On the afternoon of March 18, 2007, the north part of Beijing Zhengdong Electronic Power Group Factory was brought back to life after decades of silence. Beautiful models, stylish designers, excited visitors, and colorful fashion collections were everywhere.
It is an old factory, one of the important projects from China's 1st Five Year Plan, supported by former Eastern Germany. The remaining original sections of the facility tell the history of Beijing's industrial era, even though the development of the city ended its role as a factory.
D-PARK represents hope for the future of Beijing's creative industries. The building, "Factory 751,” is so different from its former self, many who used to work and live there will be surprised to see the transformation.
As part of the "Fashion in Beijing" program instituted by the Beijing government in early 2006, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Industrial Development and China Fashion Association cooperated to plan and build a fashion hub. After visiting and negotiating with over ten abandoned factories, they signed the agreement with the Beijing Zhengdong Electric Power Group on May 12, 2006.
After 9 months of hard work, the China Fashion Association and Beijing Zhengdong Electric Power Group revived the historical structure. The building, renamed D-PARK, houses 5 famous designers, 30 young designers, several modeling agencies, and exhibition companies. A fashion park combining design, exhibition, and product development was also built.
In addition, D-PARK has established a public service platform providing information, training, and meeting rooms in order to create a better environment for fashion elites.
To visit D-PARK, take the airport expressway to the Dashanzi exit. Drive east, through the 1000-meter long "798 Art District" at No. 2 Jiuxianqiao Road, until you see two large red buildings standing beside two high chimneys.
Ayou Studio, Zeng Fengfei Studio, Liuwei Studio, Wu Xuewei/Wu Xuekai Studio, Galaxy Model Management Ltd., Training Center of China Fashion Association, and Fashion China Magazine House can all be found here.
(China.org.cn March 18, 2007)