The Italian fashion designer who met her Ryan Gosling in Shanghai

This Italian girl met her dream man – a guy she says looks like Ryan Gosling – here in Shanghai. The pair are clearly in love, but they chose to do their interviews separately...

Holin’s words:

“Here we come to the video part. You guys for sure will make it together, right?” I asked Angie and Max, who have been lovers just for a few months and came to Shanghai Daily’s office to make guest appearances in the Guide BATTLE column.

“No, we'll do it separately,” Angie reposed in no time. Max knew best just to agree: “Okay, up to her.”

What they decided surprised me a little. They should still be in the stage of “madly in love.” Angie even fed a piece of pizza to her beloved, not afraid of showing off in front of the camera.

Angie is an extroverted girl. During our afternoon working together, Angie’s laughter was always there in the air. While Max is a little more cool and introverted, most of the time Max stayed serious. What a complementary couple!

So, I separated their interviews into two — Max’s part will be the following one. I thought to myself that maybe Angie was worried about whether or not the pair would go the long haul, but when I saw her video to herself ten years later, I found I was totally wrong.

Holin Wang / SHINE

Name: Angela Cassisi

Nationality: Italian

Job: Fashion Designer

Years in Shanghai: 4

Holin: So I will call you Angie as your friends do. Do you have any interesting or impressive stories related with Shanghai?

Angie: I am an Italian. Usually when I say I am an Italian in China, people say things like Italian soccer, Italian shoes and Italian fashion.

But I was in the elevator one day, with a tai tai (madam in English) in my building and she asked me: "Where are you from?" And I said: “I am an Italian,” and she got really excited. She just took out of her bag, it was like laundry detergent, that was Italian detergent, and she had it in her purse! And she said that she kept it with her at all times, and her couch has been so clean since she started using it, and she spent a lot of money on this Italian detergent, and she was so happy about it. She had the kind of articles we wouldn't even know how to find in China, and she said she actually brought it from Italy. She is close to 60, 70 years old, so it was very strange.

Holin: How do you spend your weekends in Shanghai? 

Angie: It depends, if there are some interesting shows, art expos or normally just maybe having brunch with friends. Of course going out before, a couple years ago, I liked going to clubs, now I like sitting around in the popular pub area and having a drink. And also outdoor activities can be good.

Holin: So which place in Shanghai do you like best? 

Angie: If I have to work, I would go for like very small coffee shops and I have one or two favorite ones, and one of those is in M50, or some very quiet coffee shops in the former French Concession.

Holin: Now we get to roads, which roads do you like best?

Angie: We do have favorite roads, like Julu Road, and there are a lot of pretty streets to walk down around that area. I really like Changle Road, Maoming Road, and Jinxian Road, which is very pretty. I used to live in Jinxian Road, and then I had to move out, because the area got too expensive. The building is surrounded with super nice coffee shops and cute stores, it became very beautiful but unaffordable for me.

Holin Wang / SHINE

Angie and her boyfriend Max

Holin: What do you love about Shanghai?

Angie: I will never get tired of the Bund to be honest.

And I really like when it is autumn in Shanghai. I like October, just walking around and the weather is pretty good. I really like the autumn time, just look at the Bund, and you will feel like you are part of something big.

Holin: Autumn and the Bund, cool. And what do you hate about Shanghai?

Angie: To be honest, I find that the people in Shanghai are very into money. Sometimes, I don't like some Chinese girls — they just classify a few people they want to date only according to how much money they have or if they have an apartment, a car. They are very materialistic. I think people here are very materialistic but I think it is not only about that.

I really dislike how you always have to go through with an agent to get a house. For example, when I first got here and I would buy something and speak like very basic Chinese I always got told a very crazy price. And then the more I was able to speak, and when I went shopping with Shanghainese I got like quarter of the price I used to pay. It happens every day, I think till now, I don't get the correct price.

Holin: Can you give an example, like which kind of products did you buy?

Angie: Maybe food. And when you try to buy something in the streets, you never know the real price.

Holin: Compared to your country, are there any shortages in Shanghai? 

Angie: What I think about is mainly like about food. Normally I get very lucky because I am an Italian, and you could find pretty much everything. I don't know… I guess like now, since I have been here quite a bit, I don't know if I'm, like, missing something. 

Holin: Any impressed memory during your life?

Angie: There is a small village in China I went to.

One day I was on the metro in Shanghai and people from my country, we can just look at each other and we will know we are Italians. This guy came to talk to me, and he was here on his research thing he was doing for his PhD. Me, my best friend and a group of people, we became friends, and we decided to go to this village he was researching.

He found in this village, that's where most of the Chinese immigrants in Italy are from, so basically in this village they speak Italian. There were many Italian products there. It was a very small place in Zhejiang, maybe in Wenzhou.

What does Angie want to say to her future self? Have a look! Angie is sending a message to her future self to watch ten years from now!

Filmed by Holin Wang and Joan Zheng. Edited by Zhong Youyang. Translated by Sophie Wang. Special thanks to Andy Boreham.

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