In case you missed them the first time around, here are some of Jing Daily’s top posts for the week of January 27-31, 2014.
“Western brands are becoming Eastern. Red envelopes are becoming prettier and prettier as they contend for supreme beauty. Which one do you like?” says Vogue China editor Angelica Cheung on her Sina Weibo account about a photo she posted showing many of this year’s envelopes. Brands such as Céline, Gucci, Fendi, Furla, Hugo Boss, Lancel, and more have created the special packages with various combinations of red, gold, and horse images. Although red is considered to be one of the most auspicious colors for the gifts, Hugo Boss chose to go bold with additional color choices. According to comments on Cheung’s informal poll, Hugo Boss seems to be the favorite among the commenters. “The Hugo Boss is nice; it’s very modern,” says one user, “but the horse images are also very good.”
Bergdorf Goodman, for example, has set up elaborate window displays for the holiday, featuring items from Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Tom Ford and Lavin, bathed in red light and flanked by papier-mâché horses. Bergdorf is offering a promotion with UnionPay, a Chinese payment system: Customers who spend $3,000 with a qualifying UnionPay card receive a $300 gift card, while those who spend $10,000 receive a $500 gift card. Bergdorf also has Mandarin-speaking greeters with Chinese name tags, a Chinese-language website, and an account on Weibo, a leading Chinese social network. Meanwhile, Madrid-based El Corte Ingles, Europe’s largest department store, has invited up-and-coming Chinese designers to exhibit their work. “Chinese consumers that we talk to love that kind of thing,” Brennan says.
Once users follow the account, they have the choice to either send a set amount to one WeChat contact, or select several friends to receive a portion of an amount divided at random by the app. If the number of friends selected exceeds 20, only the first 20 who open their “envelope” will receive money. This latter method of disbursement has proven the most popular, turning the tradition into a game for users. According to TechNode, WeChat users are sending out small amounts of money to groups of friends for fun, using the app for people “they’d otherwise never give luck money to.” The mass sending has prompted many users to join out of hope that they will be lucky enough to be included in one of these disbursements.
A vintage Birkin bag found on 1stdibs, which hopes to attract more Chinese customers through a new Alibaba partnership. (1stdibs)
According to tech site Recode, the internet giant approached 1stdibs, a U.S.-based site which sells vintage luxury items through a network of retailers, to offer Series C funding. The luxury e-tailer was founded in 2001 with the goal of bringing the Paris flea market to the internet, which is certainly a high-end one—the average purchase price is $2,000, according to 1stdibs. The website offers a plethora of vintage fashion, jewelry, watches, furniture, and even fine art.
France and China are gearing up to celebrate their 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, in which the trade of luxury goods has played a major part. In May, luxury was a key topic in Sino-French trade talks, as France hopes that its luxury exports will help to balance out its $34 billion trade deficit with China. Luxury conglomerate Kering owner François-Henri Pinault played a large role in Sino-French negotiations this year when he accompanied a French diplomatic mission to China to announce his historic donation of a pair of bronze zodiac heads looted from the Qing Summer Palace in 1860. The heads had been a sore spot between the two governments since 2009, when Christie’s put the heads up for auction in France, and the French government had not intervened despite the Chinese government’s insistence that the heads were rightfully China’s.