The past year has been full of milestones for Chinese fashion design. The lifestyle brand Opening Ceremony declared the year of 2016 as the Year of China to promote designs created by emerging Chinese designers. The daughter of Donald Trump wore outfits by Taoray Wang, a Chinese designer brand during her father’s debate and inauguration ceremony. Meanwhile, a wide array of Chinese designers have been attracting attention from Western media as they debut their collections during international fashion weeks.
While they’re making strides abroad, Chinese designer brands also care about their domestic buyers, especially as the Chinese luxury market matures and expands. The ongoing Chinese Lunar New Year season gives these designers an opportunity to communicate and engage with Chinese consumers locally and overseas. Here is how some of the well-established Chinese designer brands are greeting their domestic customers for the Year of the Rooster:
1. Alexander Wang
Alexander Wang is an American-born Chinese designer who graduated from Parsons School of Design in New York. His fashion labels “Alexander Wang” and “T by Alexander Wang” have emerged as two of the most successful fashion brands of his generation, winning a solid buyer base both in the West and East. Roughly in 2012, the brand expanded to China by opening its first store in Beijing’s Sanlitun Village North.
For the Year of the Rooster, Alexander Wang chose to release a trio of charms in rose gold on the brand’s signature rhodium chain with hook clip closure. Alexander Wang’s choice is remarkably different from most luxury brands, which extensively use a variety of Chinese elements that highlight the themes of Lunar New Year. Some Chinese consumers commented on WeChat that they appreciated that the brand’s capsule collection is consistent with its own style.
2. Vivienne Tam
New York-based fashion designer Vivienne Tam gained international fame for her Eastern-inspired style of design. Today, Vivienne Tam is a lifestyle fashion brand whose collection is available in hundreds of boutiques and major department stores worldwide. Chinese consumers have long been an integral part of the brand’s targeted customers. In 2012, Vivienne Tam became the first one who live-broadcasted New York Fashion Week to Chinese audiences on WeChat, the country’s most popular mobile messaging app.
This year, the brand released a series of Chinese New Year themed products ranging from “Opera Girl” iPhone cases to “Amazing Rooster” T-shirts, and promoted the collection on WeChat and Weibo. Every consumer who purchased more than HK$3,800 (roughly $490) between January 29 to 31 was eligible to receive a coupon worth HK$500 and a “lucky” bag, or a grab bag full of prizes.
3. Helen Lee
Helen Lee was created by Chinese designer Li Hongyan (李鸿雁) in 2011, whose design intends to present a modern and independent metropolis style. The brand is positioned as affordable luxury for Chinese consumers. With studios opening in several key locations in the city of Shanghai, including Fumin Road and Tianzifang, Helen Lee is a popular niche brand favored by young, urban, female consumers. In recent years, Helen Lee has even started to gain global recognition, as international showrooms buy her collections.
To celebrate the Year of Rooster, Helen Lee’s WeChat and Weibo accounts are promoting a Chinese New Year “lucky bag.” In collaboration with Lane Crawford, the brand also debuted an exclusive kidswear capsule collection featuring this season’s Flying Bunny print to celebrate the Spring Festival.