Happy New Year: Luxury Flocks to the Year of the Ox

What Happened: Luxury brands are celebrating the Year of the Ox through unique capsule collections and ox-inspired accessories. “Denied a proper Chinese New Year celebration last year, the nation is in the mood for an over-the-top celebration in 2021,” says Tianwei Zhang, the China market editor at WWD.

Burberry featured Liu Wen and Wang Xiangguo in its Chinese New Year 2021 campaign and released a limited-edition Thomas Burberry Monogram Motif inspired by the zodiac sign. Its capsule collection includes a new Olympia bag, trench coats, and sports-influenced pieces, according to Fashion United.

Dior, meanwhile, has embroidered an ox’s head on its B23 sneaker, created in collaboration with designer Shawn Stussy. Jewelry brand Baccarat has released a Zodiac Ox for 2021, designed by Allison Hawkes, fashion brand Tory Burch released the Ozzie The Ox Mini Bag, and Estée Lauder developed a collectible and refillable powder compact with an ox on it. Jewelers Pandora and Alighieri also came out with unique jewelry designs inspired by the powerful bovine.

Baccarat Year of the Ox sculptures

Baccarat has partnered with designer Allison Hawkes to release crystal ox sculptures in celebration of Chinese New Year. Photo: Courtesy of Baccarat.

Jing Take: Over the past few years, a growing number of Western luxury brands have launched capsule collections and designer collaborations for various Chinese celebrations. From Single’s Day capsule collections to Qixi Festival and Lunar New Year collaborations, Western brands have used every opportunity to attract a new wave of consumers.

Indisputably, luxury houses that specialize in cross-cultural branding will understand local consumption patterns better than newcomers. However, even the most established luxury players have committed serious gaffes in the past. Some have been accused of creepy ad campaigns, while others have released disastrous promos or committed grave cultural insensitivity missteps.

But despite the pitfalls and endless errors, Western brands are finally grasping the meaning and importance of China’s Lunar New Year celebration, and they have become more vigilant against faux pas. Considering that the luxury industry is highly dependent on China, this new cultural awareness and sensitivity are hardly surprising. So, even if the “ox” doesn’t have the same glamorous and seductive appeal as other zodiac signs, we can expect luxury brands to magnify their marketing efforts and come out with engaging and visually appealing content marketing campaigns.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.