Shanghai-born London-based Feng Chen Wang debuted a new collaboration with Nike for Spring 2024 during Paris Fashion Week on June 24. Combining artisanal techniques and her streetwear signature pieces, items from the ready-to-wear collection were accessorized with Air Force 1s and upcycled pieces by the brand.
Another notable high-fashion collab this week comes from Central Saint Martins alumni Demon Zhang’s Mithridate brand, which is promoting its Fall 2023 collection via an exhibition with local gallery space JC Wenhua.
Finally, Louis Vuitton has joined forces with a familiar partner, Chinese coffee chain brand Manner Coffee, to promote its new branded city guides via a cozy book store pop-up.
Feng Chen Wang x Nike
Date: Spring 2024
Product: Clothing and Nike Air Adjust Force
Social context: #FengChenWang has amassed 190 million reads on Weibo, and #FengChenWangCelebrity, which showcases celebs wearing the brand, has 25.87 million.
Verdict: Alluding to London-based Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang’s upcoming Nike collection, the Spring 2024 show featured ruffled outerwear-constructed dresses, suiting, and Air Force 1s sprouting with blooms.
The two neon finale pieces made out of upcycled activewear will reportedly not feature in the official sale, making them innovative exhibitionary designs made for marketing and to pique interest.
Western brands such as Ugg, Converse, and Nike are collaborating with Chinese designers to authentically connect with their mainland consumer bases, and Feng Chen Wang’s plentiful Chinese references make her eponymous label an effective choice.
Forever a central theme of the domestic talent’s oeuvre, China was the focus for Spring 2024 — the designer’s memories of her grandmother in the natural surroundings of Fujian inspired the collection, titled “Memories. Imprinted.”
Mithridate x JC Wenhua
Date: June 22 to July 9
Product: The “Fashion For Art” Exhibition presenting Mithridate’s Fall 2023 Ready to Wear Collection, and a selection of bespoke made-to-measure stage pieces by Mithridate Creative Director Demon Zhang.
Social context: #Mithridate has 38.63 million reads on Weibo, and #Shanghai Jincang Wenhua Plaza (or #上海锦沧文华广场) has 232,000 reads.
Verdict: Based on the Shanghai JC Wenhua Gallery concept store, this exhibition combines fashion inspiration and stage art to create a dynamic space with avant-garde aesthetics.
It enables consumers to understand the design aesthetics of the Fall 2023 collection, which debuted at London Fashion Week in February this year – that was a European/global showcase, whereas this one directly engages Chinese fans.
Capitalizing on the drama of a fashion spectacle, Mithridate elevates its brand image and collection while celebrating the country’s arts industry with this partnership. Furthermore, it’s an opportunity to truly highlight the design concept and garment craftsmanship.
Louis Vuitton x Manner
Date: June 22
Product: Pop-up Shanghai bookstore to promote Louis Vuitton city guides covering 60 countries around the world.
Social context: #Manner has 18.99 million reads on Weibo, though there is no dedicated hashtag for this activation. According to the platform’s data, mentions have dramatically risen as a result of the initiative.
Verdict: Known for catering to young consumers with its grab-and-go coffee, Manner is an accessible domestic brand that capitalizes on the urban work-around-the-clock culture.
In 2021, Manner’s growth was on steroids. It built some 150 new stores between June and October that year, quickly becoming the household name that it is today. In short, it’s an efficient partner for LV to reach China’s mainstream public.
This colorful book store collaboration, featuring co-branded coffee cups and interior design, follows an initiative earlier this year to promote the Yayoi Kusama collection.
LV has been working with Manner since 2018, just three years after the latter’s inception, connecting to Chinese consumers via the country’s coffee culture. Manner might not be a luxury brand, but it’s popular in the mainland and boasts reliable reach.