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Cartier jewelry Guangzhou

Cartier Leverages Nostalgia For Guangzhou Exhibition Opening


From April 20 and May 21, Cartier is hosting an exhibition named “Into The Wild: Panthère de Cartier” at Guangzhou Postal Expo Hall, a century-old European-style building on the banks of the Pearl River. The exhibition spotlights the brand’s timeless icon — the panther — which has appeared in Cartier’s jewelry pieces since 1914. Under the creative leadership of Jeanne Toussaint, who was appointed Director of Fine Jewelry in 1933, the Panthère de Cartier jewelry collection became one of the Maison’s most classic designs. Visitors can make reservations for the event via Cartier’s WeChat Mini Program. 

Netizens’ Reaction

Cartier’s showcase has become one of the must-see exhibitions in Guangzhou this spring. The event hashtag, #Cartier Into The Wild#, received over 200 million views on Weibo within 10 days thanks to extensive celebrity endorsements from actor Li Xian, singer Tan Weiwei, and actress Song Jia. According to the reviews posted on Xiaohonghsu, the multisensory experiences and interactive designs distinguished it from typical jewelry exhibitions. 

Chinese singer Tan Weiwei performed at the opening party of the “Into The Wild: Panthère de Cartier” exhibition. Photo: Cartier


Cartier is a veteran in delivering brand stories in a way that is culturally relevant and engaging. On April 19, the house hosted an opening party and livestreamed it on WeChat Channels, driving significant online buzz. Established singers including Tan Weiwei, Zheng Jun, and Tanya Chua presented live performances of songs that garnered huge popularity at the event. As the three stars are in their 40s and 50s, their performances evoked nostalgia among older viewers. 

This approach indicates that the luxury house is consolidating its connection with Gen X and Gen Y (also known as millennials), in addition to Gen Z. Though “targeting Gen Z” has become a buzzy concept in the luxury sector, Cartier does not overlook Gen X and Gen Y, who are still powerful engines of consumption in China. 

A Bain report titled “2023 Chinese Future Consumers” released earlier this month also pointed out that Gen X and Y consumers account for more than 60 percent of income in China, and that Gen Y is willing to spend money on products that can reflect their social status. Given this, doubling down on mature consumers with more disposable income is a savvy strategy in the Chinese market, especially when it comes to fine jewelry. 

luxury watch China Jaeger

Borders Reopen, But Will China’s Luxury Watch Buyers Return To Old Habits?

Despite long pandemic-induced lockdowns, mainland China and Hong Kong together were the world’s leading importers of Swiss watches last year, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. The two markets imported some $4.9 billion (CHF 4.47 billion) worth of Swiss timepieces in total, eclipsing the next biggest importer, the US, at $4.4 billion (CHF 3.9 billion). 

Travel restrictions didn’t deter personal luxury buyers in China from spending, but they did force them to purchase domestically.

Bulgari’s watch division saw sales climb in mainland China over the intermittent lockdowns, Antoine Pin, global managing director of Bulgari’s watch division, an LVMH brand, tells Jing Daily.

“We had our inland networks already in place,” he says. Domestic purchases clearly counterbalanced (overseas) travel retail losses. It wasn’t one for one, but there was a clear shift.”

Watch prices converging 

Consumers in China are used to shopping abroad and assessing price differentials, which are the result of taxes and companies’ pricing strategies. But now, they are motivated to purchase domestically in part due to the globalization of watch prices. 

“Right now, globally, we have a consistent price strategy. If you buy a watch outside of China, the only difference is the tax,” says Vanessa Yuan, managing director, China, at Jaeger-LeCoultre, a luxury watch brand under the Richemont umbrella. “In the past, one of the obvious advantages for Chinese buyers buying outside the country was the price difference.”

Not only are companies aligning prices, the tax burden is falling.  

“In the last few years, China’s import tax on luxury watches has gradually fallen from 35 percent to 8-12 percent. Ten years ago, the price difference between China and Paris was very high. Now, it isn’t,” says Nicolas Luchsinger, president of Van Cleef & Arpels, Asia-Pacific.

Localization in motion

But now that borders are open, will buyers return to their past purchase patterns, even if the price gap has narrowed? 

“We don’t have a strategy to encourage the Chinese to buy in China or abroad,” says Luchsinger. “The reality is that Chinese consumers are dreaming of traveling and will travel. But with the network that we have built in China, our business will still grow here.” 

Still, brands are keen to better engage Chinese consumers on their home turf and have rolled out initiatives like specialized boutiques and enhanced client engagement functions to do just that. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre opened its first flagship in China at Shanghai’s K11 mall in January 2022 with an eye on improving consumer engagement and creating experiences that resonate with Chinese shoppers. 

“The store is no longer just a point of sales, but also a point of experience for our clients to deep dive into the fine-watch-making spirit and education,” says Yuan.

Jaeger-LeCoultre created a tiger-themed art installation to mark the grand opening of its flagship store at Shanghai K11 in 2022. Photo: Jaeger-LeCoultre

These localization efforts include soon-to-be-launched special limited edition (non-zodiac) watches, exclusively for the brand’s China boutiques.

Over the past three years, luxury watch brands have striven to build deeper, on-the-ground relationships with their mainland China customers — efforts that will benefit not just the brands, but also mainland-based horology connoisseurs, argues Luchsinger.  

“If a Chinese buyer wants a limited edition piece, there is a better chance of the buyer getting that watch in China than in Paris, because they have a relationship with the sales associate here,” says Hong Kong-based Luchsinger. “If the buyer goes to Paris to a store where no one knows him or her, there is little chance of them obtaining the desired watch.” 

Van Cleef & Arpels welcomed the Year of the Rabbit with the Lady Duo de Lapins watch. Photo: Van Cleef & Arpels

Wooing China globally

As international travel retail businesses welcome the return of China’s big spenders, luxury watch brands are pulling out the stops to amplify their reach and improve their merchandising there.

Jaeger-LeCoultre, for one, plans to open another boutique in the mainland in the near future.

“The majority of our business is new clients. So it’s important to continue building the desirability of the brand within China,” says Yuan. 

Meanwhile, Bulgari aims to expand and balance its footprint in the mainland so that it is akin to the brand’s footprint in the US, as both countries have a comparable coverage area.

We cannot have 100 stores in China, but we are trying to find a balance in the development of our footprint,” Pin explains. “If you look at the dimensions of the country, we’ll reach a distribution structure that will be quite similar to the US, ie. the same density or footprint of stores between the two markets. The same distance to the stores for average people in these markets.” 

Tom Ford Changed The Fashion Industry, But His Future May Lie In Beauty

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What Happened: The fashion world cheered when Tom Ford returned to fashion with the launch of his namesake label in 2010. Now, the industry is contending with his sudden departure: On Wednesday, the designer released a surprise “final collection” for the Tom Ford brand, less than six months after he sold the apparel line to beauty conglomerate Estée Lauder for $2.8 billion in late 2022. 

Tom Ford’s final women’s collection features recreations of the designer’s favorite archival looks. Photo: Tom Ford

Ford first became a household name when he was named creative director of Gucci in 1994, a position he left a decade later. His career has taken various turns since; he made himself an acclaimed filmmaker when he directed A Single Man starring Colin Firth in 2009, before returning to fashion the following year. But regardless of what happens to his fashion line, the Estée Lauder acquisition indicates that Ford’s legacy will live on in another industry: beauty. 

The Jing Take: Tom Ford showcased the power a creative director can lend to a struggling fashion label when he took the helm of Gucci. His sleek, body-conscious, and at times androgynous designs not only revived the brand but remain influential today. Bella Hadid wore a white gown from his Fall 1996 collection at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, while then-creative director Alessandro Michele revived a red velvet suit from the same collection in 2021. 

But Ford also showed a prescient eye for the power of beauty when he created Tom Ford Beauty with Estée Lauder in 2006. The line began with just one fragrance, Black Orchid, but has become a powerhouse at the beauty conglomerate that also owns the likes of Bobbi Brown and Clinique. The line has since expanded to encompass makeup, and still produces blockbuster fragrances like 2018’s “Fucking Fabulous” and “Lost Cherry.” 

