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Now the Mao Suit Club

Get liberated from the necktie, wear a fashion brand

HONG KONG: Tired of wearing a tie to work every day? How about a Mao suit for a change?

Hong Kong fashion label Shanghai Tang on Tuesday launched the `Mandarin Collar Society,' a group that wants to "liberate" businessmen from the Western dress code of suit and tie with the more relaxed Chinese collar, a style favoured by Mao Zedong and other Chinese leaders.

The club appears to be a publicity exercise for Shanghai Tang, which makes Chinese-style attire, but founder Raphael le Masne de Chermont says he wants to promote Chinese culture.

Big step forward

"China has a very strong culture, and today a very strong economy," said Mr. le Masne de Chermont, who is also chairman of Shanghai Tang.

"This is a big step forward in telling the world China's not just the factory of the world. China can also make a difference in the fashion scene," he said, adding that wearing the Mandarin collar instead of a necktie is a symbol of Chinese pride.

Club members — who can only join by specific invitation — will have access to tailored clothing, the Frenchman said.

Founding members include Michelin star chef Pierre Gagnaire and British sprint champion Linford Christie, the club said. — AP

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