Why lucky red underwear is among China's biggest Lunar New Year trends

    Chinese underwear brands are honing in on superstitions by offering red underwear, and Ubras is emerging as a winner.
    Ubras' Chinese New Year campaign. Image: Ubras

    What happened

    With Chinese New Year just around the corner, the term “2024 year of the dragon women’s underwear gift set” (2024龙年本命年内衣套装女礼盒) surfaces hundreds, if not thousands, of different red-colored lingerie on Chinese shopping apps such as Taobao.

    On Tmall, “Chinese New Year red” has become its own category, where lucky long red underwear is among the bestselling winter innerwear for local brands like Ubras.

    Across the last 365 days, top-ranked retailer Ubras has sold over 40,000 units of long red underwear and over 100,000 units of its racier red bra, underwear, and socks set, according to Tmall. Meanwhile, its competitor, Neiwai, has sold over 30,000 red underwear gift sets during the same period.

    Ubras’  latest Chinese New Year campaign. Image: Ubras
    Ubras’ latest Chinese New Year campaign. Image: Ubras

    The Jing Take

    Wearing red underwear during Chinese New Year is a practice rooted in tradition. Generally, red is considered a lucky color that can bring people fortune and prosperity.

    The color red is also believed to ward off evil and bad luck. According to Chinese superstition, individuals may face misfortune if their birth sign aligns with the zodiac sign of the current year. Therefore, wearing red underwear is thought to shield the wearer from potential misfortunes that might arise during the new year.

    And local lingerie brands have honed in on this custom. In recent years, Chinese zodiac-themed red underwear has become all the rage thanks to the belief that, in addition to wearing red shirts, jackets, dresses, and other items of clothing, even donning red as innerwear brings one additional good luck.

    For brands such as Ubras, creating a dedicated collection of red underwear for the new year helps to build a stronger emotional connection with their customers.

    During this year’s campaign, Ubras featured the supermodel Liu Wen wearing red underwear. This celebrity endorsement played a pivotal role in pushing the brand’s red underwear sales to secure the third position on the Tmall Top Chart for “New Year red warm clothes.”

    Supermodel Liu Wen features on the cover of Ubras’ limited edition Chinese New Year envelope. Photo: Ubras
    Supermodel Liu Wen features on the cover of Ubras’ limited edition Chinese New Year envelope. Photo: Ubras

    Netizens on Xiaohongshu also praised the collection for its modern design and craftsmanship. User Shijinlidedokii (@是锦鲤的dokii) said the underwear “exuded passion, sensuality, and premium value.” User Ningxui Nia (柠袖Nia) added, “It can even be worn outside and looks beautiful and cool when paired with a small blazer.”

    The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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