Tom Ford’s limited-edition fragrance drop in 2017 called “Fucking Fabulous” was so successful it became a permanent part of the brand’s collection. Photo: Tom Ford Beauty

More than a decade later, luxury fashion lines have increasingly caught up to Ford’s understanding of the potential of fragrance and beauty. In 2019, Ford’s former home Gucci revived its beauty collection, which is licensed by Coty. Off-White entered the beauty fray with a fragrance and cosmetics line in 2022, while Kering, which owns Gucci’s apparel line, launched a new in-house Kering Beauté division led by former Estée executive Rafaella Cornaggia in 2023. 

Tom Ford Beauty has frequently expanded its footprint in the Chinese market, which has shown an appetite for luxury fragrances. In 2020, the brand opened its largest freestanding store in the world in 2020 in Guangzhou, China and in 2022 announced actor Bai Jingting as fragrance ambassador in China. Just last month, Chinese actress Shu Qi was named Tom Ford Beauty’s attaché for China

As the conglomerate doesn’t own any apparel lines, the sale of Tom Ford’s clothing arm to Estée Lauder last year raised some eyebrows about the status of Tom Ford as a fashion brand. Ford’s quick departure without a named successor indicates the conglomerate may see the future of the brand in exclusively or primarily beauty rather than fashion. 

But Ford has faced more than just business shake ups in recent years. The sale of Ford’s apparel line to Estée Lauder and his sudden departure followed a great personal tragedy in the designer’s life: In 2021, his husband, the fashion editor Richard Buckley, passed away at the age of 72. Ford has since spoken about the challenges he faces with the loss of his partner of 35 years, with whom he shared a son. 

The fashion world will undoubtedly miss his contributions, but with his varied creative trajectory, Ford may well have plenty of surprises left ahead.

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.

How Western Brands Can Master The Chinaverse

Web3 buzzwords like “metaverse” are gradually being replaced by others like “artificial intelligence” as big tech organizations like Meta and Alphabet scale back on their metaverse-focused projects and shift their priorities. 

But this doesn’t mean that development of the virtual realm has stopped. Businesses still need to be prepared as transitions happen over the next decade. In April 2022, Citibank estimated that the metaverse is on its way to becoming a $13 trillion market by 2030, making it clear that this isn’t a sector to ignore. 

China will play a colossal part in the evolution of the digital space.

Unlike many countries in the West, China has clear government-directed policies and goals for the metaverse set out in its most recent five-year plan, with many predicting that it will have the first interconnected, functional national metaverse as a result. 

It also has a government-supported national digital asset exchange to allow the purchase of digital collectibles (the term NFT is still avoided due to strict policies on the trading of online assets) without the use of banned cryptocurrency.

The mainland’s public are also positive about the prospect of a virtual landscape. A 2022 survey by Ipsos asked how people in various countries feel about the possibility of engaging with extended reality (XR) in their daily life; 78 percent of respondents from China were somewhat or very positive. This was higher than in any other country — for example, the rate in the United States was 42 percent. 

How are brands mastering this arena? Here are some examples:

KFC’s gamified metaverse space

In October 2022, fast food chain KFC created its own dedicated metaverse space using an interdimensional restaurant concept. The group invited customers to join its virtual community and play mini games that involved various activities, such as making food. The project resonated so well with its audience that it only took 10 days for total impressions and interactions to surpass 2.9 billion.

Ping An Bank’s virtual influencers and educational livestreams

In January 2023, Ping An Bank hosted a livestream to share financial knowledge with its customers. The livestream was conducted by Teacher Hua, a senior investment consultant and the Executive Deputy General Manager at Ping An Bank’s head office, along with Ping An Xiao Cai Niang, an anime-style virtual character that represents the bank. The latter interacted with her fellow presenters during the livestream, which was watched by more than 210,000 people.

Ping An Bank’s “1.8 God of Wealth Festival” live broadcast used virtual humans. Photo: Ping An Bank

Aeon Mall’s AI-powered assistants

Aeon Mall in Xintang, Guangzhou and AI software provider SenseTime teamed up to create XiaoTang, a realistic AI-powered avatar that appears on screens throughout the mall to help people with directions and answer questions. XiaoTang’s precise, accurate recommendations have improved the mall’s customer experience and enhanced engagement.

Mentholatum’s digital collectibles drop 

Given the ongoing ban on cryptocurrencies and stringent restriction on digital asset trading in China, companies are introducing their own take on “digital collectibles” to skirt round the regulations. 

In June 2022, healthcare brand Mentholatum launched a digital collectible series featuring the nurse from the brand’s logo as a virtual ambassador. Each asset was bundled with some of the brand’s star products — capturing the attention of Gen Z. The initiative helped the brand stand out in China’s competitive market and solidified its image as a trendsetter sought after by young people despite being a 133-year-old brand.

Though not an exhaustive list, the aforementioned examples demonstrate how technologies like VR, AR, digital collectibles, virtual influencers, and the metaverse are being embraced across China like never before. 

Aeon mall introduced AI-powered assistants to assist shoppers. Photo:

How your brand can harness the ‘Chinaverse’

For Western brands looking to crack the mainland’s metaverse market, there are multiple factors to consider. 

First off, the metaverse’s offerings aren’t exclusive to entertainment and video games. The digital-scape boasts vast possibilities in sectors such as healthcare, engineering, education, sales, customer service, and more. 

But before tapping these sectors, it’s important to explore what works best for your audience. For example, digital collectibles have become trendy among China’s young demographic and are a relatively affordable asset to create. Using them strategically as tickets, proof of purchase or as collectibles sold with products is a way to get your brand noticed with great payoffs.

Using AR, VR or virtual influencers can be a draw that elevates marketing engagement. As the virtual landscape matures, Chinese consumers are looking for strategies that merge virtual elements to create captivating and unique experiences.

This could involve deploying virtual influencers to take part in brand livestreams, in which they can interact with real people, or creating 3D-generated product displays. Mastering an unconventional and creative presentation style will help viewers connect with your brand, increase viewership and create greater interest.

Clinique transformed brand spokesperson Gao Yuanyuan into a metahuman for its campaigns. Photo: Clinique

To conquer the Chinese market, it’s about letting your imagination fly. Besides livestreams, virtual influencers and mascots can be used to launch products, appear in digital fashion shows, guest star in campaign films, or even be featured in conventional advertising methods such as billboards and posters.

At the same time, companies can consider creating their own branded virtual space, in which customers can test out potential products or personalize existing items, like Taobao has done. These immersive environments also offer brands an opportunity to generate revenue by selling limited edition virtual items.

China’s digital landscape is growing at an unprecedented speed, and competition is rising with it. For brands wanting to stand out in this burgeoning industry, the time is now to make a move.

Ashley Galina Dudarenok is a Chinese serial entrepreneur, award-winning digital marketing professional and three-time bestselling author. She is the founder of China-focused digital marketing agency Alarice and digital consultancy ChoZan 超赞.

Tiffany revamp store Fifth Avenue

Tiffany Unwraps New Era With Revamped Fifth Avenue Flagship

What Happened: Tiffany & Co. is in for a major unboxing. On April 28, the storied jewelry brand will open its newly revamped New York City flagship store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, following four years of renovations. The reopening marks another significant overhaul for a historical brand that has undergone many changes in the past few years. 

In January 2021, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired Tiffany & Co. for $15.8 billion. The conglomerate quickly shifted the fine jewelry and silver brand to appeal to a young, streetwear-centric audience. Reed Krakoff departed as chief artistic officer making way for Ruba Abu-Nimah, whose tenure as creative director welcomed big name collaborations like Supreme in the fall of 2021, Kim Jones’ Fendi baguette the following year, and Nike’s Air Force 1 at the start of 2023. 

The strategy paid off: Analysts estimate Tiffany’s revenue grew from $3.3 billion in 2020 to $5.9 billion in 2022. And with Abu-Nimah’s departure this February and the reopening of the flagship store, Tiffany opens another new chapter. 

