Chinese made berets are best known for their low prices, poor quality and being sold at the most expensive tourist areas of Paris... 

Beret manufacturer Lwobeing is the stereotypical exception to the rule, creating quality, comfortable Basque berets from Australian merino wool, building on a legacy of French beret-wearing in Shanghai. This legacy was formed during the period of the French Concession (1849-1945) and in 'Frenchtown' many older Shànghǎirén continue wearing the Basque beret every day.

The Cathay Lwobeing berets measure 28cm in diameter (10p), are fitted with an embroidered label and sewn-in satin lining. 

Available in a range of colours at a cost incomparable with any European made berets.  

Cathay Berets


It’s a classic Shanghai sight: older Chinese men sporting Basque berets. The iconic headwear never went out of style among gentlemen of a certain age in Shanghai. Some hypothesize that since famous revolutionaries like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara also favoured the beret, Chinese men may have felt comfortable wearing them post-1949. 

Photographer Patrick Cranley has been on the streets of Frenchtown in Shanghai, documenting the laokele (distinguished Shanghai gentlemen) and their berets.