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