As we welcome in 2023, the excitement for the Year of the Rabbit is sure stirring, with brands tapping into the authenticity of local designers for the occasion. From Nespresso working with Angel Chen, to Adidas working with Melting Sadness, the trend for this Lunar New Year is coming together to fuel fresh creativity.
Three days in, we’ve seen headlines from Zara announcing a collection with Calvin Luo, following on from its impressive Susan Fang collection that speedily sold out last year. Other news is of the retail-exhibition innovator K11, which is currently host to Daniel Arsham and Pokémon’s first ever showcase in mainland China.
For the full low-down, check out our verdict below and be sure to subscribe here for weekly Jing Collabs & Drops updates straight to your inbox.
CALVIN LUO X ZARA
LAUNCH DATE: January 11
TREND: Global Fast-Fashion Brand x Independent Designer
VERDICT: After teasing it back in October 2022, Calvin Luo’s secret is out that the rumored European collection is with fast-fashion retailer Zara. Emerging across Chinese socials, Shanghai-based designer Luo is following in the footsteps of Susan Fang, who worked on the Lunar New Year capsule last year. The international apparel brand is evidently continuing to reach out to its Chinese consumer-bases, while simultaneously benefitting from the thriving creativity of independent design talent. Right now, the brand is only marginally known around the world, with just over 20,000 followers on Instagram — is this going to boost growth? If Susan Fang’s rising popularity is partly a reflection of working with the mainstream name, then perhaps.
K11 X COEXIST X [DANIEL ARSHAM X POKÉMON]
LAUNCH DATE: December 31, 2022 to May 7, 2023
TREND: Retailer x Artist
VERDICT: This marks the first collaborative exhibition for Daniel Arsham and Pokémon together, as the second stop of their global tour. Hosting it at the art-focused retail complex of K11 enables the artist to hit that sweet spot of consumerism and art entertainment which reflects his work so well, as the toy figurines hit the height of popularity in the mainland. Though Arsham launched his fashion brand Objects IV Life at Machine-A Shanghai last year, his art toys continue to be a favorite among local consumers.
NESPRESSO X ANGEL CHEN
LAUNCH DATE: January 3
TREND: Global Consumer Goods Brand x Independent Designer
VERDICT: Proving to be a collaborator of versatility, following on from Canada Goose down jackets and Shiseido beauty products, independent Shanghai-based designer Angel Chen has joined global household name Nespresso for the Lunar New Year. Having the Chinese talent create a coffee accessories collection enables Nespresso to authentically connect with an important consumer-base. Especially, as China’s coffee market is expected to grow by 9.63 percent between 2022 and 2025.
On the day of writing this, the collaboration’s hashtag #一杯浓遇 “新愿”成真# has 42,000 views on Weibo, making it a mid-range social campaign, yet there’s a notably positive response to the artistic designs. The approach is sustainable, too, incorporating the fabrics of Angel Chen’s past collections, as well as recycled Nespresso coffee bags cut from jute to make all of the accessories.
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