7Up, Skaters, And The Pet Economy: China Collabs of the Week

Aside from global headlines of Balmain’s Pokémon collection and Kanye West publicly slamming both Gap and Adidas for reportedly going against contractual agreements, China’s had a quiet week in terms of brand collaborations. 

When fashion month starts on September 9, we’re sure to see the nation’s solid set of independent designers embracing other brands for their collections to extend both product categories and marketing reach. But for now, we’re looking at a smaller round-up swayed toward Gen Z.

American brand Lee Jeans’ China-exclusive diffusion line Lee X-Line has released 7Up merchandise; gaming giant Genshin Impact has partnered with Heytea; ACU and Li-Ning have produced a limited-edition sneaker celebrating Chinese heritage; and skate label Avenue & Son has tapped Chinese-favorite French label Fred for a jewelry line — an exemplary move by the Western name to tap into a local subculture.

Adding to all of that streetwear-dominated news, LA-based Starwalk is the latest to jump on China’s pet economy with a collaborative ready-to-wear capsule featuring matching pet accessories on sale in Shanghai.

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LEE X-LINE X 7UP 

LEE X-LINE X 7UP 

A shot from the Lee X-Line x 7-Up Campaign aimed at Chinese Gen Z. Photo: Lee X-Line

LAUNCH DATE: September 1

TREND: Streetwear x Consumer Goods

VERDICT: Enticing Gen Z with fizzy drinks, Lee Jeans’ China-exclusive line, Lee X-Line, is made for its teenage consumer base. As an online-only brand, it pushes for exclusivity at an affordable price, which makes this 7Up collaboration a seamless choice as a globally-recognized consumer goods brand. 

ACU X LI-NING

li ning wade 10

ACU Shanghai frequently does sneaker drops, having previously collaborated with brands such as Vans and Nike. Photo: ACU x Li-Ning

LAUNCH DATE: September 1

TREND: Local streetwear names celebrating national pride

VERDICT: Limited to just 333 pairs, these sneakers are an immediate collector’s item. Featuring a Shan-Shui art print (a traditional style of Chinese painting), the shoes are bound to be a hit with China’s Gen Z and millennial streetwear lovers due to their celebration of Chinese culture and limited availability.

GENSHIN IMPACT X HEYTEA

genshin-impact-heytea

Heytea has a winning collaborative-strategy, with the Fragment Design project going viral back in April 2022. Photo: Heytea Weibo

LAUNCH DATE: September 5 to 7

TREND: Gaming x Consumer Goods

VERDICT: The marriage of two Chinese powerhouses is mainstream magic. Merging household names has naturally been received well, with Heytea’s Weibo post currently holding around 13k likes and 3.1k comments. Consumers are known to always queue for Heytea because it’s that popular. And, despite only coming out in late 2020, Genshin Impact saw revenue of $2 billion in the first year, according to Sensor Tower. It’s a no-brainer collaboration.

FRED X AVENUE & SON

FRED斐登与AVENUE-SON大道之子限量合作系列揭幕欢庆派对-01

A shot from the Fred x Avenue and Son promotional event. Photo: Avenue and Son

LAUNCH DATE: September 6

TREND: Discovering new product categories

VERDICT: Parisian jewelry brand Fred might be an unusual choice for popular local skate brand Avenue & Son, but China is one of its largest consumer bases. Back in 2020, the market represented approximately 25 percent of Fred’s total sales, so it’s a given that it would tap local talent to maintain attention there. As noted in a Jing Daily interview back in 2021, the brand loves collaborating with all kinds of athletes — embracing China’s flourishing skate scene is sure to win over Gen Z.

STARWALK SOLDIER X WISDOM PANEL

starwalk-soldier-wisdom-panel-shanghai-inside-look-6-scaled-1.jpeg

Brands are tapping into Chinas pet economy more and more. Photo: Starwalk x Wisdom Panel

LAUNCH DATE: August 31 to November 24

TREND: Tapping “chongwu jingji 宠物经济” (the pet economy)

VERDICT: China’s pet brands are increasingly entering streetwear, with Starwalk’s latest capsule being presented at a three month pop-up store in Shanghai TX Huaihai. The merchandise includes tees and shorts, as well as leashes and food bowls. In the social media era, matching your streetwear to your dog is clearly of interest to Chinese consumers.

Check out the Collabs & Drops archive here.

Categories

Gen-Z, Marketing