Feng Chen Wang x Crocs, Yueqi Qi, and Shang Xia: China collabs of the week

Artistic creativity is the theme running through this week’s China brand collaboration highlights. Helmed by millennial creative director Yang Li, Shang Xia has looked to a domestic artist, Mo Hen (墨痕), to enhance its brick-and-mortar homeware store as part of a promotional campaign for a new collection.

Another of China’s most exciting fashion design talents, Yueqi Qi, has also teamed up with an artist from the mainland. This project is for Qi’s Fall 2023 campaign, deploys the artist’s talent to enhance the collection’s creative concept.

Last, but certainly not least, is collaborator-queen Feng Chen Wang’s recent announcement of her collaboration with the footwear that everybody loves to hate: Crocs.

For our verdict, read on, and subscribe here to receive these updates straight to your inbox via the Collabs & Drops newsletter every Tuesday.

Shang Xia x Mo Hen (墨痕) 

Shang Xia x Mo Hen (墨痕) 

Shang Xia incorporates art to attract consumers to its homeware retail space. Photo: Shang Xia Weibo

Date: August 23 to September 15

Product: “Silent” ink painting exhibition of 21 artworks held to complement the homeware collection at Shang Xia Home, 233 Huaihai Middle Road, Shanghai.

Social context: Shang Xia has 158,000 fans on Weibo, and the brand’s official hashtag #ShangXiaShangXia (#ShangXia上下) has been read 44 million times. On Xiaohongshu, it has 12,000 followers. 

Verdict: Considering that Chinese artist Mo Hen does not have a large following across Chinese social media channels, the aim of this collaboration seems to be creativity over marketing exposure.

However, producing artworks to complement a new collection does create an opportunity for a social media-friendly brick-and-mortar experience — an approach that often succeeds in the mainland.

Judging from the comments on Weibo, championing a local artist has proven popular among Chinese fans of the brand. Most commentators celebrate the “East Asian aesthetics,” which shows how fashion can benefit from art collaboration to foster loyalty in China.

Yueqi Qi x Baowen Mai

yueqi qi

Artist Baowen Mai reinterprets the Yueqi Qi Fall 2023 collection. Photo: Yueqi Qi

Date: August 16

Product: AW23 Yueqi Qi campaign “Who Stole Yueqi Qi’s Necklace?”

Social context: There are 15 likes on the Yueqi Qi (22,000 fans) Weibo post. On Xiaohongshu, Yueqi Qi has 17,900 followers, and Baowen Mai has 1,866.

Verdict: LVMH Prize semi-finalist last year, Guangzhou-based designer Yueqi Qi consistently champions local culture in her collections. She draws local inspirations from Chinese folklore and cities such as her grandmother’s hometown of Kaiping in Guangdong — so, working with a Chinese talent is a natural move for her brand.

Social media engagement remains low as Qi is still emerging in the fashion world, and recent Royal College of Art graduate Baowen Mai has a small following. That said, the main goal of this collaboration seems to be injecting fresh creativity into the brand. 

Qi benefits from having the collection enhanced through an artistic lens, whereas Mai is able to prove her versatility as an artist, and gain exposure in the fashion industry.

Feng Chen Wang x Crocs

feng chen wang x ugg

Date: September 1

Product: The Siren and the Echo Clogs

Social context: On Feng Chen Wang’s Instagram (156,000 followers), her posts about the collaboration have 5,441 likes in total. Over on Weibo, the hashtag #crocsxfengchenwang has 3.15 million reads.

Verdict: It was only a matter of time before Feng Chen Wang would bring her signature deconstructive streetwear edge to Crocs, having previously rolled out successful partnerships with the likes of Ugg and Converse.

The artist has made the Crocs look almost unrecognizable. Seeing as the famously ugly footwear brand has dropped more co-branded collections than seemingly any other name in the game, producing something unique is a tricky feat, but the Chinese designer has succeeded in doing that.

For Crocs, this is another tactic to bolster its position in high fashion, gaining it both street cred and style points. For Feng Chen Wang, it’s another gateway to the mainstream public.


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