Taking a pause from New York Fashion Week, today’s brand collaboration spotlights pivot to retail in mainland China. Streetwear community-favorite brand and store Doe has teamed up with independent local illustrator and tattoo artist Jax on a clothing capsule, dedicated to American basketball nostalgia.
Another brand-retail concept, Randomevent, has announced its latest project, teaming up with fellow collab-lover Lee Jeans for the first time.
Lastly, New York City-based artist Daniel Arsham’s China-focused art platform Archive Editions has announced a first-of-its-kind joint art collectibles project. Arsham is creating a limited-edition series alongside Chinese talent Oscar Wang, the illustrator behind Fendi’s famed Fendidi panda animation.
For our verdict on those brand collaborations, read on and subscribe here to receive weekly analysis straight to your inbox.
Archive Editions x Oscar Wang
Date: TBA 2023
The Verdict: The Daniel Arsham-founded platform Archive Editions has selected Shanghai-based artist Oscar Wang for its first ever artist collaboration project. The two artists plan to explore the crossover of eastern and western art, naming the upcoming project “DONGXI”.
As a talent who worked with Fendi on the iconic Fendidi Panda, Wang is well-established as a new-era artist in China. Therefore, this development connects well with the market while providing him with an even bigger platform, via the fanbase of Arsham. We often see brand-artist collaborations but rarely two artists coming together to create collectibles, so this will be something special. Watch this space for further info.
Doe x Jax
Date: February 9
The Verdict: Shanghai-based tattoo artist and illustrator Jax has worked on a Spring 2023 collection with local streetwear brand and retailer Doe. Named after the American Basketball Association, it taps into the popularity of sports merchandise among Chinese streetwear fans while championing a local artist at the same time.
Doe previously launched collaborative capsules with global household names like The North Face and Rains, reflecting how brand collaboration can instill longevity in independent stores.
Jax also has his own intimate cult following, with 14,000 fans on Weibo. In contrast, Doe has a solid fan base of 128,000 followers on Weibo and 13,500 on Instagram — impressive for a brand that isn’t yet present outside of China. The Shenzhen boutique doubles as a cafe, reflecting how the brand utilizes retail to sell a lifestyle, rather than just clothes.
Randomevent x Lee Jeans
Date: Spring 2023
The Verdict: Iconic American brand Lee Jeans has consistently focused on its Chinese consumers, having launched a dedicated Lee X-Line that’s sold exclusively in the mainland. Boasting 661,000 followers on Weibo, Lee Jeans has a strong presence in the country, so this clothing capsule will invite more exposure to Randomevent.
The streetwear-retail hybrid boasts a growing Gen-Z consumer base with 262,000 followers on Weibo and 11,100 on Xiaohongshu, boosted by collabs with great names like Puma, New Balance, Dickies, Be@rbrick, and Gramicci.
As the two names share an audience already, this is a reliable move in terms of sales. It brings Lee Jeans further into the local streetwear scene that’s led by names such as Randomevent, and in return, the Chinese brand benefits from mainstream attention. It’s also able to apply Lee Jeans’ environmentally-friendly dyeing and production processes to the collection.