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ChicChoc: Friendship, Beauty, and a Refined Life

SEP . 07 2015
Peking University, Sep 7, 2015: In the early spring of 2015, an original Wechat platform—“ChicChoc” came into being on PKU campus. Focusing on college girls fashion, ChicChoc offers both online dressing up recommendation and offline fashion salons. With its growing popularity, Shen Wei and Lv Siyao, two PKU girls who gave birth to this unique Wechat platform, become increasingly well-known among fashion girls on campus.

ChicChoc Wechat platform

Best girlfriends and the birth of ChicChoc
Shen Wei studies in School of Journalism and Communication while Lv Siyao in Yuanpei College. The two girls’ story began in the summer of 2014, when they first met in a PKU summer course called “Field Investigation of History of Western Art” in Edinburgh. During the trip and study, Shen Wei and Siyao found a lot in common in their interests and difficulties they have encountered. A budding friendship deepened in sharing and mutual understanding. Siyao said it was in that summer when they both realized what a “best girlfriend” means in life. “Sharing with another and encouraging each other is much better than being anxious and upset alone during those days,” Siyao recalled, “and the mutual support between two girlfriends was amazingly effective.”

Best girlfriends in Edinburgh

Shen Wei spent the subsequent fall term in Canada as an exchange student. After coming back, she gradually conceived the idea of producing a sharing platform for fashion college girls. She soon shared her intention with Siyao, who chimed in with Shen’s plan. “Siyao and I are fashion conscious girls and like-minded friends. Since Chinese universities now lack this sort of fashion platform, we want to produce one to cater for college girls like us,” said Shen Wei. ChicChoc was thereby initiated.

Lv Siyao (Left) and Shen Wei (Right)

ChicChoc is designed to be “the FIRST and the BEST College Girls Salon.” Orienting around cosmetics, clothing and fitness, ChicChoc has carried a series of articles: The Secret of Base Make-up, Fashion Oxford Shoes, Leg-training Equipment in Fitness Centers… Shen Wei and Siyao also take the financial circumstances of college students into account. For example, in an article of summer flat sandals, the recommended products are sorted into fair-price and top-brand categories. “The top-brand products are unaffordable to college students, yet their designs reflect the current fashion trend, according to which we could select substitutes at a fair price,” said Siyao. “Despite the limited economic strength of college students, we can still appreciate beauty and cultivate taste. It is the refined and positive lifestyle that we intend to adopt, rather than materialism,” added Shen Wei.

Apart from releasing online articles, ChicChoc has held several offline salons. Zhang Ling, a senior from School of International Studies, PKU, and an incoming freshman of Harvard Kennedy School, was once invited as the honor guest to a ChicChoc “girls only” salon. The participants benefited a great deal, and the two initiators further clarified the orientation of ChicChoc from this experience. “A refined life needs a motivated heart. We intend to help college girls enhance personal image and seek an ideal balance in life, study and career. We want them to pursue a better self,” said the two girls.

Life as ChicChoc operators
The bosom friends share a lot of common ground, yet their appreciation of beauty as well as strong points differ—“so that we can complement each other with advantages,” they said. Shen Wei is in charge of selecting pictures and dealing with Photoshop while Siyao is responsible for writings. They draw up the Wechat push lists together and acquire tacit understanding. “If we put forward a list of fifty recommendations at the beginning, the final version of the list after selection, which may contain ten recommendations, is what we both like.” With regard to the success of ChicChoc, the two initiators owe it to each other. “We develop the platform consistently by virtue of mutual supervision,” said Shen Wei, “she (Siyao) would force me to hold on writing if I intended to give up. I wouldn’t make it without her.”

Shen Wei and Siyao now reckon their dedication to Chichoc as relaxation and refreshment in study. However, running an original Wechat platform of delivering and creating beauty is anything but an easy task. It took them nearly three months to invite Yu Xiaoge, chief editor of Harper's Bazaar, to be the honor guest of their second offline salon.

Besides writing articles themselves, they also invite friends to contribute to the platform. One of Siyao’s friends whom she met in Taiwan during an exchange program has excellent taste in cosmetics. She has contributed a series of articles about useful tips on make-up. “Perhaps she is not professional enough, but she is willing to share experience with other girls. This is exactly the significance of building the “best girlfriends circle” on the platform—to make ourselves and other girls more beautiful through sharing,” said Siyao.

Shen Wei and Siyao also pay attention to communicating with the platform followers. After checking the responses, they will do the inquiry according to followers’ interests and requirements, and bring together the information into an article, meeting the convenience of followers. Shen Wei emphasizes the sincere attitude towards followers. Different from many other platforms which simply provide second-hand recommendation, ChicChoc provides recommendation of products which the authors’ have used in person and proved to be wonderful. Besides, Shen Wei and Siyao lay down strict criteria for examining manuscripts so that the unqualified parts can be edited out. They do not blindly cater for public taste when selecting topics, but follow their own heart. Even some picky friends of them praise their ChicChoc sincerely. The two chief editors treasure their production like their own baby. “I feel really tired sometimes”, said Siyao, “but it is worthwhile.”

Their sincerity and diligence win lots of followers and true fans. On Shen Wei’s last birthday, many unacquainted followers sent her birthday wishes, making her feel warm and delighted. Shen Wei and Siyao said that they would hold on. “Pursuing, delivering and creating beauty is the attitude of our life, and what we really want.”

Written by: Wang Yue and Li Ruiqi
Edited by: Li Ruiqi
Source: Peking University (Wechat)