Three Guns


Three Guns

What would you expect a store called “Three Guns” (三枪) to sell? If you guessed clothing, you guessed right! Just in case there’s any confusion as to what the name of the shop refers to (could it be some kind of literary reference or something?), the logo clears that up.

Still unsatisfied, I went inside and talked to one of the employees. “Why would a clothing store call itself ‘Three Guns?'” I asked. The employee kindly told me that the brand had a long history dating all the way back to before the Communist Revolution, and that the original founder had liked guns. So he named his clothing store “Three Guns.” The end.



John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.


  1. three rifles Says: May 30, 2006 at 2:58 am

    Three Rifles! I remember wearing their panties as a child. Yes, I quote the Standard (June 6 2005):
    “Three Gun, whose logo of three crossed rifles on a red shield is marketed as Three Rifles in Asia, is a potent symbol of the country’s edge. It makes one in four of the briefs, panties, bras and assorted knickers worn by China’s 1.3 billion people. Some even carry Lacoste and Guess labels. About 30 percent of its goods are exported to the United States and the European Union, according to the state media.”

  2. I like to wear them in winter. I bought some when I traveled to Nanjing in January and brought them here later. The quality is very good but the design isn’t very fashionable. Anyway I put them on before I put on my sweater and jeans. No one can see them. Westerners don’t wear such stuff. Usually they wear T-shirt inside.I’m originally from China,so I still keep a Chinese style.

  3. red terror, huh?
    oh talking of a brand’s name, i was told that westerners wouldn’t use animals, so a conclusion is White Elephant (白象) batteries will never get a good market in U.S, and thinking if a clock product named Cock!?
    haha, but as far as i know, kangaroo, fox, crocodile, etc. many kinda animals come onto the stage.

  4. There is another reason that White Elephant didn’t make it in the US, Kastner. In the US a ‘white elephant’ is something that you have, don’t want, causes expense, but you can’t get rid of.
    It comes from the story from India. White or albino elephants were rare. Any found & caught were given to the raja. Well, he could only maintain a stable of so many elephants. To keep the number down, he bestow on one of his ‘favored’ subject the benficent gift of one of his rare white elephants. Now, what could the ‘favored’ subject do with a white elephant? “Favor” someone else, possibly? Risky.

  5. I once read the story of the Three Gun brand in an article on the history of some “lao-zi-hao” stores – apprently the founder was some sort of champion marksman, and he won three major shooting competitions, each of which awarded a high quality gun as the winner’s prize. He supposedly chose this logo for his store to reflect his fame as a sportsman.

  6. Ahh Thanks Tim P. for the story. Good to know it. 😉

  7. Oh btw, In Chinese, White Elephant story could be substituted with phrase 烫手山芋 (tang4 shou3 shan1 yu4).

  8. You’re kidding right??

  9. I really love this brand, good quality and feel comfortable. Why don’t you buy one in winter? Then you will know what I am talking about. 🙂

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