The Social Edition is our weekly series which deep dives into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape. Every week, we highlight brand campaigns distributed on Chinese digital platforms — WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin, and beyond.
Our coverage spotlights global luxury brands, global beauty brands, and local Chinese brands. The latter gives insight into some of China’s most successful campaigns, which often come from local players, and are outside of the beauty and fashion space.
In this week’s roundup, we look at three campaigns, including Prada’s pop-up at a local market in Shanghai, Valentino’s collaboration with Sleep No More, and local fashion powerhouse ERDOS’ runway at a desert.
Prada Wows with Local Market Takeover in Shanghai
MEDIUM Offline Pop-up, Images
Prada launched a series of experimental initiatives in several Italian cities and others worldwide to promote its Fall/Winter 2021 campaign named Feels Like Prada. Rong Zhai, the brand’s social and cultural hub in Shanghai, and a fruit and vegetable market located in the Wulumuqi Road neighborhood of the city were transformed by Prada with its iconic codes and prints from the new collection. At the market, the most simple and essential foods have been wrapped with special Prada packaging. Both locations will be open from September 27 to October 10.
On Xiaohongshu, over 250 users posted about the Prada market in the 12 hours since it opened to the public. Visitors were highly impressed by this creative initiative that employs the identity of this everyday space, and local fashionistas holding vegetables or flowers with Prada packaging have become “Instagrammable” moments on social platforms.
Prada has been leveraging local cultures to escalate its connections with shoppers of various backgrounds for a while now. In China, fruit and vegetable markets are places where many older people shop. However, Prada’s unexpected takeover impressed local young audiences and drew many of them to visit this market and feel the brand vibrantly and emotionally.
Valentino Features New Collection in Shanghai Theatre Production
MEDIUM Offline performance, Image
On September 28, Valentino presented Reborn In Dreams: a special show featuring its Fall/Winter 2021 Act Collection and celebrating the award-winning theatrical experience Sleep No More’s fifth anniversary. Together, the Italian house and Sleep No More Shanghai reinvented the troupe’s original version with an installation combining fashion, arts, and theater at the mysterious McKinnon Hotel playhouse in Shanghai, where the audience, consisting of fashion KOLs and insiders, was invited to engage with the show.
Though the dedicated show was not open to the general public, it generated immediate social buzz thanks to KOL posts on Weibo and Xiaohongshu. The campaign hashtag #ValentinoActCollection has reached over 150 million viewers as of publication, as netizens showed a strong interest in this unexpected crossover between fashion and theater.
Sleep No More Shanghai has been a favorite of young cultural consumers in China over recent years. And for Valentino, spotting a cultural product relevant to local shoppers helps the brand facilitate a greater emotional connection. Additionally, with the dancers dressing up in the latest Act Collection, the brand better contextualized its image for Chinese audiences.
ERDOS Presents Its Fall/Winter 2021 Runway Show in a Desert
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Livestream
FEATURED TALENTS Liu Wen (26M Weibo Followers) | Hua Chenyu (39M) | Yuan Quan (3.7M) | Ma Long (8M) | Xiaoxue (5M) | Shaway Ye (4M)
On September 29, the homegrown fashion conglomerate ERDOS presented its Fall/Winter 2021 Collection at the Kubuqi Desert in Inner Mongolia, where the company originated and where its cashmere is still sourced from. With the theme of “Sound For Celebration,” the show was dedicated to the company’s 40th anniversary, and ended with brand ambassador Liu Wen walking down the runway decked out entirely in red.
By highlighting Chinese cultural symbols — including the color red and local landscapes like the Kubuqi Desert — the show resonated greatly with local audiences. Many commented that they were moved by the event, which stirred up deeper emotional connections with the brand. Moreover, the campaign hashtag #SoundForCelebration received 76.55 million views within one day.
By staging the show in such a dramatic — yet local — destination, ERDOS’ dedication to its roots and culture shined through the presentation, which greatly impressed both invited guests and the vast audience who tuned in via livestream. From a “mother’s brand” to a leading player with five sub-lines, ERDOS has been on the right track to reinvigorate its brand image and win over today’s young shoppers.