Alfredo Settimio, an Italian designer and renowned vintage consultant originally launched The Great China Wall in 1999 in partnership with 7 for all Mankind's executive vice president Rick Crane. His idea was to transform secondhand clothes into unparalleled pieces using prints, embroideries and decorations. The first store was opened in May 2001 in Melrose Avenue with approximately 50,000 unique pieces. His first clients were his closest friends who motivate Alfredo to keep his unlimited research of fascinating garments in small markets and shops. The brand name evolved from his first adjustments made with sequins and crystal small beads on a souvenir T-shirt of the Great Wall of China.