What Happened: Streetwear brand Off-White released a limited-edition denim series on its new WeChat Mini Program store in China. The series includes denim jackets, trousers, hoodies, and AirPod cases bearing the brand’s iconic crossed arrows symbol that range from $453 to $1,399 (2,960 to 9,140 yuan).
The eight-year-old brand was founded by the American artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear, Virgil Abloh, and is still new to China’s social channels. Its WeChat account was registered this August, with the first post coming in November. However, the brand already has a website with e-commerce features and a sizable offline presence with 16 stores in China, five in Hong Kong, three in Shanghai, two in Beijing, and outposts in cities like Hangzhou since entering China in 2017. “The China market and Chinese consumers are very important to Off White. Over the years, the brand has always connected very well with consumers at all latitudes, and China has been a pivotal market for the growth of the business,” Cristiano Fagnani, New Guards Group CMO, told Jing Daily.
Off-White posted a teaser on its official WeChat account two days before the official launch, which garnered around 700 views over 24 hours. According to Fagnani, it is the company’s plan to release special collections for WeChat regularly in the future, with the aim of better engaging the market.
Jing Take: China’s reemergence from the pandemic has reignited the country’s slumping streetwear market, and cool kids once again ran around in their fresh sneakers and collab items after lockdowns eased in March.
Off-White picked the perfect time to do its WeChat drop, as December hosts two of China’s largest streetwear conventions: Innersect and Sneaker Con. It also saw the release of season two of the streetwear-themed reality TV show Fourtry. Furthermore, Off-White’s commitment to producing special capsule collections makes it a perfect contender for engaging drop-hungry consumers on WeChat.
Compared to spending on interactive booths at the upcoming Sneaker Con, doing a WeChat limited-edition series is cost-efficient. Plus, the drop comes at a time when WeChat’s Mini Program, after three years, has substantially grown its user base. With 440 million daily active users, WeChat saw roughly $122 billion (800 billion yuan) go through the Mini Program in 2019, and it is estimated to reach around $306 billion this year.
But, with a fledgling online viewership, will Off-White be able to let its zealous Chinese fans know they can buy new items with just a few finger taps? If the company’s track record offline and in all other markets is any indication, the answer is yes.
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.