Gaze down at Shanghai
denizens' feet, and you’ll see many pairs of canvas sneakers emblazoned with the word Feiyue
. You can pick up your own pair at Culture Matters, a pint-size second-floor shop offering Feiyues in dozens of styles and colors. The homegrown brand dates back to the 1920s, when canvas shoes with a supple rubber bottom were first produced in Shanghai. It wasn’t until two decades later that the shoes, popular in martial arts because of their flexible sole, got the name Feiyue, meaning “to fly across.” The street-style staples retail in Europe for as much as $71—but at Culture Matters, the original black and white models cost a fraction of that, and you can even have them custom painted!