Prada Takes the Lead on China’s Explosive Winter Sports Market

What Happened: On September 1, Prada exclusively launched their “Prada On Ice” collection at the SKP Atrium in Beijing. The collection was inspired by the dynamism of winter sports, but with a modern and iconic twist, in response to the upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. In addition to a range of sports gear from skis to snowboards to snowshoes, the collection also featured high-performance accessories, all with Prada’s distinctive style, including ski goggles, ski boot bags, and sleeping bags.  

Prada’s new collection includes sports accessories like skis and snowboards as well as performance garments including oversize patterned polyester jackets. Photo: Courtesy of Prada

“Prada On Ice” will also be shown at another pop-up shop at Beijing SKP-S Shopping Mall on September 15. In addition to the two ephemeral venues, Prada’s new collection will be on exhibition at the China International Fair for Trade in Services — an important platform for promoting the Chinese and global services trade and the world’s first comprehensive expo for the sector — between September 3 and 7. 

The Jing Take: China has been creating a host of official initiatives to boost the country’s winter sports industry in preparation for the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. In 2016, authorities issued “The Ice and Snow Sports Development Scheme (2016-2025)” to elevate investments in the sector, including infrastructure expansion and optimization, as well as the popularization of the winter sports. Moreover, in 2018, Beijing announced its vision to encourage 300 million Chinese to take part in various winter sports, which further demonstrated China’s continued support of the growing winter sports industry. 

Recommended ReadingCan Luxury Tap Into China’s Hottest New Trend—Skiing?By Christina Yao and Yaling Jiang

Given China’s promising winter sports leisure tourism, Prada has taken the lead in tapping into this budding trend. Though Chinese authorities have been pushing the benefits of winter sports, they are still mainly available to well-off Chinese consumers given the expense of the equipment and resorts. As such, the demographics of winter sports enthusiasts and luxury shoppers largely overlap, making this an ideal market opportunity — especially now, with the 2022 Winter Olympics just around the corner — for fashion brands to cash in on this lucrative market. 

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.