Chinese Gen Z consumers go all in like no other demographic when it comes to fan culture and star-studded collaborations. A case in point is the Gentle Monster launch this week by Wenzhou’s singer-songwriter and rapper Cai Xukun.
In other news, Disney is celebrating its centennial with a local Randomevent collaboration, and Nike’s Peaceminusone is trending on Chinese socials.
For our verdict on these brand collaborations, check out the below. To receive weekly updates straight to your inbox, subscribe to the Collabs & Drops newsletter here.
To mark Disney's centennial, the Snow White capsule is connecting with the Chinese market via a local collaboration with streetwear brand Randomevent. It's a collision of Disney's nostalgic cultural IP and the local name's classic casual-wear cuts. The ready-to-wear brand-concept store is slowly emerging from the underground – its hashtag #Randomevent# clocked up 93.376 million views on Weibo. By comparison, Disney's official 100-year anniversary hashtag #迪士尼100周年# has 16.918 million reads; this part of its campaign is evidently gaining traction in China.
Probably the most viral collab of the week, #Gentle Monster X Kun has generated 130 million reads on Weibo, and #GentleMonsterxKun is at 226,600 reads on Xiaohongshu. Expected to sell out within minutes due to the impact of China's fan culture, this is a hot topic all over social media right now; it is optimum timing for Gentle Monster to be launching its Crystal Clear gaming app too, which is being promoted as part of this release, and being made available in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, and the US.
This pairing is proof of how powerful key opinion leader (KOL) products can be — Chinese singer-songwriter Cai Kun has 38.2 million followers on Weibo, and South Korean brand Gentle Monster has 222,000.
Seeing as South Korean rapper G-Dragon is one of Asia’s biggest fashion icons, any Peaceminusone x Nike collaboration would be huge in China, and its components expected to end up on the resale market. Peaceminusone has transitioned from a primarily KOL-led brand to its current status as almost synonymous in the mainland with local brands like Clot. Despite the new "Panda" sneakers not technically being the product of a Chinese collaboration, they are trending across social media platforms.
They are priced at 1,599 RMB (double the price of the 3.0 collaboration), and are expected to sell on resale sites for between 4,000 RMB to 6,000 RMB.