Diesel has collaborated with the collectible toy brand Dolores to create limited-edition figurines in celebration of this year’s 520 Valentine’s Day in China. The art toys feature Diesel’s Spring 2023 collection and its bestselling 1DR handbags, and come in three colorways: neon pink, neon green, and neon yellow. However, these figurines are not for sale — rather, they are exclusively available for consumers who spend over $752 (5,200 RMB) at the brand’s Tmall flagship store and selected offline shops.
This is the second time that Diesel has partnered with Dolores, which was created by Pony on Wheel Studio. Their first collaboration, introduced in July 2022 to celebrate Qixi Festival (a traditional Chinese Valentine’s Day), received overwhelmingly positive feedback from local shoppers. Likewise, netizens are impressed with the new collection’s cute appearance and miniature 1DR handbags, with some complaining that they wish to purchase the art toys.
By dressing a playful art toy IP with a hero product, the OTB-owned fashion label keeps its finger on the pulse of what is popular with young Chinese consumers. More importantly, by making the toys limited edition and not for sale, Diesel drives up the desirability of the collaboration. As Jing Daily’s report Winning China’s High-Spending Cultural Consumer: The Future Of Luxury points out, exclusivity, status, and cultural significance are all important factors that influence the purchasing decision.
From mounting giant inflatable sculptures in Shanghai, to releasing a capsule collection with League of Legends esports club WBG, Diesel has launched exciting local campaigns since its turnaround in 2022. When Renzo Rosso visited China in April, he credited OTB’s growth to “retail expansion and collaborations initiated with local talent that helped amplify brands’ presence in the market.” He also noted that “as the founder of Diesel, I’m happy to see how Glenn Martens transformed the brand with modernity. It’s becoming a couture-denim brand.”
The denim brand’s transformation has been a success so far. Still, consumer appetite and preferences are constantly evolving. Although reusing old marketing tactics and sticking to well-received collaborations are safe options, creating newness and staying ahead of the curve will ensure a brand’s leading position in the highly competitive Chinese market.
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