This monthly column examines the top China-related collabs and drops that are transforming the retail landscape. From local fashion brands to C-beauty, virtual idols to NFTs, and KOLS to lifestyle and games, Jing Daily has a curated selection of what’s dropping. The column will also feature in Jing Daily’s bi-weekly newsletter Collabs and Drops – a 360-degree portrayal of the world of collaboration.
With an eye on the Chinese market, luxury brands have recently piled into the ski industry, anticipating the country’s boom after the Beijing Winter Olympics. And boom it certainly is.
In 2021, big names like Dior and Louis Vuitton released ski-related looks, products and collections – even in the midst of the pandemic. Most recently, Chanel invited Korean idol Jennie to shoot a commercial for its 2021/22 COCO NEIGE series of skis, and Prada opened limited-time boutiques inspired by winter sports scenes in Beijing and Shanghai (among other places). . Earlier to ride the wave of Chinese skiing.
According to the “Ice and Snow Sports Development Plan (2016-2025)” report released by the General Administration of Sports of China, the total scale of China’s winter sports industry is expected to reach 95 billion. dollars (600 billion yuan) in 2020. 2025, the total scale of related industries is expected to exceedneed $158 billion (1 billion yuan).
From TV shows to galas, the possibilities seem endless. The fascination has even reached inexperienced Gen Z enthusiasts; According to Xiaohongshu, searches for ski tutorials are on the rise, with many taking inspiration from poster girl Eileen Gu’s skills. “A lot of girls, especially those who can’t ski, might want to dress up nicely and take pictures when they go to the ski resort for the first time. I think that demand exists,” Guo Yimeng, founder of skiwear brand GEGEDO, told local media. Jiemian Fashion.
Guo also rents fashionable ski suits to these new atypical users. — hinting at a growth in demand for clothing and rental equipment. According to Alizila, between January 31 and February 4, winter sports equipment sales increased 300% on Tmall, including a 180% jump in ski equipment alone. Besides, according to the Ministry of Commerce, sales of ski equipment and wetsuits rose 62.9 percent and 61.2 percent respectively during the Spring Festival.
The question is whether, after the ceremony, the continent can maintain its skiing momentum. That remains to be seen. Until there, Daily Jing China Collabs Column explores partnerships that leverage the ski sector, from coffee brands and cafes to electronics and luxury outerwear.
FENDI X PEAK WHITE
Incorporating iconic tiger pattern elements into boutique design and tableware, a Fendi cafe has opened atop the Wanda Ski Resort in Changbai Mountain — a popular domestic ski destination. Meanwhile, Burberry also opened a large tent-style short-term store at the Jilin Songhua Lake Resort, which offers casual snacks such as coffee and popsicles to sports fans.
Fashion account @高跟鞋走地球 was the top performing trend amplification on WeChat; the post received over 65,000 reads. Generally speaking, the feedback is positive on WeChat: “interesting collaboration” and “iced coffee with land of ice”, for example — although comments generally focus on the science of Fendi’s partner.
The verdict: According to cultural analyst Siyuan Meng, these types of tie-ups are vital for luxury as it seeks to dominate the market. She says, “Fendi is tapping into the booming Chinese ski market through pop-up shops at ski resorts, shows that luxury brands in China are competing to remain relevant and adaptable among the discerning and stylish customers of China. The same can be said for Burberry. Indeed, fans can expect to see more brands popping up on the cutting edge of winter sports trends and even more diverse and creative crossovers to come.
GENKI FOREST X OLYMPIC WINNERS
Sleek drink brand Genki Forest 元气森林 wowed fans by teaming up with China’s three gold medal winners: Meng Jie Xu, Xuran Su and Eileen Gu (who has another mention with Anta x Beats). Each of them has won at least one Olympic gold medal and this particular pairing was a hit on Weibo: the post was published by multiple accounts and media outlets, each receiving over 15,000 likes and thousands of comments.
The online responses are all overwhelmingly positive, including: “Genki Forest was so smart” and “it’s so wise to have Olympic winners as ambassadors.” Around 50 articles on WeChat mention it, each gaining up to 30,000 reads.
