Reports

    Song Yan Fei In Feng Chen Wang x Ugg, Nike x Soulgoods, And Be@rbrick: China Collabs Of The Week

    This week in Chinese collaboration, global brands are continuing to leverage the fan bases of local talent, from independent designers to popular streetwear retailers.
    Ugg x Feng Chen Wang has set sail in China but doesn't launch anywhere else until January 2023. Photo: Ugg
      Published   in Fashion

    Can local collaborations help transform a tainted brand image in China? This week, Nike’s apparent strategy suggests it’s on track to find out. The global sportswear giant was hit hard by the Xinjiang cotton backlash of 2021, announcing that the country was its worst performing market in Q1 2022. But Shanghai’s popular sneaker retailer Soulgoods has subliminally urged local hypebeasts to leave that in the past, dropping three exclusive Dunk Highs with the brand for the first time.

    Also in the footwear space, Feng Chen Wang has launched a new deconstructed take on Ugg’s signature silhouettes in the mainland. This time, there’s a clothing line to accompany the boots too. And another retailer, Shanghai-located ACU, has collaborated on a limited-edition product: the Be@rbrick x Jahan Loh.

    For the Jing Collabs & Drops verdict on the best brand collaborations in China, check out the below and be sure to subscribe here to receive weekly brand collaboration updates in your inbox.

    ACU X JAHAN LOH X BE@RBRICK#

    Retailers tapping brands that they would ordinarily stock, such as Acu collaborating with Be@rbrick, is a reliable route to meet the interests of existing consumers. Photo: Acu
    Retailers tapping brands that they would ordinarily stock, such as Acu collaborating with Be@rbrick, is a reliable route to meet the interests of existing consumers. Photo: Acu

    Launch date:#

    November 7

    Trend:#

    Global Brand x Local Retailer

    Verdict

    Known as China's first sneaker boutique, Shanghai-based retailer Acu understands the power of a collaborative collectible. Singaporean pop artist Jahan Loh has an established fanbase too, so this Be@rbrick is basically enhanced merchandise for him and the store, with interests from both fans definitely crossing over. Loh has previously dropped collaborations with G-Shock and British bicycle manufacturer Brompton. However, this is the most targeted at his APAC clientele and the streetwear space. Acu is an effective choice for collaborators looking to connect with China's tight-knit streetwear and sneaker scenes.

    UGG X FENG CHEN WANG#

    Song Yan Fei wearing Feng Chen Wang x Ugg spurred a ton of social media mentions. Photo: Weibo
    Song Yan Fei wearing Feng Chen Wang x Ugg spurred a ton of social media mentions. Photo: Weibo

    Launch date:#

    November 11

    Trend:#

    Global Brand x Local Independent Designer

    Verdict

    Proving how ongoing footwear partnerships can be fruitful for both brands, this marks the third time that Ugg has worked with Feng Chen Wang since the start of 2021. Online, the main source of engagement for this collaboration is down to being worn by the Chinese actress, singer and dancer Song Yan Fei to the Feel House Ugg event in Kuanzhai Alley, Chengdu. Inviting designers such as Feng Chen Wang to reimagine its trademark silhouettes is a great move for Ugg — it provides the brand with a combination of creativity, fashion industry affinity, and newness. Furthermore, it fast-tracks building connections with its crucial Chinese fanbase — that seems to be priority, considering that the global launch isn't until January 9.

    NIKE X SOULGOODS#

    Nike shows signs of taking the brand collaboration route to save face in China. Photo: Nike
    Nike shows signs of taking the brand collaboration route to save face in China. Photo: Nike

    Launch date:#

    November 26

    Trend:#

    Global Brand x Local Retailer

    Verdict

    Likely in a bid to win back Chinese fans, sportswear giant Nike has teamed up with China's streetwear store Soulgoods to launch three Nike Dunk High sneakers. In the first quarter of 2022, China was Nike's worst performing market, but focusing on a local collaboration strategy could help turn that around. Tapping a global name is also a way for Soulgoods to drive hype. And that it has, with multiple local press outlets covering the drop, from Kicksvision and Kiks, to Nowher, Nowre, CLZ and Platinum Webzine. Just like they were in the noughties, Nike Dunks are at prime popularity right now, so it's a great choice of silhouette. The whole design is intrinsically Chinese, taking color inspiration from the album artwork of Chinese rockstars Ji Ming and Wu Yue. Plus, the tongue and sides feature "Soul Tiger" graphics.

    For more on brand collaboration, check out Jing Daily’s weekly Collabs and Drops newsletter — a weekly analytical lowdown on the latest news. Sign up here.

    Discover more
    Daily BriefAnalysis, news, and insights delivered to your inbox.