasty, and combines various techniques according to the needs of making a garment. From the collar to the bottom hem and tiny frog fasteners, every stitch is perfect and every step is handmade, reflecting the profound culture accumulated by generations of craftsmen for more than a century.
The century-old Refosian store has witnessed the changes of the times from public-private partnership in the early years of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, private ownership to state ownership, and joint-stock reform after the reform and opening up. The traditional Chinese clothing represented by Chi-pao (cheongsam) is increasingly popular among consumers nowadays. Refosian, as an iconic brand, is a leader in providing couture services such as traditional Chinese costume making, handmade custom cheongsam, traditional embroidery techniques, frog fastener techniques, and hand-tailor. Refosian is particularly adept at making cheongsam, which epitomes the blending of Eastern women’s charm and softness of silk.
While carrying forth traditional culture and preserving traditional decorative patterns, Refosian has kept up with the times and introduced thousands of hand-embroidered patterns and frog fastener designs, leading the new trend of Chinese fashion and becoming a century-old classic brand of haute couture. Refosian’s couture services are now professionally managed and involve nine major processes. It has set up teams including exclusive assistants, image consultants, measure masters, pattern makers, tailors, sewers, ironers, frog fastener technicians, and embroiderers to achieve “one team for one customer” and meet consumers’ demand for high-end, personalized, one-stop, and experience-oriented consumption. It is these traditional skills and quality services that have earned Refosian a good reputation among consumers in the field of haute couture, as well as a leading position in the industry.
For more than a century, Refosian has always combined profound traditional Chinese culture with pioneering and innovative spirits. It integrates traditional elements and century-old garment-making skills in every fine costume. In the new era, the staff of Refosian continue to pass on traditional culture and gain the trust of consumers with integrity and quality. Adhering to the century-old operation philosophy of “genuine and honest, treating everyone equally”, they have created one exquisite garment after another.