Reports

    From Dubai to De Gournay: China’s cross-cultural brand collabs heat up

    From Marimekko x Heytea to Dubai’s boost for holidaymakers, this week’s Chinese brand collaborations are a lesson in enhancing exposure and engagement.
    de Gournay's wallpapers make the ultimate decor for Bing Xu slippers. Image: de Gournay
      Published   in Fashion

    In China’s brand collaboration scene this week, three unique partnerships blend cultural aesthetics, innovative travel experiences, and cross-continental design.

    Luxury hand-painted wallpaper and fabrics brand De Gournay has teamed up with Shanghai footwear designer Bing Xu; the Dior Tourism Bureau has launched a campaign on Xiaohongshu to boost Dubai’s summer tourism through engaging social media initiatives and travel incentives; and Marimekko is the latest to join forces with collab-favorite Heytea, on tea and merchandise.

    Read on for our verdict and subscribe here to receive updates via the Collaborations newsletter every Tuesday.

    De Gournay x Bing Xu#

    De Gournay classic Chinoiserie design's translated onto Bing Xu footwear. Image: De Gournay
    De Gournay classic Chinoiserie design's translated onto Bing Xu footwear. Image: De Gournay

    Details: Footwear and accessories collection, June 27

    Social context: On Xiaohongshu, De Gournay has 12,800 followers, with #degournay at 1.7 million reads and #BingXu at 228,600 reads.

    Verdict:

    • Merging Asian aesthetics with classic British design, Bing Xu’s footwear is adorned with bold embroidered motifs, reflecting De Gournay’s intricate Chinoiserie patterns. The result is a fusion of art and fashion.
    • The campaign, set in the idyllic Harpsden Court, a neoclassical country house located in Oxfordshire, not only showcases the bespoke footwear, but also encapsulates a quintessentially British lifestyle. By featuring versatile designs like loafers, mules, and Highgrove slippers that are perfect for travel, the partnership aims to show how consumers can incorporate high art into their everyday life.
    • A collection that appeals to a global audience seeking unique, culturally rich fashion statements that are both sophisticated and contemporary.

    Dubai Tourism Bureau x Xiaohongshu#

    Dubai influencers using the collaborative hashtag on Xiaohongshu. Image: Xiaohongshu
    Dubai influencers using the collaborative hashtag on Xiaohongshu. Image: Xiaohongshu

    Details: Campaign inviting travel bloggers to check in at Dubai’s tourist attractions, June 13 to July 12

    Social context: The dedicated Xiaohongshu hashtag Discover New Ways to Enjoy Dubai (迪拜还能这样玩) has garnered 8.19 million views.

    Verdict:

    • Leveraging the influence of vacation bloggers to showcase Dubai’s attractions, the campaign aims to boost the UAE city’s visibility and appeal as a travel destination.
    • It directly encourages user interaction and engagement through the #IcanplayinDubai interactive hashtag. By inviting users to share guides and participate in check-in activities at attractions like AI Seef Street, the Museum of the Future, and Burj Khalifa, the campaign fosters a community-driven approach to travel exploration.
    • Offering travel discount coupons, round-trip tickets, and hotel vouchers as rewards for participation incentivizes users to engage with the campaign and explore Dubai. These incentives are strategically designed to enrich users’ travel experiences and make Dubai a more attractive and affordable destination, while simultaneously exemplifying ways of using Xiaohongshu.

    Marimekko x Heytea#

    Heytea x Marimekko. Image: Heytea
    Heytea x Marimekko. Image: Heytea

    Details: Limited edition tea, accessories, and packaging, June 24

    Social context: Marimekko has 47,000 followers on Weibo, and Heytea has 1.4 million — #Heytea×Marimekko has 676,000 reads on Weibo.

    Verdict:

    • Marimekko’s collaboration with Heytea blends Finnish design with Chinese tea culture, leveraging the iconic Unikko pattern and gardenia-infused milk green tea to create a unique cross-cultural experience.
    • Underscoring Marimekko’s strategic focus on the Asia-Pacific region, the brand’s partnership with a household name naturally strengthens its foothold in China, enhancing brand visibility and appeal among Chinese consumers.
    • The collaboration offers more than just a co-branded tea; it includes exclusive merchandise like Unikko-patterned mugs and enamel pins, themed store experiences, and special events. These elements not only drive sales but also create memorable interactions, fostering deeper customer engagement and loyalty.
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