Aape, Roaring Wild and this week's China collabs

    Aape enters China’s Gen Z-loved bakery scene, Arch by Roaringwild taps everyone’s favorite blue hedgehog, and Justine Clenquet works with Insta-famous illustrator Jiay Liu.
    Arch by Roaringwild offers a stylish take on the Sonic the Hedgehog IP. Photo: Arch by Roaringwild
      Published   in Fashion

    From local streetwear brands leveraging the warm familiarity of cartoon intellectual property, to global brands connecting with Chinese consumers via some of the country’s most popular food chains, this week’s Chinese brand collaboration spotlights showcase diverse strategies.

    One co-branded venture of the week that has popped up frequently over the past year is French jewelry designer Justine Clenquet working with Jiay Liu on their latest social media campaign.

    Read on for our verdict on this week’s most exciting collaborative projects to come out of the mainland, and subscribe here to receive these updates straight to your inbox via the weekly Collabs & Drops newsletter.

    Justine Clenquet x Jiay Liu

    View post on Instagram

    Social context: The two related posts on Justine Clenquet’s Instagram have together gained 2,857 likes. On Instagram, Jiay Liu has 64,000 followers, and Justine Clenquet has 119,000.


    • Having previously worked with brands such as Loewe, Vivienne Westwood, Adidas, G-Shock, and frequently, Justine Clenquet, Chinese artist Jiayi Li's visually delicious illustrations are a really creative way for brands to promote themselves on Instagram.
    • The two names can share their fanbases, with Justine Clenquet providing Jiay Liu with extended recognition, while Jiay Liu makes the jewelry brand’s Fall 2023 collection stand out, attracting further attention on a platform that prioritizes visuals.
    • Social media has fueled the rise of artist-brand collaborations, providing talents, like illustrators, with a platform to showcase their work and attract fan bases that brands can tap into, while producing a creative internet campaign.

    Aape x Butterful & Creamorous Bakery

    Japanese stretwear brand Aape enters Chinese consumer goods via Butterful & Creamorous. Photo: Butterful & Creamorous Weibo
    Japanese stretwear brand Aape enters Chinese consumer goods via Butterful & Creamorous. Photo: Butterful & Creamorous Weibo

    Details: Co-branded meals at Butterful & Creamorous bakery, December 8 to 28

    Social context: Butterful & Creamorous has 24,000 fans on Weibo, and the brand’s official hashtag #butterfulcreamorous has 361,000 reads. Aape has 68,000 fans. Over on Xiaohongshu, #butterfulcreamorous has 67.9 million views.


    • Throughout 2023, global brands have connected with China through localized projects, and Japan-born streetwear leader Aape is the latest to reap the rewards of the trend via a playful collision.
    • Butterfly & Creamorous is incredibly popular among China’s Gen Z, making it a great vehicle to connect with that demographic, also the age range of Aape’s consumer base worldwide.
    • Alongside products, there is also an installation, located at the S1 Plaza, Taikoo Li South District in Chaoyang District, Beijing, elevating the collaboration to instant social media hit, with fans visiting for the photo opportunity as well as the food.

    Arch by Roaringwild x "Sonic Prime"

    Sonic the Hedgehog is the star of Arch by Roaringwild's latest collection. Photo: Roaringwild
    Sonic the Hedgehog is the star of Arch by Roaringwild's latest collection. Photo: Roaringwild

    Details: Clothing and accessories collection, December 9

    Social context: #Arch by Roaringwild has 6.5 million reads on Weibo, and on Xiaohongshu #Arch has 1.5million views.


    • Streetwear brands often incorporate cartoon IPs into collections to appeal to the masses and create a sense of nostalgia that consumers can’t get enough of, especially post Covid-19.
    • Video game character Sonic the Hedgehog resurrects the 1990s, resulting in a retro collection that resonates with millennials, but attracts Gen Z consumers for its playfulness.
    • Back in 2016, the Sonic the Hedgehog movie grossed $236 million in China and was named in 2020 as the country's 32nd highest-earning film of all time. That level of popularity is attractive to a lesser-known name such as Roaringwild — despite being big on the streetwear scene, the domestic name is yet to compete to the level of sportswear giants like Anta or Li-Ning.
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