The Jing Take: Featuring an Audrey Hepburn-inspired room and the large Tiffany Blue Jean-Michel Basquiat painting used in the 2021 Jay-Z and Beyoncé campaign, the new Tiffany store represents two key elements driving many luxury labels: a precise blend of heritage and modernity.   

Spanning 10 stories, the revamped Tiffany flagship includes paintings, videos, NFTs and other art installations. Photo: Tiffany

Tiffany has yet to announce a replacement for Abu-Nimah, but Bernard Arnault scion Alexandre Arnault has been closely involved in the store’s revamp. The younger Arnault previously led LVMH property Rimowa to newfound relevance through collaborations with Virgil Abloh and brands like Supreme. 

Abu-Nimah followed a similar strategy for Tiffany with partnerships with Kim Jones and Nike. Despite substantial social media buzz, however, the Tiffany x Nike collaboration has received mixed reviews for its simplistic design, a sign that luxury has perhaps mined all it can from splashy sneaker-and-streetwear crossovers. 

That said, the launch of the Fifth Avenue store includes immersive new touches that appeal to the younger crowd, which may not be able to afford its high-end silverware and fine jewelry. The reboot includes an outpost of Tiffany’s Blue Box café, a concept the brand established in Shanghai to great success in 2019. 

Flagship makeovers are a strategy other fashion and jewelry brands have experimented with to make their retail spaces more immersive. Under new creative director Brendon Babenzien, J.Crew renovated its New York menswear store to include a café last fall. The in-store café along with compelling visuals like a replica of Audrey Hepburn’s famed black Givenchy dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s make the space a draw for young shoppers looking for social media-friendly backdrops, a strategy employed by the likes of makeup brand Glossier. 

In China, Tiffany joins fellow LVMH brands Bulgari and Louis Vuitton in deploying local ambassadors to appeal to Chinese consumers. Earlier this week, Tiffany unveiled a new campaign promoting its Tiffany Knot necklace starring Chinese actors Gong Jun and Zhong Chuxi. 

Tiffany partners with brand ambassadors Gong Jun and Zhong Chuxi ahead of China’s 520 Valentine’s Day. Photo: Tiffany

LVMH has already benefited from China’s reopening. In the first quarter of this year, the group reported expanding sales and its share price an hit all-time high.

Collaborations like the aforementioned Fendi baguette bag and Supreme collection have garnered Tiffany & Co. substantial, and valuable, global online buzz. But with the new New York flagship store and campaign, Tiffany is turning its attention to pursuits tailored to regional audiences.  

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.

Luxury Brands Invest In Experiential Flagship Stores To Escape Confines Of Malls

Luxury brands have for decades relied on footfall at China’s high-end shopping malls to reach domestic consumers. But a shift is underway – a growing number of prestige houses is opening experiential flagships stores in the country’s top-tier cities. 

“Chinese consumers are increasingly seeking shopping experiences that go beyond mere consumerism. They want originality, excitement, and a cool atmosphere for socializing and, of course, to daka 打卡 [to show you have been to places that are popular],” says Elisa Harca, co-founder and CEO at Shanghai-based marketing agency Red Ant.


Louis Vuitton’s first independent flagship store in China at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu. Image: Louis Vuitton

In November last year, Louis Vuitton opened its first independent flagship store in China at Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li Chengdu. The 1,500㎡ space offers Louis Vuitton’s full line of products. The French house also opened its first branded restaurant in China in the neighborhood. Dior has opened a three-story retail space with a terrace garden serving exclusive afternoon tea near the Louis Vuitton store.

Elsewhere, at the beginning of this year, beauty label Sisley opened its first Asia-Pacific Maison Sisley, which includes in-store coffee shops and beauty salons, in Shanghai Zhang Yuan, a complex of houses built in the late 19th century to an East-meets-West architectural style.


Beauty label Sisley opened its first Asia-Pacific Maison Sisley, which includes in-store coffee shops and beauty salons, in Shanghai Zhang Yuan. Image: Sisley

More such stores are in the pipeline. Louis Vuitton and Dior are in the process of building independent flagship stores in Beijing shopping and dining mecca Sanlitun, located in the heart of Chaoyang district. According to local media, Hermès plans to build an independent maison there, too. 

Jing Daily uncovers what’s prompting businesses to experiment with new retail formats and analyzes how brands benefit from standalone flagships.

The challenges of operating in a mall

Standalone boutiques are commonplace in Europe’s fashion capitals Paris, London, and Milan, where brands tend to congregate in luxury districts: Rue Saint-Honoré, New Bond Street, or Via Montenapoleone. 

But in China, high-end commercial complexes define China’s luxury experience. Chinese consumers are used to spending their free time in malls that offer shopping, dining, and entertainment options in one building.

China Paris luxury

Standalone boutiques are commonplace in Europe’s fashion capitals Paris, London, and Milan. Photo: Shutterstock

Although the multi-functionality of shopping malls helps brands secure footfall, the format also restricts what brands can do with their retail space. 

“Shopping malls often have strict rules around opening and closing times, what can be displayed at the entrance, and the types of services that can be offered. Moreover, everything in the shopping mall tends to look the same and lacks a unique character due to the limited retail space that’s similar to every other store in the mall,” Aurelien Rigart, the co-founder of digital consultancy ITC, which operates offices in China, Singapore, and Vietnam, tells Jing Daily

Hang Lung Plaza 66 mall

Hang Lung’s luxury mall Plaza 66 in Shanghai. Photo: Hang Lung

Independent flagship stores offer brands much more flexibility. For instance, they can adapt the store experience according to consumer trends without having to negotiate with mall managers. This allows for a faster turnaround time, which is crucial in a dynamic market like China.

“When operating stores in shopping malls, brands must share part of the revenue and deal with much more intense competition for customers’ attention,” says Rigart. “With their private buildings, brands have 100 percent ownership of the stores and can easily and effectively create unique and memorable brand experiences.”

Creating culture

Luxury brands’ experiential flagship locations are redefining the role and meaning of traditional counters and boutiques. The art pieces on show in these spaces and the presence of coffee shops, art galleries, and beauty salons are creating an atmosphere based on more than the sales process. 

Louis Vuitton standalone flagship store in Chengdu Sino-Ocean Taikoo Li is decorated with the tiger tail paying homage to the Year of Tiger. Image: Louis Vuitton

Through these emblematic buildings, brands are seeking to enhance their positioning. Bernard Arnault, chairman and CEO of LVMH, said during the group’s 2021 year-end earnings call, “Louis Vuitton is not just a fashion brand. It’s a cultural brand with a global audience.” 

Independent flagship stores are like a blank canvas that brands can modify according to their needs. 

“The shift towards lifestyle-oriented experiences may encourage brands to diversify their offerings beyond traditional fashion and accessories and to experiment with new product categories and services. For example, they may start incorporating wellness or cultural elements into their retail spaces to cater to evolving consumer preferences,” says Harca. 

In a survey by Chinese media platform, over 60 percent of respondents expect beauty labels to incorporate spa salons into their stores.

Sisley’s Asia Pacific first Sisley Maison. Image: Sisley

Additionally, independent flagship stores provide space for brands to create temporary pop-up stores, in-store trunk shows, and host events for their VICs. “By providing a space where customers can socialize, relax and spend time with friends, brands can create a sense of community and belonging among their fans,” says Rigart. 

These luxury stores are meeting points for elite consumers, and strengthen the bond between brand and VIC consumer. “Experiential stores can drive sales by providing opportunities for customers to interact with products in a more meaningful way, so that they are more likely to develop an emotional connection with the brand and feel more excited about making a purchase,” says Harca.  

Getting the formula right

Ultimately, the goal of these flagship stores is to encourage potential consumers to learn about the brand and secure existing clients’ loyalty by fully immersing them in the brand’s universe and educating them about the house’s unique identity. 

