Adidas Scouts Su Yiming And DHL’s Back In Fashion: China Collabs Of The Week

The shared motivation of this week’s most notable Chinese brand collaborations is to reach Generation Z: whether that’s through media publications they follow — such as streetwear title Aykes working with Asics — or via their favorite music artists. 

Recognized as the most effective channel to get to China’s youth, domestic streetwear lines like FMACM continue to churn out high volumes of co-branded collections. Foreign makes are following similar strategies too: Adidas’ latest local announcement is a K11 pop-up featuring a capsule by Japanese Illustrator Yu Nagaba and Chinese snowboarder Su Yiming.

Reaching multiple fanbases from a single demographic appears to be the core aim behind these latest mainland team-ups. After all, the internet has effected a dazzling, multidimensional spectrum of Gen Z interests and subcultures. Brands should now capitalize. On that note, here are the top five collabs-to-know of the week in China.



DHL has collaborated with FMACM, feeding its positioning in streetwear while attempting to form a sustainable identity at the same time. Photo: FMACM

Launch date: October 20

Trend: Ironic Streetwear Merchandise

Verdict: Thanks to that Vetements x DHL collaboration back in 2018, the postal service has been “ironically” fashionable ever since. Homegrown name FMACM is capitalizing on this with a “Friends Of The Earth” collection. As an artistic label, it operates within a genre of style that youth in China appreciate. And the move makes sense for DHL, too, as the collection has the intention of promoting sustainable fashion. In a statement, Zhang Hao, the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales of DHL Express China, said, “We hope that through this cooperation, we will be closer to the younger groups in a more relaxed and fashionable attitude and way, and show the vitality of the brand.”


Launch date: October 23

Trend: Fashion Media x Streetwear

Verdict: To celebrate the opening of Asics’ Shanghai flagship, the multinational worked with Aykes to select three emerging local streetwear outfits, All Beings, Paras, and Slab Town, to create exclusive collections. For Asics — which has become increasingly popular among the world’s Generation Z over the past few years as one of the leading sneaker brands in streetwear — this is a clever pairing to connect with China’s young people. Aykes is a leading youth culture media platform which provides news on drops. Along with titles like Nowre and Yoho, it’s one of the niche outlets that informs 52,000 readers on Weibo daily. Through this association, Asics is reaching a targeted audience of streetwear lovers. 



Adidas often uses collaboration as a vehicle to connect with local markets, such as this one with Yu Nagaba and Su Yiming. Photo: Adidas Weibo

Launch date: October 27

Trend: Sportswear x Artists

Verdict: Reflecting its widely successful local-led strategy, Adidas’ latest collection with Japanese illustrator Yu Nagaba and snowboarder Su Yiming is running at Guangzhou’s K11 as a pop-up. Yu Nagaba has an established fanbase all over the world, and 18-year-old sportsman Su Yiming is also globally-famous as an Olympic gold and silver medalist. Adidas combines its athletic and creative sides via this three-way project, tapping into many areas of its consumer base’s passions. Hosting the pop-up at art department store K11 centers the championing of artists; shoppers who go to K11 already share an interest in fashion’s crossover with art, so Adidas can rely on their curiosity.



KOL Nana Ouyang drives super engagement for Peacebird. Photo: Peacebird Weibo

Launch date: December 12

Trend: Brand x Designer

Verdict: Collaboration has become a central factor of Peacebird’s growth, with past releases including local talents like Shushu/Tong and Calvin Luo alongside Dutch designer Mikey Wormack. This latest “Cloud Show” project features a “Snow Angel Mickey” clothing collection by Taiwanese menswear designer Angus Chiang. The Peacebird Cloud Show hashtag #2022太平鸟云端大秀# has been read by 110 million on the day of publishing, exemplifying just how huge the reach of this fast-fashion company has become. And that Gen Z Chinese-Taiwanese singer Nana Ouyang’s involvement has worked wonders. Her unique hashtag #欧阳娜娜太平鸟女装全球代言人# has 374,000 reads on Weibo, proving the power of KOL ambassadors. 

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Collabs and Drops, Fashion, Global, Marketing