Social Paper Magazine
Published by Xintiandi’s Social Lab, Social Paper is a biannual magazine examining the people, ideas and relationships behind the ecosystems shaping China’s most progressive cultural industries, from fashion to food to sustainability. MMBP & Associates oversees editorial concept and creative direction, including the magazines’ copy, editing, design, art direction and creative production.
Shanghai’s Xintiandi is one of the most well-regarded exercises in placemaking in China, a revitalization project marrying traditional Shanghaiese Shikumen architecture with an urban planning approach that celebrates the creative and the collaborative. A place where people connect, interact, and experience new and exciting things together. This multi-purpose social destination is home to art galleries, retail, cafés, restaurants, social spaces and public activations. Xintiandi’s spirit of inclusion allows those that visit to become part of a larger community, to access a physical network, and to meet and spend time with like-minded peers.
The third issue of Social Paper documents a dinner party at which 10 thinkers, makers and influencers within the food industry (including a young farmer, a food critic, a street vendor, and a technologist) discuss the future of food at the intersection of culture and sustainability. In addition, each guest is either the subject or creator of a long-form feature within the book in the form of an essay, interview or visual story. By weaving together these personal experiences and professional insights, the issue provides a holistic and accessible perspective of the industry.
This issue of Social Paper is dedicated to the process of establishing a fashion brand and the many people who collaborate on a collection. MMBP & Associates led the project from initial vision to sales: creating the brand, enlisting a designer, engaging manufacturing services, shooting a campaign and lookbook, and finally presenting the work at Shanghai Fashion Week. The issue documents each step of the way and features visual essays as well as practical advice, making it both a functional document – a kind of business blueprint for young designers – as well as a commentary on the inner workings of the fashion industry: how it functions, and who is involved.
The inaugural issue of Social Paper Magazine shone a spotlight on the people and personal connections within Xintiandi. Much more than a retail destination, Xiantiandi functions as community and collaboration space. The magazine traced links within that community, as with three pairs of childhood friends who accidentally and fortuitously found each other in Xintiandi after many years apart, rekindling their relationships, as well as an interview with critically acclaimed fashion designer Uma Wang, whose eponymous label’s flagship store is located within the development.