Dior’s Zhangjia Garden in Shanghai operates as a pop-up store with evolving themes. Image: Dior

Novelty is an important element in drumming up interest. Rigart points to Dior’s Zhangjia Garden in Shanghai, which operates as a pop-up store with evolving themes.

But Harca offers a note of caution. “The success of experiential stores depends on a range of factors — it’s important for brands to ensure they don’t offer style over substance,” she says.  


Loewe Ibiza summer

Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza, Saks x Jacquemus & More: Global Collabs Of The Week

Whether it’s partying at music festivals, or vacationing in Ibiza and the French Riviera, luxury and fashion brands are ready to celebrate the summer. This week, we look at Jacquemus’ canary yellow collection with Saks and Loewe’s latest beach-ready styles created with Paula’s Ibiza.

In other news, with California’s star-studded Coachella music festival dominating headlines over the past two weeks, headline artist Bad Bunny’s new Adidas sneaker collaboration took center stage. Plus, KidSuper’s Ugg Feel House collaboration, which was celebrated at a pre-festival party on April 13, is doing the rounds online.

Elsewhere, Our Legacy and Denim Tears are commemorating the life and legacy of the late Tupac Shakur with their new creative collection, while Nike is teaming up with Jarritos on what could be the perfect collab to usher in the vacation season. 

Below, we dissect the top three global collabs going viral among the fashion crowd this week. For our verdict on more trending brand partnerships, subscribe here to receive weekly updates straight to your inbox via the Collabs & Drops newsletter.

Loewe and Paula’s Ibiza are back in time to celebrate the island’s sun-drenched summer season. Photo: Loewe

Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza 

Date: April 20

Verdict: As one of the most documented collabs across the luxury scene, Loewe x Paula’s Ibiza has become an annual, hotly anticipated tie-up that celebrates Ibiza’s bohemian heyday and paradisal hedonism. This time round, the Paula’s Ibiza basket-style bag — which took over beaches everywhere when it first dropped — returns in new shapes with handcrafted details, perfect for sun-drenched evenings on the island. Though there hasn’t been much engagement across China’s socials as of yet, the collection is making strides across the West thanks to its campaign featuring famous faces such as Emily Ratajkowski and Spanish music artist Bad Gyal.

Jacquemus has teamed up with Saks on a canary yellow collection paying homage to the Riviera. Photo: Jacquemus

Saks x Jacquemus 

Date: April 21

Verdict: With summer fast approaching, it’s Jacquemus’ time to shine. The label has released its “Été” capsule collection alongside iconic luxury department chain Saks, available exclusively via the latter’s website and flagship Fifth Avenue location. Featuring men’s and women’s ready-to-wear, handbags and hats, the drop serves as an ode to the French Riviera. Customers will no doubt be scrambling to get their hands on pieces from the lineup, especially as Jacquemus was recently named one of fashion’s hottest brands of Q1 2023 by The Lyst Index.

Our Legacy x Denim Tears’ collab commemorates the legacy of American rapper Tupac Shakur. Photo: Our Legacy x Denim Tears

Our Legacy x Denim Tears

Date: April 25

Verdict: Silver-studded denim and velvet formalwear are the standout pieces from this collection, which commemorates the life and legacy of American rapper Tupac Shakur, who was killed at the age of 25 in a drive-by shooting in 1996. Celebrity collabs crop up by the dozen nowadays, but this latest partnership is different: Tremaine Emory’s Denim Tears and Swedish streetwear label Our Legacy have teamed up with the Shakur Estate to honor the artist’s style identity. Dubbed “Tupac Tears Legacy,” the collab reimagines a number of Tupac’s fashion looks, including his classic leather pieces and engineered boots. It received over 56,000 likes when it debuted on Denim Tears’ Instagram account last week. 


Battle For Market Share Fuels Chinese Footwear Collab Boom

Footwear partnerships are a pillar of brand collaboration. Now, the trend has reached China in a major way. 

Since 2019, Shanghai-born London-based designer Feng Chen Wang has launched three collaborations with Ugg and six with Converse. During that same period, Chinese artist Zhang Quan’s brand Melting Sadness has been busy dropping frequent Adidas sneakers in the mainland.

ugg x feng chen wang

Feng Chen Wang brought her deconstruction imprint to Ugg for the third time in 2023. Photo: Ugg

Other notable tie-ups include Younker Hong’s streetwear-retail hybrid Randomevent dropping Asics (2019), New Balance (2020), Mizuno (2022), and Reebok (2022) sneakers, as well as minimalist ready-to-wear label Attempt launching products with Uggs (2023), Vans (2019), and Asics (2022). 

Around the world, long-term footwear partnerships have proven to be a hot ticket for consistently sparking consumer interest, building loyal fan bases and presenting intriguing designs.

For example, thanks to the trickle of collabs with brands like Aimé Leon Dore, JJJJound, and Joe Freshgoods over the past four years, New Balance’s notoriously dad-oriented silhouettes have transformed into hypebeast gold. 

It’s that same strategy that saw former basketball player and long-time Nike collaborator Michael Jordan’s world famous Nike Air Jordan 1 OG Bred 1985 sneakers list on StockX for $16,000 (110,000 RMB).

Here, Jing Daily delves into the key strategies behind the footwear collab wave in China, and why there are no signs it’ll retreat anytime soon.

Nurturing emerging talent

Founded in 2022 by millennial entrepreneur and philanthropist Wendy Yu, the Yu Prize annual fashion design contest exemplifies the power of collaboration by providing a platform to support emerging names. 

The initiative scouts and incubates homegrown Chinese talent. The inaugural edition was held in partnership with Ugg. Winner AlienAnt won 100,000 RMB and a product collaboration with Ugg, which launched on April 3 this year.

In 2023, Ugg released a collaborative collection with Yu Prize Rising Voices Award winner AlienAnt. Photo: Ugg x AlienAnt

“I can’t explain how much this validation means to a young designer and how excited I am to continue on this journey,” Han Yuchen, founder of AlientAnt, said in a statement. “I truly feel aligned with Ugg’s ethos from a design aspect. This collaboration is an amazing opportunity for our visions to come together.”

The official Weibo hashtag #Yu Prize创意大奖# has been read by 35.5 million users, demonstrating how the project enabled Ugg to expand its connection with Chinese consumers while championing local designers. This level of engagement compares well with global names that have a solid presence in the mainland. For instance, on lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu, #vans has generated 22.5 million views, #adidas 347 million, and #converse 94.3 million. 

These levels of reach are extremely valuable to emerging names eager for recognition. 

Tapping subcultures

Founder and CEO of Qumin and Dao Insights Arnold Ma emphasized in an interview with Jing Daily that collaboration is frequently centered on borrowing meaningful connections from external counterparts and expanding audiences.

Oftentimes, this expansion of consumer bases is achieved by tapping into subcultures via an influential name in the associated scene. 

One of the most adept at working with local subcultures is Adidas. The household name has a huge presence in the mainland, commanding market share of nearly 15 percent in China’s sportswear segment in 2021.

Despite its reach, Adidas continues to work with independent brands that are guaranteed to connect on a more familiar and intimate level with target consumers than it can do alone. Melting Sadness (15,800 followers on Xiaohongshu) is one of these names.

melting sadness x adidas

For Lunar New Year 2023, Melting Sadness and Adidas released a limited edition collection in China. Photo: Adidas

“China’s young generation thinks more independently,” says Melting Sadness founder Zhang Quan. 

Put simply, local sneaker collaborations with subculture movers and shakers provides brands with a better understanding of the younger demographics. After all, brands that look after their loyal fans are better able to suceed. 

Route to redemption

From Nike launching three Drunk High sneakers with local streetwear store Soulgoods, to Adidas focusing on localized collaboration projects with the likes of Melting Sadness, Su Yuming, Fruity Shop, and artist Panda Mei, brands can create a good reputation in the mainland by working with Made in China names.

Both Adidas and Nike have taken financial hits in China in the aftermath of controversies. 

