Haircare Brand Amika Taps Shanghai’s Underground Voguing Community

    New York-born brand Amika has launched a campaign with Voguing Shanghai, the first voguing and ballroom culture platform in the mainland and a LGBT haven.
    Drag queen and makeup artist Coke is featured in the campaign video. Photo: Courtesy of Amika
      Published   in Retail


    Brooklyn-born, vegan certified haircare brand Amika launched a digital campaign “For My Moment To Shine” in collaboration with Voguing Shanghai — the first voguing and ballroom culture platform in the mainland. Starring voguing dancer and choreographer Shirley, drag queen and makeup artist Coke, as well as choreographer and model Hannah, the video features highlights of voguing dancers in a joyful celebration of the cultural diversity not often seen in China. To maximize the engagement of the campaign, the brand also launched a lottery for complimentary gifts on its Xiaohongshu official account.

    Netizens’ Reaction#

    So far, the niche brand only has an official social media presence on Xiaohongshu to interact with Chinese consumers, whereas its Instagram following is at almost half a million. However, the bold campaign spotlighting the underground voguing community impressed China's online viewers. Receiving comments like “this collaboration is so cool” and “the creative direction of the video is amazing,” the video earned over 1,000 likes on Xiaohongshu.


    Founded in Brooklyn in 2007, Amika has built solid brand awareness in North America with a reputation for celebrating all hair types, textures and styles. However, given the complications of the beauty industry in China, it’s not a simple task for global players to make forays into the market. In an interview with i-D China, Amika’s CEO Chelsea Riggs stated that the Chinese market has been appealing to Amika for years, but international expansion is challenging for an independent and growing brand. It was only this year that the haircare label launched its official social media account and online stores on Tmall Global and Xiaohongshu.

    As Amika has been inclusive to diverse community cultures since brand foundation, its partnership with Voguing Shanghai is a natural, agile approach for localization in the Chinese market. Founded in 2019, Voguing Shanghai has shaped the new ballroom scene in Shanghai, even China, and contributed to the quiet flourishing of underground culture. The platform is an inclusive shelter for the local LGBTQ community to explore and showcase their identities.

    As Riggs says, “We are excited to immerse ourselves in new platforms and ways of going to market that differ from our strategy in the US. We love Chinese consumers’ desire for self-expression and the playfulness of marketing in China.” Though the voguing community is relatively small in the country, its alignment with Amika’s inclusive brand values has helped the label connect with its target market in a different, memorable way.

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