The verdict: Analyst Meng considers it one of the most successful collaborations of the season. “Genki Forest’s collaboration with three Olympians, all of whom are beloved rising superstars and have won gold medals, goes a long way in helping this stylish and creative brand connect with its young market.” But it’s not just young fans. The partnership has also increased its recognition among potential consumers of all demographic groups, attesting to the validity of this trend.
MONCLER X DINGYUN ZHANG
Moncler is naturally synonymous with precision sportswear, but also with promoting local talent. This latest partnership with Dingyyun Zhang is a celebration of pioneering imagination and technicality. The official Moncler account @Moncler盟可睐 amplified the announcement, and comments highlighted the edgy feel: “It’s like a work of art.” Also on WeChat, the majority of comments mentioned emerging young designer Zhang and discussed his design theme, using words such as “chic” and “avant-garde”.
The verdict: According to Travers-Smith, Moncler x Dingyun Zhang demonstrates a deep understanding of the modern Chinese consumer and it’s the kind of well-thought-out approach that many brands lack in their localization efforts for younger and affluent consumers on the internal market.
“First of all, handing the design over to an up-and-coming Chinese designer with a strong design aesthetic is a great path to meaningful localization in a way that resonates locally,” he notes. Second, of course, China’s fashion-forward consumers are “among the most daring in the world and the unique, oversized bulk of the Moncler collection offers uniqueness, humor and remarkable silhouettes.” All of this, of course, while maintaining Moncler’s distinctive prestige in materials and quality.
BOSIDENG X XIAO ZHAN
From sponsoring Chinese expeditions to Antarctica to clothing teams of Chinese mountaineers during their navigation on Everest, down jacket manufacturer Bosideng has had its authority on the sector since 1976. Juliette Duveau, co-founder of the agency of advice The Chinese pulse already said Daily Jing that it is recognized as a “cool Chinese brand with a sense of mission” in the minds of consumers. Now he’s tapped idol Xiao Zhan for a ski-inspired collection.
Reactions on social media platforms have been overwhelmingly positive, with fans saying, “great fashion”, “I want to buy, because of Xiao Zhan”, and “good choice of ambassador”. Xiao Zhan himself has over 20 million fans on Weibo, and Bosideng’s official account post @波司登 has over 22,000 comments and 167,000 likes. For reference, WeChat articles in general usually have between 5 and 10,000 reads.
The verdict: As Meng reminds us once again, a Chinese celebrity’s seal of approval is a valuable tool for connecting with consumers. “The endorsement of Xiao Zhan, one of the hottest pop idols in China right now, will fuel new vitality for this once-revolving down jacket brand.”
EILEEN GU X ANTA X BAT
Personality collaborations were all the rage as companies looked to Chinese national athletes for the halo effect. The official sportswear supplier of the Beijing Olympics, national sports giant Anta, has teamed up with freestyle skiing world champion Eileen Gu to launch a three-way ice and snow gift set with audio brand Beats . The gift set includes professional ski gloves and a Lei Feng hat, a sculpture of the Chongli Genting ski resort and the Beats Fit Pro headphones.
WeChat engagement was rare, but generally the feedback was positive. Similarly, on Weibo, feedback was good but the collaborative hashtag ##安踏冰雪灵境# (#Anta Iceland#) failed miserably with only 140 plays. The top performing post (with 23,875 likes) was posted by fashion influencer @开箱青年.
The verdict: Jonathan Travers-Smith, CEO and founder of the digital agency Hot Pot China, believes that this pairing with fashion icon Eileen Gu shows them from a much stronger “national pride” angle. “The hat firmly points to Lei Feng’s core socialist ideals, while the embroidery of the word ‘CHINA’ in English on the gloves shows pride that China is on the world stage through the vehicle of the Olympics.”
Although he thinks the headphones were just an afterthought, Anta’s power cannot be denied. “The reach of the giant Anta brand to large numbers of the Chinese population is likely to bring valuable exposure to Beats, however, as a high-priced brand, Beats might have chosen a more premium partner to help drive the right kind of brand equity in China,” concludes Travers-Smith.
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