Adidas saw revenue in mainland China tank 36 percent in 2022, in part because it publicly aired its view on cotton produced in Xinjiang. Then, Adidas teamed up with Melting Sadness to release sneakers for Lunar New Year in 2023.

Similarly, in Q1 of 2022, China was Nike’s worst performing market. A few months later the brand rolled out its first local retail collaboration with Soulgoods. Despite Beijing sneaker and streetwear shop Soulgoods having just 5,424 followers on Xiaohongshu, it was the ideal gateway for Nike to target potential consumers in China. 

As Chinese sports brands are expanding their market share, Adidas and Nike are having to revamp their strategies to cater to their consumer bases. In fact, in 2022, China’s Anta Sports topped Nike’s annual revenue in the mainland for the first time, climbing 8.8 percent year on year to $7.8 billion (53.7 billion RMB). 

Global competitors can’t afford to let performance slip. One way is though collaborations that empower them to connect with Chinese audiences in authentic ways.

Adidas China Burberry Cotton controversy

Adidas, Burberry Pull Out Stops To Move Past China Cotton Controversy

What Happened: After a difficult couple years of navigating a boycott in China of Western brands associated with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), a non-profit organization that advocates for sustainable cotton production, Adidas is preparing to win back the hearts of Chinese consumers. By next year, the German sportswear giant aims to design at least 30 percent of the clothing it sells in China locally, Adrian Siu, managing director of Adidas Greater China, said earlier this week.

Adidas intends to relocate more of its production and operations from Southeast Asia to China in order to shorten lead times, and grow brand awareness by expanding its portfolio of Chinese athlete ambassadors. This comes after the company’s revenue in Greater China plunged 36 percent year on year in 2022, partly due to a challenging market environment and significant inventory takebacks. 

The Jing Take: CEO Bjørn Gulden touched on these goals during the brand’s March earnings call, noting that Adidas had begun signing Chinese athletes in “almost every sport,” including the world’s highest-ranked Chinese male tennis player, Wu Yibing. 

According to Gulden, partnering with athletes is a “safer bet” than celebrities from the entertainment industry “because the BCI is still kind of over us, and there’s still no clarity if the celebrities from other areas are really going to go live on social media for brands like us.”

Adidas partners with tennis players Wu Yibing and Wang Qiang and sprinter Xie Zhenye, among others. Photo: Adidas

After the Xinjiang cotton controversy broke out in March 2021 — when several brands denounced the use of Xinjiang-produced cotton because of allegations relating to forced labor — Chinese stars rushed to cut ties with global fashion companies. For Adidas, this meant losing major ambassadors like actor Jackson Yee and Cantopop singer Eason Chan. 

Since the incident, Adidas has worked to restore its reputation by forging deeper cultural connections with local consumers. In November 2022, the sportswear giant signed a three-year partnership with the Chinese Literature and Art Foundation to help promote Chinese culture to the rest of the world. It has also tapped local designers such as Melting Sadness to incorporate Chinese cultural elements into its products’ designs, in addition to sponsoring local sports events.

Adidas isn’t the only brand that was embroiled in the issue and is slowly rebuilding its reputation in the mainland. Earlier this month, Burberry appointed its first Chinese ambassador, Chen Kun, in two years, marking a step toward the luxury house’s recovery in the Chinese market, where its sales fell 23 percent year on year in the quarter ended December 2022.

As China’s economy begins to bounce back, recovering lost market share has become a key priority for Adidas. But given the competition from sportswear rivals like Nike, plus a bevy of other challenges to overcome, the company is realistic about 2023, calling it “a transition year to build the base for 2024 and 2025.” 

By moving production facilities, designing patriotic clothing, and rebuilding its roster of brand partners, perhaps Adidas can finally turn the page on what has been a particularly difficult chapter.

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.

gap attempt store front

Yeezy Who? Meet Wuhan’s Attempt, Gap’s Latest Collaborator

In Q1 of 2023, Gap dropped its first local collaboration with a young Chinese label, Wuhan-born-and-based Attempt, which has just 19,000 fans on Weibo and 10,500 on Xiaohongshu. That’s a far cry from partnering with a multi-million dollar brand led by one of the most famous music artists of all time — rest in peace Yeezy x Gap.

“Gap approached us and wanted to discuss whether there was an opportunity to make something together,” says Hubei Institute of Fine Arts alumnus Liang Dong, who founded Attempt in 2015. “Gap has always stayed in its own lane, which is one of the important characteristics of a brand that I like and respect.”


Attempt x Gap marks the American brand’s debut China collab. Photo: Attempt x Gap

Launched in February this year, the Gap x Attempt offering finesses elevated basics. The collection sports faded, moody tie-dye shades and subtle hardware touches, from zips to metal loops. The concrete exhibition venues where it was sold reflected Attempt’s industrial vibe, with the American brand providing the Chinese label with the freedom to assert its identity.

“Because every brand has a clear personality, when we jointly create a collab series, this kind of twist on something original can clearly show consumers what Attempt’s personality is, what it brings to the table,” says Liang.

Seeing as Gap sold its China business for $50 million, consumers can expect to see more localized collections like this. 

Established formula

This isn’t the first time a global name has collaborated with the relatively underground label Attempt. 

“Collaboration is important to us. But the joint-name is not. I think of collaborations as company-to-company co-creations,” says Liang.

In 2019, Attempt featured in Vans’ four-way Chinese collection, alongside Randomevent, Roaringwild, and Myge. Later the same year, it worked with Japanese ski brand Descente; in 2020, it teamed up with Puma, and then collaborated with Asics in 2022. Ugg is next on the list, with an Attempt collection scheduled to arrive in China soon.

“Every collaboration is an experience and a growth opportunity for us,” Liang tells Jing Daily. “Collaborations enable me to learn about some of our own internal obstacles in the process, and they also open up future possibilities for us too.”

Puma teamed up with Attempt in 2020 for an edgy collection of footwear, apparel, and accessories. Photo: Attempt

The Wuhan label embodies the type of label that brands can use to connect with a niche fanbase of style-conscious consumers who are into functional techwear. 

Attempt’s seasonal collections pair immaculate utilitarian silhouettes with carefully crafted staple pieces — deconstruction being the running theme.

“Collaboration opens a window to more consumers. It sparks conversations with consumers in other ways, or starts new relationships with new people. Consumers become aware of us via these co-branded collections,” Liang adds.

LVMH China luxury's driver

LVMH Reduces Hong Kong Presence, Scales Up Footprint In Mainland China

What Happened: Once Asia’s leading international financial center, Hong Kong is losing out to Shanghai and Singapore. 

According to Bloomberg, luxury conglomerate LVMH has moved the regional headquarters of some of its brands, as well as the group’s local head office, from Hong Kong to Shanghai. The move included the relocation of some senior executives to the mainland. 


LVMH has moved the regional headquarters of some of its brands, as well as the group’s local head office, from Hong Kong to Shanghai. Photo: Shutterstock

The number of foreign companies setting up regional headquarters and offices in Hong Kong declined for a third consecutive year in 2022, reports Nikkei Asia. Between 2018 and 2022, Hong Kong only welcomed an average of 950 companies each year – Singapore registered 18,000 new companies over the same period – compared to the 42,000 companies opening an office in the SAR in 2017 alone.

The Jing Take: LVMH’s move reflects the company’s plan to focus on investing in China’s first-tier cities, such as Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen, as consumers switch to shopping domestically. 

In its first quarter 2023 earnings report, LVMH stated that Chinese tourists’ offshore consumption is growing faster than domestic consumption, but in terms of overall consumption, local spending is still four to five times higher than offshore tourism. This shows a shift in consumption habits — homegrown consumers are increasingly willing to buy luxury goods in Mainland China.

homegrown consumers are increasingly willing to buy luxury goods in Mainland China. Image: Shutterstock

The shrinking price differential between the Mainland and Hong Kong for goods, the expansion of brands’ brick-and-mortar footprints across China, and upgrades to in-store experiences have also accelerated domestic sales growth. 

