The Social Edition is our weekly series which deep dives into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape. Every week, we highlight brand campaigns distributed on Chinese digital platforms — WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin, and beyond.
Our coverage spotlights global luxury brands, global beauty brands, and local Chinese brands. The latter gives insight into some of China’s most successful campaigns, which often come from local players, and are outside of the beauty and fashion space.
In this week’s roundup, we look at three campaigns, including Maison Margiela’s ephemeral space titled “The Memory of… unveiled in Shanghai, Farfetch’s Pride Month campaign, and Kiehl’s collaboration with Pop Mart.
Maison Margiela Exhibits Its House Legacy At Shanghai Popup
BRAND Maison Margiela
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book
MEDIUM Image, Short-video, Offline Pop-up Exhibition
FEATURED TALENTS Victoria Song (49M Weibo Followers) | Lucas Huang (4M) | Dong Sicheng (4M) | Yin Fang (850K)
On June 9, Maison Margiela unveiled an ephemeral space titled “The Memory of…,” staged at the plaza of the Shanghai Réel Department Store, where the brand has its Shanghai flagship store. For the exhibition, the Maison created an explorational journey of avant-garde fashion by intertwining digital technology with architectural installations. Attendees of the opening event included actor Victoria Song, singer Lucas Huang, Dong Sicheng, and the dance artist Yin Fang, who performed contemporary dance in the campaign video. The exhibition will open to the public from June 10 to July 11, and fashion fans can make reservations via the brand’s WeChat Mini Program.
The campaign hashtag #THEMEMORYOF (时装以外 凡尘之上) has garnered over 31 million views on Weibo as of June 11. Thanks to attendance by the four celebrities, the opening event drove significant traffic both online and offline. Netizens discussed their excitement about the exhibition while fans screamed in line to support their idols.
Maison Margiela has gained growing awareness in China and expanded its footprint by leveraging Chinese luxury shoppers’ craze for niche designs. The pop-up exhibition under the same name as the house’s Podcast series, “The Memory of… With John Galliano,” features the brand’s signature Tabi footprints and gypsum pillars, which first debuted at Artisanal Fall 2018, communicating the brand’s heritage to local visitors. As a house that made a name through anonymity, Maison Margiela is still careful about celebrity endorsements, focusing instead on consolidating its iconic design symbols among Chinese fashionistas.
Farfetch’s Drag and Voguing Campaign Is A Hit For Pride Month
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo
MEDIUM Image, Short-video
FEATURED TALENTS @莲龙青Kudos (1M Weibo Followers) | @雪莲莲ShirleyMilan (1937)
Farfetch collaborated with two KOLs, @莲龙青Kudos and @雪莲莲ShirleyMilan, to roll out a campaign titled: Fearless, It Doesn’t Matter. As a gender-fluid person, @莲龙青Kudos is a blogger, makeup artist, and drag queen. Meanwhile, @雪莲莲ShirleyMilan is a co-founder of VoguingShanghai — the first voguing and ballroom culture platform in Mainland China. The campaign featured the two in drag and dance, encouraging people to embrace their freedom of expression.
The campaign paying homage to Pride Month received extensive positive reactions among netizens. With subcultures like drag and voguing gaining awareness in China, local consumers — especially younger generations — have proven to adore brands that support inclusivity and diversity. Thus far, the campaign videos starring the two KOLs have garnered a combined viewership of 80,000 on Weibo. User @Erpo_Liang described Kudos’ experience of being a drag queen as “brave, positive, and confident” below the brand’s campaign video.
Farfetch has turned its 2021 Pride Month campaign into a manifesto of individuality, inclusivity, and diversity by spotlighting two underground cultures deconstructing masculinity and femininity. Compared to initiatives trying to “please” LGBTQ+ communities, this approach is more genuine, allowing the brand to earn trust among its local users.
Kiehl’s Pitches Pop Mart & Panda Protection
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short-video
FEATURED TALENTS Victoria Song (49M Weibo Followers)
Kiehl’s, owned by L’Oréal Group, partnered with Pop Mart character Dimoo to launch two limited-edition products dedicated to public welfare. The collaboration features two iconic brand products — Ultra Facial Oil-free Gel Cream and White Clay Mask — and advocates for protecting the homeland of wild pandas and their environment. The campaign video is presented with stop-motion animation and playfully stars actress Victoria Song alongside Dimoo.
The campaign hashtags #Kiehl’sDimooCollab and #VictoriaSongTickledPandas received 233 million combined views on Weibo within one week. Netizens adored the animated panda and Dimoo’s cute appearance, as well as the brand’s commitment to wild animal protection. Meanwhile, Victoria Song’s endorsement has fueled substantial social traffic, driving over 163,000 views for the minute-long video campaign.
Beauty brands such as Judydoll, Addiction, and Innisfree have already collaborated with Pop Mart’s popular characters in the China market with great success. However, Kiehl’s is the first label to attach this partnership to social responsibility, moving beyond just tapping the blind box economy. Casting an animal face like a panda is also a savvy way to resonate with local shoppers, most of whom are familiar with this endangered species.