Michel Alarcon & Sifan Shao

. Categories: INTERVIEWS, Others.

Sifan Shao and Michel Alarcon are both very passionate men. Their dedication

to art and style is evident in all that they do. Born in China, Shao spent his adolescence in

Paris, graduating from the Sorbonne with degrees in Economics and Management. He

later studied acting in the famous French drama school Cours Florent and began a career

as an actor before moving back to his native China and opening S.T.A.R.S., a cross

between an art gallery a clothing shop and a performance space.



Lily Gatins wearing Martinez Lierah


Alarcon, a French native, had three passions in his life growing up: Science, fashion, and

Asia. After graduating with a PhD in Genetics and Animal Physiology from the University

of Montreal he moved back to Paris and began working as a sales associate and

merchandising assistant at the world-famous boutique Colette. This led to being named

Communications Manager for Givenchy in Tokyo

and, eventually, being hired as the fashion buyer at S.T.A.R.S.

Alarcon and Shao have opened a space that fuses the worlds of art, fashion and culture

seamlessly for one of the world’s most coveted emerging markets. They spoke with

Lereport about what inspires them, what they love most about Beijing and Paris, and

what has led them to work towards the integration of beauty on so many varied levels.



 What are the things that you are fondest of in Beijing/Paris?


Michel Alarcon: In Beijing, I love the mix of tradition and modernity, the cocktail

bars hidden in the Hutong, the spontaneity of local people and,

of course, the amazing historic places. In Paris, I love going to the bakery next door

to buy fresh croissants in the morning and enjoying drinks

in the evening on a terrace with my friends.


Sifan Shao:  In Beijing I love the Hutongs. The tower of the Forbidden City late

at night, sheep brochette and beer in the streets and malatang late at night.  

In Paris, I love the smell of croissants early in the morning, people kissing

everywhere, La Seine and old bookstores on the riverbank. Fruit stalls,

chatting about politics, life, love and betrayal at coffee terrasses the whole day.




 What was the biggest influence on you in your youth?

M. A.: Christian religion, my Spanish roots and Japanese cartoons.


S. S.: The school library in China where my mother used to work when

I was a kid, and my French teacher in high school when I was a teenager in Paris.



Lily Gatins, Sifan Shao and Michel Alarcon

 What is your current fashion obsession?

 S. S.: Hats. 

M. A.: Fancy shoes, printed pants, bling bling necklaces, and tattoos.


 Who are your favorite designers? 

S. S.: Yohji Yamamoto, Klasica. 

M. A.: Comme des Garçons, Jeremy Scott and now I have an increasing interest in Korean designers.



Rings: Hai, Jacket and pants: Gareth Pugh

 What movies/actors do you love? 

S. S.: The Pianist by Michael Haneke, Red Lanterns by Zhang Yimou,

Tony Leung, Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, Gong Li.

M. A.: Blade Runner, Alien saga, Chungking Express. Sigourney Weaver and Maggie Cheung.



Leather top Martinez Lierah, pants Gareth Pugh


Who would you love to work, hang out, or collaborate with. 

M. A.: I already work with a talented person, my boss Sifan Shao. I would love

to hang out with Kesha to mess around! I dream of collaborating with Rei Kawakubo.


S. S.: In the past, it would have been with Li Bai (a famous Chinese poet), Moliere

(famous French drama writer/actor,) or Marguerite Duras (French writer.)

Now just with close, creative, and trusted friends.



 What is your idea of the perfect holiday? 


M. A.: Being alone in a city I’ve never been before and making new friends. 

S. S.: A road trip with my closest and oldest friends, traveling and

discovering an unknown country.


 What are some of your bad habits? 

M. A.: Smoking and complaining all the time (yes, I am French!)

 S. S.: Cant stop eating everywhere, all the time.


 Do you have any secret talents?

 S. S.: Cooking and baking.

 M. A.: Absolutely none! What you see is what you get.



 What do you want to see in your future?

 M. A.:  Health for my loved ones above all and then wealth for the business.


 S. S.:  I have a very normal and traditional vision of future: healthy parents, good

friends, two adorable children and many cats and dogs, and continuing

doing the things that I like.


Lily Gatins wearing Martinez Leirah and Hai rings


 Where are you at your most relaxed? 

M. A.: Very simple: My family’s home in the French countryside. 

S. S.: Luang Prabang in Laos; Siem Reap in Cambodia; lakeside

wood house with a sauna in Finland.



Doujiao Lane 23#, Dongcheng district, Beijing 100009


Sifan Shao




Michel Alarcon
Buyer & Art Director


T  010 8408 3833 


Jeff Yiu




Ariel Ramirez

Fashion editor