For instance, Louis Vuitton’s Neverfull handbag in large sells for $2,200 (15,200 RMB) in China, while in Hong Kong it is priced at $20,100 (14,500 RMB), a difference of $100 (700 RMB). As this price gap shrinks, so too does Hong Kong’s attractiveness as a shopping mecca.

In light of these trends, luxury brands are concentrating their efforts in Mainland China. In recent years, brands have increased their footprint in new areas in the mainland and opened flagship stores in new first-tier cities, such as Chengdu and Nanjing. The aim? To reach a broader spectrum of shoppers and establish long-term customer relationships facilitated by proximity.

As China becomes an increasingly important market for luxury brands, more relocations are inevitable. Only by operating in the same environment as their customers can luxury brands keep up with this dynamic country’s pace.

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.

brand collaborations

Pop Mart x Crocs, Randomevent x Herschel, And More: China Collabs Of The Week

In this week’s brand collaboration news, Pop Mart is trending on Chinese social media thanks to its Crocs collaboration featuring the Crybaby intellectual property (IP).

Plus, the anticipated Sandy Liang-designed Salomon shoes inspired by Pokémon are finally out this week. Meanwhile, Chinese clothing brand-concept store Randomevent has dropped its first capsule collection with leading Canadian bag brand Herschel. 

For our verdict on these brand collabs, check out the below. Be sure to subscribe here to receive these weekly updates straight to your inbox via the Collabs & Drops newsletter.

Pop Mart x Crocs

The Pop Mart x Crocs collab capitalizes on China’s clogcore craze. Photo: Xiaohongshu

Date: April 17

Verdict: Pop Mart’s iconic Crybaby character is the latest to see itself transformed into a fun jibbitz charm as part of a new collaboration with Crocs. The co-branded blind box campaign is already resonating well with China’s digital natives, with the official collab hashtag for the collection, #POPMARTXCROCS联名系列# garnering 19.28 million reads on Weibo. 

Playing on the concept of cuteness that runs at the core of both brands, netizens have taken to the tie-up and are already posting their unboxing photos and videos across socials. 

Randomevent x Herschel

The Randomevent x Herschel collection is made of recycled materials. Photo: Randomevent

Date: April 26

Verdict: Developed using 100-percent recycled materials, the collection offers a lesson in how to successfully execute a collaboration while mitigating its environmental impact. This new drop with Herschel prioritizes everyday comfort and practicality, with a design twist delivered in the form of a new rubber label. As for Randomevent, the Chinese brand is storming ahead with partnerships this year to help bring itself to the forefront of China’s fashion scene; a recent collab with Disney, and now this partnership with Herschel, are likely to help do just that. 

Sandy Liang x Salomon

The Sandy Liang x Salomon shoes are inspired by the Pokémon characters Jiggly Puff and Whimsicott. Photo: Sandy Liang x Salomon

Date: April 28

Verdict: Inspired by Pokémon characters and the “Chinatown grandmas” of New York, the debut drop marries the Chinese American designer’s signature aesthetic with Salomon’s performance-driven silhouettes. Clearly, Salomon (1 million followers) continues to reign supreme when it comes to sneaker trends. Following collabs with Palace and MM6 (which kickstarted a new era for Salomon during MM6’s AW22 show), this latest launch marks a potential move towards more niche, luxury-positioned partnerships as the gorpcore trend begins to die down across China. With big players like Nike and Adidas to contend with, joining forces with emerging names like Liang is a way to expand on its community base, as well as maintain cultural relevance in a heavily saturated market.


China’s Favorite Fashion Brands Are Casual, Celeb-Driven And Local

Seizing the title of top fashion IP in China for 2022 is Fear of God, followed by its diffusion line Essentials, finds a new Fashion Exchange white paper on China’s top fashion brands.

Produced in partnership with CBNData, the report examines the consumption influence, search engine prevalence, and social media popularity of over 400 global fashion IPs, defined as a brand founded by a designer, celebrity, artist or influencer. 

The latest rankings reveal a drastic reshuffling since 2021. Besides the top two IPs coming from the same founder for the first time in the four years the report has been compiled, the number of Chinese fashion IPs on the top-100 list doubled from 12 in 2021 to 24 in 2022.

Chinese supermodel Liu Wen (who transitioned into fashion design through collaborations with domestic brands) came in third, Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue’s brand Madness ranked fourth, and Bai Jingting’s Goodbai took ninth place. Also in the top 10 were Rihanna’s Fenty (fifth) and Justin Bieber’s Drew House (seventh), highlighting the desirability of celebrity-founded brands.

What do these findings say about consumer demand and behavior in China? And what lessons can brands draw to improve their performance?

Streetwear’s highs and lows 

Designer brands have consistently ranked as the category with the most fashion IPs since the list was started in 2019. Many of these top IPs could be classified as streetwear: Fear of God, Clot, Bape, and Yohji Yamamoto, to name a few. 

However, not all are faring well in China. Supreme, California-based Stüssy, Japanese streetwear label Neighborhood, and UK skateboarding brand Palace have all seen their ranking fall year after year, according to Fashion Exchange.

“Having enjoyed years of enthusiasm, street trends are indeed on the wane,” writes Paul Fang, founder of the fashion IP collaboration platform, in the report.

What sets Fear of God apart is its minimalist aesthetic and advanced tailoring. It pioneers a high-end American street style that stands out against trend-chasing streetwear labels. 

Described as the “dark horse” of 2021’s list by Fashion Exchange, Jerry Lorenzo’s label has won over many celebrities, such as Justin and Hailey Bieber, and collaborated with the likes of Nike, Zegna, and Adidas, the latter releasing its first collaborative product with Fear of God in 2022 at Innersect Festival in Shanghai.

Fear of God is known for its minimalist aesthetic and advanced tailoring. Photo: Fear of God Fall 2022 collection

“Some view Fear of God’s popularity in China as partly down to the brand’s more diverse design styles,” says Arnold Ma, founder of Qumin, a Chinese digital creative agency based in the UK. “Although it has streetwear genes, its design also shows twists of luxury and casual wear. This aesthetic caters to consumers’ varied demands, including the pursuit of individuality and personality, as well as a sense of high class.”    

While the report indicates that interest in streetwear in China is waning, delving into the details reveals demand for this segment is evolving. 

Ma points to the huge level of engagement streetwear generates on Xiaohongshu. The category has been viewed 240 million times on the platform, which is popular among China’s Gen Z consumers. 

Celebrity fashion IPs are on an upward trajectory

Meanwhile, celebrity IPs are on the rise. Fenty, Drew House, and Goodbai all entered Fashion Exchange’s top 10 for the first time last year, while Liu Wen became the highest ranking Chinese fashion IP, coming in third on the overall list. Of the 20 celebrities on the list, 15 are musicians. These include Jackson Wang and Luhan, whose respective brands, Team Wang and UGC, jumped more than 30 spots in 2022.

Recommended ReadingWhen China’s KOLs Become BrandsBy Gemma A. Williams

Part of this rise comes down to the power of celebrity. Marketed as cool and extremely chill, Drew House leverages Bieber’s cult following, which includes 286 million followers on Instagram and 3.5 million on Weibo, to consistently sell out. 

When the low-fuss streetwear label set up a pop-up in Shanghai in 2019, fans queued up for an average of 10 hours. And after launching officially on Tmall last month, the inventory of more than 1,000 products sold out in just one second, reports Alibaba’s news site Alizila. 

Beyond the celebrity factor, it is Drew House’s localized retail strategy that has helped set it apart in China, says Hazel Diliziya, a cultural and marketing consultant at Cherry Blossoms Intercultural Branding. 

“After entering China, many sophisticated streetwear brands such as Supreme maintained the offline-oriented business model, which is a significant risk in an ecommerce-driven country,” she says. “Drew House, on the other hand, made a brilliant choice by joining Tmall and the WeChat Mini Program to provide convenient access for Chinese consumers.”

Chinese singer Wang Yuan sports the Drew House logo, which is a smiley face with the word “drew” in place of the mouth. Photo: Drew House’s Weibo

But given the fluctuating popularity of celebrities, not all businesses can last. 

