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East meets West in book blending traditional, popular culture

  INTERACTIVE GALLERY

Designer Tam goes home for 'China Chic'

(CNN) -- One of the world's most successful fashion designers is transferring her talents to the printed page.

Vivienne Tam's new book, "China Chic," takes a look at her homeland's influence on world style.

Each chapter offers an insight into different aspects of Chinese culture, including food, furniture and, of course, fashion.

graphic
Designer Vivienne Tam, a native of Canton, China, says her book is about lifestyle  

"This book is about lifestyle," she said. "If I had to summarize it, ... it's more like bringing the traditional together with the pop culture. It's like East meets West."

The 43-year-old spent the last three years sifting through thousands of images to produce the colorful, eclectic coffee table-style book. She also traveled back to China to find out what qualifies as chic in China.

"I met a lot of interesting people through interviews and through my travels to China," she said. "We talk about Chinese and Chinese-ness and ... and about 'China Chic.' ... It's different people giving me different kinds of answers."

"China Chic"
"China Chic" looks at aspects of Chinese culture, including food, furniture and, of course, fashion  

Tam is using an untraditional approach to sell books, taking "China Chic" out of bookstores and offering it at high-end retail stores.

Tam launched the volume recently at a tony Texas department store, where shoppers eagerly shelled out $50 for the glossy volume.

"It's a great book," one shopper said. "Very cool."

Tam, who was born in Canton, China, and came to the United States from Hong Kong in 1982, hopes the book will help expand her business to all kinds of Chinese-themed items.

"I love to bring 'China Chic' alive," she said. "A Chinese emporium with home furnishings and food and textiles and furniture: Everything from the book, I bring to life. That is my dream."



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