The Best and Worst of NYFW SS20

The Jing Daily team is pleased to introduce the Jing Daily Fashion Week Score, which evaluates a range of parameters to assess how a brand’s collection resonates with the Chinese audience. For NYFW Spring 2020, Jing Daily looks at a range of brands who have a stake in the Chinese market: from powerhouse Ralph Lauren that dominated Chinese social media with a star-studded event to Coach who is struggling to recoup from its recent blunder in the market.

The Jing Daily Fashion Week Score is based on the following parameters:

  • Model representation: evaluates representation of Chinese models on the runway.
  • Digital impact: evaluates Chinese netizen reception and engagement on leading social media platforms including Weibo, WeChat, and Little Red Book.
  • KOL & celebrity visibility: considers star power associated with the brand through strategic KOL and celebrity partnerships.
  • Special brand efforts: considers special programs or efforts on a brand’s part to speak to the Chinese audience.
  • Design context: a qualitative assessment of how the brand’s collection will speak to the Chinese audience based on current trends and preferences.
  • Brand history: considers existing brand history in China, including overall presence, social reach, number of stores, earning trends and brand missteps.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

Ralph Lauren’s Fall 2019 Art Deco set translated to the highest overall impact among the Chinese audience. This was largely in thanks to the caliber of Chinese celebrities and influencers in attendance, who had a combined following of over 150 million on Chinese social media platforms, translating to over 300,000 engagement points through the attendees alone. The Fall 2019 show was also live streamed on Weibo, Tmall, JD, and Ralph Lauren’s website, creating multiple touch points for Chinese netizens to interact with the show. Ralph Lauren’s strategy went beyond the show itself, inviting several Chinese celebrities to the US Open, resulting in multiple-day coverage that highly capitalized on the NYFW show. On WeChat and Weibo, netizens buzzed about streetwear heavyweight Edison Chen’s black-tie look, which has generated more comments and likes on Weibo compared to other celebrities.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

3.1 Philip Lim is among the smaller labels included in the Score, but the brand’s Spring 2020 show had a relatively high impact, proving that a concerted effort can yield high results regardless of the brand’s size. The brand strategically leveraged influencer and celebrity invitations — including Selina Ren, Stephy Deng, Lorene Ren, and Xinxin Zhang — that translated into high engagement on both Weibo and WeChat. Notably, the brand’s show featured the highest diversity and representation among all brands, sending a total of 8 Chinese models down the runway. Meanwhile, Lim’s design codes strongly translate to a portion of the Chinese market, building a cult-like following.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

This season, Michael Kors implemented a highly targeted strategy that successfully reached the Chinese audience. The brand engaged very actively with its consumers, implementing the hashtag #AllAccessKors four days leading up to the runway show, totaling up to 17 posts that generated over 39K impressions of the hashtag on Weibo alone. The brand did not leverage a high volume of Chinese influencers but did focus on the star power of its brand ambassadors Leo Wu and Lareina Song that generated 47K points of engagement through their’ posts. With a live stream on Tmall, Michael Kors also generated buzz on China’s leading retail platform. The brand’s popularity was seemingly not impacted by the previous scandal from Versace, which is also owned by Michael Kors’ parent company Capri Holdings.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

Tory Burch took Princess Diana as inspiration for her Spring 2020 collection and the approach highly resonated with Chinese netizens. Fashion influencer Shangwufan posted an image pasting Diana’s real-life outfit side by side with the collection looks. While the show didn’t produce major overall impressions, it did gain high engagement from followers of the brand. The collection was a prime example of how a brand can speak to the Chinese community organically, without forcing itself into the conversation. The show also played host to a range of Chinese celebrities, namely Yinger, Patty Hou, and KOLs, including Anny Fan, Fengwanwan, and Xinxin Zhang that contributed to discussion volume around the show.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

Tommy Hilfiger‘s past several fashion shows have proven the brand is implementing well-thought out strategies. Only a year ago, the brand took to Shanghai to present its Fall 2018 collection. This year, the brand collaborated with U.S. actress Zendya, presenting a Hip Hop heavy show at The Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Compared to last year’s Shanghai show, the China relevancy of this year’s show was relatively low. Granted, the focus of this show was a different demographic and received praise for incorporating Hip Hop without appropriating the culture. While the show was made available via live streaming on Weibo, netizens failed to highly engage with the show and its message of diversity. They did, however, buzz about Chinese actress Ying Er’s vintage-looking outfit.


Tom Ford shook up its runway presentation this season, taking a crowd of fashion insiders down to the New York subway. In China, there was no major online conversation driven by influencers or by Tom Ford’s official Weibo account, although fans of the account did take it upon themselves to share imagery of the show. Overall, discussions about Tom Ford Beauty dominate Weibo and WeChat. While last season’s show hosted several Chinese celebrities and KOLs, this season was limited. Model representation on the runway was also lacking, although two big names, Yang Hao and He Cong, added to overall visibility. Of all the collections shown at NYFW, Tom Ford presented the most untapped potential to position itself as leading player among Chinese onlookers.


Illustration: Dustin Tong/Jing Daily.

Stuart Vevers’ Spring 2020 collection for Coach presented a design shift from the Americana accent that has defined the label for the past six years, looking instead to ’80s New York. While the collection was strong, the brand saw little to no engagement with the Chinese audience. The brand recently sparked major backlash from Chinese netizens due to a culturally insensitive T-shirt and has seemingly taken a step back from its China strategy this season. The brand made no official posts about the runway show on their WeChat or Weibo accounts. Likewise, there were no Chinese celebrities or KOLs in attendance, or any major online discussion. For the first time in several years, Liu Wen was not present at NYFW, who recently parted ways with Coach following their misstep.