“What I fear the most is that my brand would become one that sells ‘celebrity merchandise.’ I think it must have its own style and design, so that even if it’s detached from me, consumers will still recognize it,” Bai Jingting said in an interview that was quoted in Fashion Exchange’s report.

Celebrity merchandise created for short-term gain is often criticized by the general public for being expensive or poor quality. 

Brands that are able to break free from the glamor of their celebrity founder and form an independent identity are on the path to maturity, Diliziya adds. 

Local designs win market share

Although the US boasted the most fashion IPs on the 2022 list, the quantity is decreasing year by year. In comparison, China overtook Japan for the first time as home to the second highest number of fashion IPs, as well as the most new entrants.

“This implies that although the fashion discourse long held by North America and especially Europe has not really shifted eastward, Asia is steadily catching up to them in terms of consumer power, aesthetics, creativity, and national identity,” notes the report. “Moreover, the new fashion IPs in Asia continue to soar and stir up new trends, whose influence should not be underestimated.”

Chinese actor Bai Jingting’s streetwear label Goodbai was a new entrant on the 2022 list. Photo: Goodbai

Of the 13 fashion houses ranked on the list that were founded after 2015, eight are from China, including Xu Zhi, Xiao Li, Feng Chen Wang, and Short Sentence. In other words, not only are Chinese consumers continuing to embrace Made in China fashion, they are showing love to emerging designers, who are steadily diluting the market share of incumbents and disrupting the fashion hierarchy. 

The changing composition of the ranking shows that nothing in the fashion industry stays the same for long, offering hope to new designers, as well as a warning to established names.


Wellness In Web3: From Move-To-Earn Workouts To Avatar Meditation

Having gone from buzzword to the backbone of daily routines across the globe, thanks to the stress of grueling work schedules, the pandemic and its related lockdowns, and financial woes, wellness is now going virtual.

It’s an exciting new era, as the $1.5 trillion market (as of 2021, according to McKinsey & Co) is entering a new growth phase, centered on Web3.  

“The metaverse offers the opportunity to extend digital experiences further with a fuller sensory experience for users,” Cat Turner, CCO and Co-founder of creative agency Cult and Metaverse Beauty Week tells Jing Daily. “In a market that is constantly being driven by innovation, the wellness industry has much to gain from imprinting unique experiences and practices onto an otherwise busy and frantic environment.” 

From physical exercise and nutrition to mindfulness and journaling, which have skyrocketed in popularity over the past few years, thanks to platforms like TikTok, wellness practices have become a non-negotiable resource for millions, helping them improve their health. 

Approximately 200-500 million people now engage in meditation alone worldwide, with mindfulness and meditation app market revenue forecast to reach $2.6 billion by 2028

The Sweatcoin platform has become one of Web3’s most popular ecosystems that rewards people for movement. Photo: Sweatcoin

Nataliya Grimberg, Metaverse Strategist at virtual reality company Somnium Space believes that a bigger focus on wellness in Web3 would create “a more positive and harmonious digital space.” 

“It’s a great way to counter some of the not-so-healthy habits that can come with online gaming, like endless gaming sessions, too much sitting around, and feeling isolated,” she says. 

The company recently introduced its own weekly meditation sessions to help ground employees and foster a sense of interconnectedness, and motivate them to pay more attention to their mental wellbeing. 

The Global Wellness Institute, a global non-profit organization specializing in empowering wellness worldwide, also recently launched its own Web3 initiative.

It aims to focus on the intersection of wellness economy and major web-related developments through extensive research into the virtual realm, exploring what decentralized technologies can bring to the wellness sector and how they can impact the holistic health of internet users. 

Initiatives like these may seem far-fetched to those unfamiliar with the new iteration of the internet, but they’re rapidly becoming a pillar of Web3’s survival.  

Move-to-earn health and fitness app Stepn collaborated with Asics on a co-branded NFT sneaker collection in 2022. Photo: Stepn

Making wellness mainstream

Wellness activities may be popular, but their presence in the digital landscape is nascent. To date, Web3-native startups are leading wellness’ expansion in the virtual realm. 

But Turner believes all types of brands should put wellness on their radar. “The pay off is an ever-growing global community that prioritizes a mindful approach to their technology use, which leads to strong brand affinity,” she says.

Founded in 2016, move-to-earn cryptocurrency application Sweatcoin converts its users’ daily steps into tokens to spend on products from its dedicated marketplace, or donate to charity. Built on the concept of promoting physical fitness by incentivizing movement, the free app had reportedly attracted 110 million users in more than 60 countries by September 2022, with over 25 billion sweatcoins having been created.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine also found that Sweatcoin users had increased their daily step count by 20%, on average, in the six months after downloading the app. Initiatives like these encourage Web3 users to go offline and participate in daily exercise through placing a value on movement. 

Similarly, sleep-to-earn programs are also growing in popularity, encouraging participants to improve their downtime and sleeping habits. The Sleep app enables users to put their device’s status into modes such as “sleeping” and “mental health and rest” to earn $ZZZ, the platform’s native currency coin, which members can use to purchase non-fungible token (NFT) assets. With over 72,000 followers on Twitter, it’s already attracted a willing target audience.

But for the movement to truly take off, it will need the backing of the industry’s giants. Currently, only a few mainstream labels are moving into the space. 

Users can earn the application’s native currency by taking time off their phone to rest and improve their sleep habits. Photo:

Over the past 12 months, LA-based athleisure label Alo Yoga has integrated its health community into Web3 through schemes such as online meditation sessions and token-gated memberships, across platforms like The Sandbox and Roblox. 

The brand has accumulated over 75 million visits to its “Alo Sanctuary” Roblox experience alone, in which visitors take part in guided meditation and yoga classes, explore soothing sound baths, and move to earn exclusive Alo Yoga products. 

It’s all part of the label’s ambitions to create a “mindful metaverse ecosystem.”

“The benefit is that you can focus on your mindful movement or your mental health, no matter where you are,” Angelic Vendette, the brand’s global head of marketing tells Jing Daily. “If you are spending time in the metaverse, you’re able to take a moment from your day, as well as use the space to remind you to make time for breath work and to ground yourself.”

Alo Yoga’s digital success is rooted in both its early adoption and its popularity among the Gen Z crowd — the demographic set to embrace and benefit most from Web3 as a result of its openness to adopting new technologies and health-consciousness. 

Combatting consumer reticence towards Web3

Companies and Gen Z consumers may be bullish about the movement, but a wide range of prospective users are yet to be convinced. 

Observers struggle to see the concept as anything but paradoxical. With internet addiction now identified as one of the leading causes of depression, how is mindfulness in the online world possible?

“A lot of folks in the wellness space will say that yoga and meditation are all about being here and being present; so, how can it be that you’re inciting mindfulness online? What I say is if we are going to truly live holistically well in an integrated and meaningful manner, then it most certainly also needs to be present in the metaverse and benefit our community in that realm,” Vendette says. 

The athleisure label is investing heavily into bringing better wellness practices into the metaverse, and it’s paying off. Photo: Roblox / Alo Yoga

Turner echoes this sentiment. “Wellness and technology have always been uncomfortable bedfellows as the traditional holistic practices of wellness therapies are often at odds with the speed and tempo that technology offers,” she says. “However, over recent years, we’ve seen more and more consumption of tech-based wellness apps and platforms – such as Headspace and Calm – transform the lives of users through daily practices.”

To overcome reticence, enthusiasts and companies alike must prove how Web3 can further enhance the concept of wellness, rather than hinder it. 

The future of wellness-meets-Web3

For the movement to truly take off, more traditional influencers (like Alo Yoga) and emerging disruptors need to jump on board. 

Also, the balance between users taking accountability for their own wellness routines such as time away from screens and regular movement, and companies encouraging participants needs to be just right. 

Jackaline Tang, Gaming Partnerships Manager at Brand New Vision believes that netizens have a responsibility for cultivating a healthy relationship with Web3, and that building a supportive community is a mindfulness practice in itself. 

