Dominic Johnson-Hill and his clothing brand Plastered 8 in the Nanluoguxiang

24/03/2011
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There is a saying about visiting Beijing’s hutong: you’ve never been to the Nanluoguxiang, if you miss to visit and shop at the Plastered 8 store.
In 1993, Dominic Johnson-Hill first came to China as a backpacker and fell in love with Beijing. Seeing this country’s growing marketin potential, along with his passion for chinese culture, he decided to comeback in 1995 and open his first business as a marketing researcher.
From 1995 to 2000, Dominic traveled around China visiting all the provinces in the country developing his business and feeding his passion for chinese culture and history.
In 2006, Dominic came up with the concept of iconic Chinese imagery print on shirts creating his own clothing brand and founded Plastered 8. That idea lead him to earn the Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2008 British Business Award.
Plastered 8 Store in Nanluoguxiang

Vintage styled Plastered 8 editorial photo

To launch and promote the brand, he closed off the streets around the newly opened store and launched a fashion show without prior permission. As an uncommon event, the Chinese authorities were not aware of the measures they should take and decided to just look the other way. Those unexpected events drove him a lot of media attention and Dominic knew how to get advantage from that. He even took the chance to come out in a popular TV show wearing a shirt with his phone number featured!
The idea of the name came out of a building plate to which he added the number 8 for its luck meaning in China.
“I called it ‘Plastered 8’ just because I put an 8 in the logo. Because the logo is made from a Beijing building plate. So I needed a number on it. So I just put number 8 because it’s lucky in China. ‘Plastered’ is a very well-known word in English. Because ‘plastered’ has three meanings. One is plastered. The second one is to plaster something on a T-shirt or wall. And the third meaning means you are very drunk. So it’s quite fun. That’s how I came up with the name. The Chinese name is just the direct translation of ‘8 plastered’, which tends to make Chinese customers look twice because they think why would you call a shop ‘plastered’!”
He says his inspiration for desigining prints are provided by daily life in Beijing and he is mostly fond of vintage images such as from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
His company now a days does about $800.000 a year in sales and Dominic Johnson-Hill became a celebrity. His stores can be found in many different parts of Beijing as well as other provinces in China and even in other countries such as the UK, USA, France and Singapore. His t-shirts became souverniers for foreiners and desired itens by locals.
His first opened and main store is located in one of the oldest China’s residence area, Nanluoguxian hutong.
Plastered 8 Store in Nanluoguxiang

Plastered 8 Store in Nanluoguxiang