Dries Van Noten Taps Local Artists To Build Cultural Relevance In Chengdu

    How does the Belgian fashion brand resonate with the young fashionistas in Chengdu, a rising cultural hub in southwest China?
    Dries Van Noten's artistic initiative features four Chengdu-based creatives from different fields. Photo: Dries Van Noten
      Published   in Fashion


    Dries Van Noten has launched the second chapter of its artist program in Chengdu, inviting four creatives to tell stories related to the southwestern Chinese city. The initiative features poet Zhai Yongming, photographer Feng Li, and musicians Li Dingding and AFLOU, who portray the city’s unique laid-back and inclusive culture for the fashion brand.

    Alongside the creative project, the Belgian designer label has unveiled the "Shu Garden Blossoms" pop-up space at its store in Taikoo Li. Customers can experience Chengdu’s spring vibe through the lens of the four artists and have a chance to win a limited-edition flower gift from April 7 to 9.

    Netizens’ Reactions#

    Given that Dries Van Noten is a niche name for Chinese shoppers, the hashtag “DriesVanNoten” has only 1.8 million views on Xiaohongshu. Its Spring 2023 collection drove significant online traffic, thanks to a campaign starring Chinese actress Dilraba published by Elle China. Though engagement on the campaign posts is relatively low compared to that of A-list luxury brands, Dries Van Noten enjoys high recognition among local fashion insiders.

    ELLE China's May cover features Chinese actress Dilraba wearing Dries Van Noten. Photo: Dries Van Noten
    ELLE China's May cover features Chinese actress Dilraba wearing Dries Van Noten. Photo: Dries Van Noten


    Dries Van Noten is a designer fashion brand that is known for its unique aesthetic and craftsmanship. With a strong focus on artistic collaborations, the label has been expanding its presence in China and opening stand-alone boutiques in major fashion hubs such as Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenzhen.

    Dries Van Noten’s artist program was launched in 2022 with a goal of connecting with young Chinese artists and helping them gain global recognition. The program kicked off with a collaboration with painter Su Yuxin, who created two sculptural paintings the size of a mobile phone. The artwork was presented at the brand’s Shenzhen boutique, refreshing the visual merchandising with creative elements.

    The project has been well-received, achieving a balance between maintaining Dries Van Noten's unique design identity and localizing for new regional markets. For the latest iteration, the brand chose four Chengdu-based names who are recognized in their respective fields instead of the renowned celebrities, allowing it to build authentic connections with targeted underground communities.

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