Puma Taps Ton Mak’s Flabjacks, Clot’s Latest, And Bad Binch Tongtong: China Collabs Of The Week

On the global brand collaboration stage, there have been some juicy reveals battling for the spotlight this week. Jacquemus announced an upcoming line with luxury bedding label Tekla, and streetwear leader Stüssy teased an unexpected Dries Van Noten collection fronted by Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ founding member Flea. The Balenciaga x Adidas campaign featuring Bella Hadid in a mundane office-setting made its way into Chinese netizen’s discussion too.

On the ground in China however, there have been just a handful of drops, mostly in the world of streetwear. Firstly, Puma’s vibrant co-branded collection with Chinese illustrator Ton Mak’s studio Flabjacks has been a hit across Weibo. Just like Clot’s imminent Converse drop, the partnership is an impressive lesson in maintaining ongoing partnerships, on its 10th year of co-branded launches.

In high fashion news, Wuhan’s Terrence Zhou’s Bad Binch Tongtong label has collaborated with Mon Secret on a jewelry line, set to be released in Spring 2023. Read on for the full breakdown and subscribe here to receive the weekly newsletter in your inbox.

PUMA X FLABJACKS 

flabjacks x puma

Flabjacks’ playful illustrations are easily transferrable onto Puma sneakers, making it a straightforward collaborative project. Photo: Flabjacks Weibo

Launch date: October 29

Trend: Sportswear x Artist

Verdict: Global sportswear names love tapping local artists for new avenues of creativity, as well as a route of leveraging niche subcultures and fanbases. Chinese artist and illustrator Ton Mak’s studio Flabjacks is still relatively emerging, with 81,000 followers on Weibo. It has previously collaborated with Pop Mart, yet this is the first Western sportswear name it has worked with. The Suede Mayu silhouette is decorated with Ton Mak’s vibrant artwork. The rainbow-like color palette and doodles resonate well with Chinese young people who like to represent their artistic interests through their fashion choices. 

CLOT X CONVERSE 

Converse Chuck 70 Hi and Jack Purcell Ox

Converse and CLOT are releasing a Chuck 70 Hi silhouette, and Jack Purcell Ox covered in fur. Photo: Converse

Launch date: November 11

Trend: Streetwear x Sportswear

Verdict: An ode to the national mascot, the giant panda-inspired designs don a mixture of real and faux fur. The #CLOTxCONVERSE# and #CLOTPANDA# both have 84k reads on the day of writing this alone. Connecting to the national pride of the mainland’s youth, it’s devoted to WWF International Panda Day in China. The two names first released a co-branded capsule back in 2012, so this marks ten years of their partnership, proving how fruitful footwear collaborations can truly be when well-orchestrated. It’s consistently allowing Converse to connect with its Chinese consumer base, while establishing itself on the streetwear scene with Clot’s cultural credibility. 

MON SECRET X BAD BINCH TONGTONG

One of the pieces by Mon Secret and Bad Binch Tongtong, set to be released in Spring 2023. Photo: Mon Secret

Launch date: Spring 2023

Trend: Jewelry x Fashion

Verdict: The ‘Age and Gender Is Borderless’ jewelry collection transfers the playful, sculptural silhouettes that Bad Binch Tongtong has quickly become known for as a fashion designer. The clothing brand’s aesthetic has been well translated into Mon Secret’s offering, allowing Bad Binch Tongtong to extend its product categories while asserting its core identity. Both brands share a similar experimental aesthetic, which attracts fashion-forward Gen Z. It’s feeding the movement of colorful fashion choices that photograph well, ultimately looking great on the timeline. One to look out for next year. 

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Fashion, Marketing