On January 12, Dior unveiled an installation featuring ice sculpting techniques at Lake Songhua Resort in Jinlin province, China. The pop-up is modeled after the luxury house’s flagship at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris and showcases its signature handbags and silhouettes carved out of ice. Aside from the ephemeral crystal building, a pop-up store spotlighting the brand’s ski wear collection, DiorAlps, and a coffee shop are now open. The limited-edition ski collection for men and women is also available on the brand’s WeChat boutique.
The ice sculpture building has become a popular photo backdrop on social platforms like Xiaohongshu and Weibo. At night, there are light shows at the pop-up, which excite visitors who expect exceptional experiences during their trips. “Beautiful,” “breathtaking,” and “dreamy” are among the words that are used to describe the brand’s initiative.
Dior has been setting the benchmark for destination retail in the post-COVID era. The brand successfully ran several pop-up activities in Sanya Edition Hotel in 2022, such as presenting the DiorVibe sportswear collection in January and launching the DiorViera line in June. Though many brands like Fendi, Arc’teryx, and Burberry have leveraged the skiing fever in China recently, Dior’s timing is impeccable.
Thanks to China’s departure from zero-COVID and lifting of travel restrictions, the tourism business in Jilin province — one of the most popular skiing destinations in China — has experienced significant traffic recovery. According to Meituan’s data, the New Year holiday between December 31 to January 2 recorded a 433 percent increase in visitors compared to the same period in the previous month. As the number of COVID infections across the country start to peak, a surge of foot traffic to skiing resorts can be expected during the Chinese New Year holiday.
Chinese authorities have been pushing the benefits of winter sports since the announcement of the 2022 Winter Olympics. Still, skiing is mainly available to well-off Chinese consumers given the costs of the equipment, resorts, and flights if needed. As such, there is typically an overlap between skiing enthusiasts and those who shop luxury ski wear lines. By opening the pop-up near a ski resort, Dior has shortened the customer journey from awareness to purchase.