China’s Fourtry Brand Offers Lessons On Streetwear Consumption

What Happened: On December 4, Season two of the blockbuster variety show Fourtry, which airs on the Chinese online video platform iQIYI, was officially announced. Powered by the production team behind “The Rap of China,” the first season was released this past January and was the first reality show to tap into local streetwear culture. Featuring William Chan, Ouyang Nana, Fan Chengcheng, Liu Yuxin, and Grace Chow, the new season relocates the incubation of the eponymous streetwear brand from the Japanese street-culture hub of Shibuya to China’s emerging fashion capital: Chengdu.

The Fourtry brand also extends to its three sub-lines: Fourtry by X, Fourtry Crossover, and Fourtry Selected, which represent original designs, collaborations with leading players in the youth culture arena, and partnerships with luxury streetwear brands, respectively. Meanwhile, the brand’s collaboration with the American contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, who has drawn inspiration from traditional Chinese elements like calligraphy and mahjong, has grown the show’s hype to new heights.

The collaboration with American contemporary artist Daniel Arsham, drawing inspiration from traditional Chinese culture from calligraphy to mahjong, brings the hype of the show to a new high. Photo: Courtesy of iQiyi.

Jing TakeGuochao — the Chinese term for homegrown streetwear designs — has extended beyond nationalism now that locally-inspired products have been booming in China during the post-pandemic era. Chengdu, in particular, has become a significant regional market that many fashion brands are eying, thanks to its inclusive and diverse cultural landscape — something that was noted in the 2020 New Fashion Capital Index Report released by Vogue Business in China.

But also of importance is how the consumer stereotype that any brand emerging from Taobao is sure to be a low-quality, name-brand copycat has been altered. As most young consumers in China are digital natives who don’t distinguish between online and offline channels, the launch of the Fourtry WeChat Mini Program this October drove online traffic ahead of the premise of its television series. And soon, offline pop-up stores will open in Chengdu and Beijing to physically engage consumers. This online-to-offline strategy allows the brand to tap wider audiences and improve its monetization capabilities.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.


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