"Dopamine dressing" is gaining momentum in China.
Referring to the chemical released in the brain that creates pleasurable sensations and is triggered by activities like shopping or sex, dopamine dressing encompasses wearing highly saturated, vibrant colors to elevate the wearer’s mood and evoke a sense of happiness through bold, cheerful fashion.
Popular Douyin influencer Baizhou Xiaoxiong (@白昼小熊) started sharing posts from a "Rainbow Dressing" series in early May, instantly garnering immense popularity, including an impressive 3.35 million likes. In a brief 10-second clip, she and her friends showcase various vibrant outfits, coordinated with matching accessories in the same color palette, down to the nuanced shades of lipstick. To date, the series has eight videos, accumulating a staggering 470 million views.
One particular post garnered over 5 million likes, just one sign of the level of engagement and interest in this trend. Within a week, the influencer had gained a remarkable 870,000 followers. On Douyin, the hashtags Dopamine Girl Dressing (#多巴胺女孩穿搭) and Dopamine Dressing (#多巴胺穿搭) have generated impressive view counts of 7.41 billion and 2.19 billion, respectively.
The Jing Take
With Baizhou Xiaoxiong helping take “dopamine dressing” to new heights this summer, numerous Chinese social media platforms have seen a surge in related videos and discussions.
On Kuaishou, the Dopamine Dressing (#多巴胺穿搭) hashtag has been viewed nearly 200 million times, even giving rise to a dopamine dressing challenge. As of June 1, the term ranked 16th on the Kuaishou hotlist, having engaged over 11.38 million viewers. Meanwhile, over 540,000 related posts and over 50,000 related products have appeared on Xiaohongshu.
For individuals in China who tend to dress in understated ways, the popularity of dopamine dressing may initially appear surprising. But this fashion trend can be seen as a bright manifestation of self-expression in the first summer following China’s reversal of its zero-Covid policy. The rise of dopamine dressing signifies the triumph of joyful individualism that defies conventional fashion rules. A reflection of the desire for euphoria and joy, the underlying message conveyed by dopamine dressing is that happiness takes precedence.
In addition to fashion bloggers, celebrities have also embraced dopamine dressing and shared their own interpretations. Notably, actress and singer Yu Shuxin, Givenchy’s newly appointed brand ambassador, and top KOL Yi Mengling have both published “dopamine dressing” related content, with each video surpassing 500,000 likes. Fashion brands have an opportunity to capitalize on this joyful style trend taking hold of China’s Gen Z.
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