Inside Prada’s Pop-up Market In Rong Zhai

    Prada transformed Rong Zhai in Shanghai into a weekend market. What's the strategy behind the marketing initiative?
    Organic vegetables, fruits and eggs, as well as coffee and ice-cream were sold in the Prada Rong Zhai market. Photo: Prada
      Published   in Retail


    On April 15 and 16, Prada transformed Rong Zhai — a 1918 historic residence in Shanghai restored by the Prada Group — into a weekend market. Selected vendors dedicated to high quality products and sustainable lifestyles brought organic vegetables, fruits and eggs, as well as vinyl records, books and ceramic vases.

    Alongside the pop-up market, Prada presented an exhibition named “Human Brains: Preserving the Brain — Forum on Neurodegenerative Diseases” at Rong Zhai, which runs until May 21. Over the last weekend, the event welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors from sectors including fashion, art, and architecture.

    Netizens’ Reaction#

    The pop-up market was not only for guests invited by the brand, but it was also open to the public upon reservation. As such, the event engaged an extensive number of fashion insiders and consumers, who collectively drove social media traffic. Visitors posted their snapshots of Rong Zhai’s spring vibe and Prada's special packaging. On Xiaohongshu, the hashtag “Prada Rong Zhai” reached over 6.6 million views as of publication.

    Nearly 3,000 visitors went to the Prada Rong Zhai event last weekend. Photo: Prada
    Nearly 3,000 visitors went to the Prada Rong Zhai event last weekend. Photo: Prada


    This is not the first time that Prada has leveraged farmer's market culture in its marketing efforts. In 2021, the Italian house took over a fruit and vegetable market located in the Wulumuqi Road neighborhood of Shanghai as part of its Fall/Winter 2021 campaign called Feels Like Prada. At the market, the most simple and essential foods were wrapped in Prada packaging featuring its Fall/Winter 2021 signature prints. The creative initiative was one-of-its-kind in the mainland and allowed the brand to be exposed to a broader audience.

    More than just a place to buy groceries, these outdoor markets help cultivate in-person communities, which have become increasingly sought after as China becomes more digitalized. With a finger on the pulse of China's shifting consumer culture, Prada breaks the boundaries between luxury and everyday life.

    However, there were a few differences between the pop-up market in Rong Zhai and the previous takeover. Instead of using a real market, the brand transformed its well-known cultural hub into one. Moreover, this recent pop-up event largely targeted the brand’s followers, rather than the general public. With this localized marketing approach, Prada further consolidates its community stickiness and fosters emotional connections with its loyal customers.

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