What Happened: Netting total sales of over $71,900 (500,000 RMB) in one second, Chinese fine jewelry brand Qeelin collaborated with fashion KOL Mr. Bags (Tao Liang) yesterday for a flash sale. Only 118 Bo Bo necklaces and special gift boxes, each selling for $700 (4,888 RMB), were available exclusively on Mr. Bag’s Baoshop WeChat mini program.
This is their second partnership, the first being a sale of 100 Mr. Bags x Qeelin Wulu necklaces, which were also bought up in one second, on January 5, 2020. “The sellout was expected because of last time,” Liang tells Jing Daily. “But I am still very happy and touched that everything sold out so fast.”
The Jing Take: Years ago, sales activations with the likes of Mr. Bags revealed the power of the Chinese influencers to international companies and how such marketing could convert directly to sales via these personalities’ own platforms. As well as hitting some impressive figures, it was the start of a rather unique Chinese influencer/e-commerce model that has evolved over the years and across platforms like Tmall, Douyin, Xiaohongshu, and WeChat. Liang is indicative of this: With 10 million social media followers across platforms, he is able to convert that influence into special sales for labels like Tod’s, Dunhill, Longchamp, and Givenchy.
“I have been posting articles and videos as Mr. Bags for 12 years. Many of my followers have evolved from people who knew so little about fashion to fashionistas with huge bag closets,” he tells Jing Daily.
And the remit is widening. Chinese consumers have shown themselves comfortable buying fine jewelry online through trusted sources and channels.
Liang continues, “Many of them already know and own so many bags that they really want to move a step further into the world of fine jewelry and watches. When I saw this desire, I opened a WeChat blog called Mr. Jewelry and Watch in 2019.” This new channel has quickly garnered a following of more than 100,000, becoming “a place for girls with strong purchasing power to learn more about jewelry, watches, and anything about luxurious lifestyles.”
And this is even as luxury price tags continue to rise. “For the past two years, branded handbags kept lifting up their prices. At the same time, so many Chinese consumers have accumulated impressive handbag collections,” he adds. Indeed, it’s factors like these that have “kept boosting the fine jewelry market.”
These results are comforting for brands looking at the increasingly complicated KOL sales ecosystem during times of economic uncertainty. Despite a plethora of new competition and ever-younger talent, the original Chinese fashion bloggers and influencers can still offer great value and hype. But most importantly — a loyal, trusted following ready to pull out their (digital) wallets for the right exclusive collaborations.
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.