Randomevent: The Streetwear-Retail Hybrid Winning Over China’s Youth

What is it

The brainchild of Chinese designer Younker Hong, Randomevent is a ready-to-wear brand-concept store, now stocked in 23 cities in China, including Beijing, Changsha, Hangzhou, and Shanghai, as well as in the boutique Stream in Milan and Alumniofny in New York. Since the 2012 launch, each collection has become the epitome of China’s artistic streetwear scene.

“We draw inspiration from 1990s popular culture, focusing on the youth perspective of design, art, and culture, while innovating and challenging those existing aesthetics,” Hong explained to Jing Collabs & Drops.  

It’s evident that Randomevent’s nostalgically stylish designs and museum-like retail spaces are ultimately a marriage of China’s local influences and global Gen Z-led trends. As a result, it’s been tapped by some of the world’s hottest utility-wear names for collaborations, including the likes of Puma, New Balance, Dickies, and Giramicci, as well as by BE@RBRICK in celebration of the Year of the Rat.

Founder of Randomevent Younker Hong

Founder of Randomevent Younker Hong. Photo: Randomevent

Why you need it on your radar

Gen Z is the demographic driving China’s position as the world’s second leading luxury consumer, and Randomevent is a hotspot for connecting to them. Boasting almost 1.41 million followers on Taobao, over 710k on Tmall and more than 251k on Weibo, the brand’s a hit among China’s youth. Hong states that most of Randomevent’s consumers are aged between 18 to 25 — a category that he describes as “willing to optimize their styling choices because of social media.” 

Another indication of its predominantly Gen Z consumer base is the sense that those who wear Randomevent want to be seen wearing it on their profiles, which explains why the brand’s stores are dreamy photo backdrops, featuring industrial aesthetics and art sculptures, like the giant melting carrot by Hong’s friend Zhang Quan of Melting Sadness.

A Melting Sadness sculpture on display in one of Randomevent’s exhibition-like stores. Photo: Randomevent

“[Young] consumers are willing to talk to brands too. It’s no longer simply just buying a product, people shop into our whole brand identity,” said Hong. “Today’s young Chinese have a variety of choices when it comes to fashion. Coming from their multi-cultural exposure, I can see that self-confidence and freedom are really important.”

How collaboration is key

If you’re outside of China and familiar with Randomevent, chances are that it is through one of its many co-branded launches. Unsurprisingly, therefore, founder Hong sees collaboration as the ultimate marketing formula: “We have explored the path of “joint branding” for a long time. At the moment, we work with well-known sportswear brands at home and overseas, thereby broadening our consumer-base and obviously increasing brand awareness.”

It’s fair to say that his goal is quickly being achieved. Since the first major release with Vans back in 2020, followed by a summer G-Shock drop, Randomevent has become known beyond China primarily for collaborating in global streetwear categories, bringing its immaculately experimental fingerprint to well-established names — the latest Fall 2021 Dickies collaboration is the perfect example, with the famous utility-wear being splodged with bleach for the collection.

Following on from Dickies, Hong revealed that there’s a new Reebok x Randomevent launch dropping in April 2022. “We need to breed new ideas and products. Building a great brand is a constant battle, and I think that collaboration can really open your mind to new possibilities,” he said, adding that collaborative drops always sell out fastest too, largely due to being of limited quantity. Although, to this date the brand has not collaborated with luxury labels, yet it has hopes to do so in future.

Reebok and Randomevent’s three footwear takes for 2022. Photo: Randomevent x Reebok

Beyond new work and marketing benefits, Hong added that crossing over with external brands creates an opportunity for new consumer-bases. “We hope to reach different groups of people, which is an effective way to broaden the brand’s vision. By working with different teams, you can learn from the strengths of each other, so that you can play a better role in your own team.”

The brand message

Conceptually, “Randomevent” refers to the transitional nature of life, acknowledging how we are always in a state of change. “In response to these changes, we hope to provide a positive outlook and attitude towards life,” said Hong, outlining that the intrinsic value of Randomevent is to impact others with positive ideas and above all, innovation. “We hope to open stores overseas and share our brand stories with more and more people.” 

Armed with a failsafe collaboration strategy and distinct brand image, we expect these might just be accomplishments of the very near future.

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