“Fundamentally it is up to the users {to take accountability for their own wellbeing in Web3}, but that’s also why communities are great. Not only can community managers and moderators help monitor behaviors and language, but they can also ban if necessary,” Tang explains.

The rise in companies acknowledging the need for better health initiatives in Web3 is a promising step forward. 

Grimberg is also optimistic that new advancements like artificial intelligence will help propel Web3, and positively impact the health of the community. “As software development keeps pushing boundaries, these experiences will become even more immersive,” she says. “But it doesn’t stop there. Hardware evolution and, hopefully, democratization, mean wellness in the metaverse will become accessible to more people.”

Over time, wellness in Web3 will become less a niche, and more an indispensable part of our experience in the digital world.


Shein To Localize Manufacturing In Latin America

What Happened: Chinese fast fashion brand Shein last week announced that it’s localizing its manufacturing in Latin America by creating a hub in Brazil. The e-commerce giant said it would invest $148.9 million in building a new network with manufacturers in the South American country. 

Over the next three years Shein anticipates its partnerships with 2,000 manufacturers will create 100,000 new jobs in Latin America. The company aims to source 85 percent of the products it sells in the region locally, according to Reuters. 

As of January, 2023, Shein’s marketplace connected a reported 6,000 clothing factories in China.

The Jing Take: Shein’s localization strategy could spell trouble for the thousands of factories in China that make the products it sells. 

The subject of several backlashes over recent years, amid a laundry list of claims ranging from unsustainable mass manufacturing, to unethical business practices — including IP infringement, and allegations of labor rights violations — the Chinese e-tailer is pivoting part of its manufacturing base to Brazil as part of its expansion strategy. 

Against the backdrop of geopolitical tensions between China and the US escalating, the brand will ship raw materials to locations such as Brazil for manufacturing in a bid to “diversify” its supply chain, according to a report by The South China Morning Post. Tit-for-tat trade restrictions on products made in China and the US and other Western countries have increased supply chain risks. 

Earlier this month, the fast fashion chain was also cited as posing a data risk, and for sourcing violations and copyright infringement, by an American government agency, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission, according to reports

Among the concerns raised, the Singapore-headquartered brand has come under fire for its alleged unsustainable manufacturing practices. Last year, Shein launched Shein Exchange — a peer-to-peer resale platform for consumers to sell second-hand Shein clothing and products. The ecommerce brand also pledged to donate $15 million towards Kantamanto, the world’s largest second-hand clothing market located in Ghana — a facility where many of the world’s fast fashion and mass-manufactured clothing and items have ended up. However, such efforts have not silenced continuing criticism, which includes claims of “greenwashing” against Shein.

Meanwhile in Brazil, the local government may introduce a new “digital tax” for major e-commerce players like Shein, AliExpress and Shopee to better protect local business from “unfair competition.”

Notably, Shein’s manufacturing move to Brazil takes place at a time of sluggish economic growth in China. Some insiders say the fashion e-tailer’s move shadows that of American e-commerce giant Amazon. 

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.

China luxury playbook

The New Playbook For Luxury Brands During China’s Rebound In 2023 And Beyond

After a disappointing 2022, when the Chinese economy had one its worst growth rates in recent history and experienced its first population decline in more than 60 years, the sentiment is starting to shift. In the first quarter of 2023, the economy grew 4.5 percent versus the same quarter a year earlier, beating most forecasts. This was driven mainly by the retail sector, which grew 10.6 percent in March, while property investments declined significantly at a rate of almost -6 percent. 

With new record numbers by LVMH and Hermès — the latter reported a revenue increase of 23 percent in the first quarter of 2023 — China seems to be back as a major growth driver for the luxury industry. Hermès also just announced the reopening of its renovated store the Peninsula Hotel in Beijing, doubling the size of its first brick-and-mortar location in mainland China. A clear sign of a bullish outlook on the country.

However, it’s important to note that China’s rebound over a longer period will depend on the successful structural transition from the investment-fueled growth that was defining for the country over the last two decades to one that now depends mainly on consumption. Many question marks remain.

Among the structural problems that China is facing are a high youth unemployment rate, a growing divide between the wealthy and the rest of the population, declining property investments, and waning confidence in the private sector after a series of actions to tame the power of private conglomerate giants like Alibaba. Additionally, China’s export model, which fueled its economic growth for decades, is coming under increasing pressure as companies diversify their global supply chains. 

As luxury brands pay close attention to the growth rates over the next quarters, I caution them not to forget that the baselines in 2022 have been historically low, in part due to the strict lockdowns. Also, brands must not forget that the severely restricted travel situation likely led to one-time consumption effects, where spending for travel was redirected into spending for luxury items like watches and fine jewelry. Some of the brands that profited from clients who were willing to splurge their travel budgets on goods already see a reduction in domestic demand as more people redirect their spending back to travel. 

Hence, a disproportionate growth in China over the next few years is not going to be automatic for most brands. Instead, solving its structural challenges will be a precondition to further boost private spending and fuel the luxury sector. On top of this, the geopolitical uncertainty with ongoing tensions between the US, Europe, and China, as well as the escalating situation between China and Taiwan, pose major risks to luxury brands that extend beyond pure macroeconomic considerations. 

Another factor is that Chinese luxury clients are becoming increasingly aspirational and sophisticated, even at a young age. Hence, brands are confronted with the highest share of affluent Gen Z and young millennials of any major country in the world, a clientele that many brands are still not taking seriously enough. 

It’s a generation that deeply cares about client-centric brand stories, or what the brand means for them. They seek the cultural value of brands and appreciate cultural capital. This is very different from the endless reiterations of heritage that so many brands are focusing on. Instead of caring what a brand did 30 or 40 years ago, they want to know how the heritage enables brands to provide them value today. It’s a fundamentally different question that few brands can answer.

The change is so profound that many legacy brands are starting to feel the heat. In automotive, to give an example, client preferences of Gen Z have shifted rapidly in favor of Chinese brands, especially when it comes to electrification, vehicle design, and in-car entertainment. The shift is so profound and fast that many legacy brands that were the leaders of their respective segments are scrambling to defend their market share and see the desirability of their brands eroding in record speeds.

In fashion, hospitality, beauty, jewelry, apparel, and other sectors, I hear similar voices raising concerns of keeping up with changed client expectations at unprecedented rates. 

This means that luxury brands have to fundamentally rethink how to entice Chinese clients and grow their business there in a sustainable fashion, both in revenue and profitability. While the top brands have large dedicated local teams with top talents who can understand Chinese clients, reach and inspire them on the ever-evolving digital infrastructure, and service them wherever they are in the world, most of the smaller brands lack that level of closeness to the market.

Hence, in an increasingly sophisticated and saturated market with many challenges and uncertainties, the gap between brand powerhouses like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Chanel, Hermès, Rolex, and Ferrari and many of the smaller brands is increasing in China. These brands have also started to recalibrate their revenue streams with an increased focus on North America and the Middle East to reduce their dependence on China in case of a geopolitical crisis. As such, many of the smaller brands now face the double whammy of playing catch up in China while being forced to over-invest in other regions, which puts additional pressure on their bottom line. 

This has caused many of the smaller luxury and premium brands to unleash permanent price reductions, discounts and promotions, which may support their sales in the short term, but will have catastrophic implications for brand equity in the long term. 

What brands need to do, instead, is to up their game in storytelling to create an emotional response from their audience. It has to be dramatically less about them and more about why they matter in the life of clients. It has to go from reiterating the same category markers (design, architecture, quality, etc.) — which does not create differentiation — to being crystal clear about the value proposition and creating relevance for Chinese Gen Z. 

This time, the increasing sea level — as an analogy for the market growth — will not cause all boats to rise, just those who are prepared. The others will face rough waters and eventually tank. A new approach is needed, with a much more precise focus on excellence in execution, storytelling, and creating local relevance. 

The times of expecting automatic growth in China by the sheer size of the market are over. The rebound will benefit the few brands that are able to connect deeply with local clients; for the others, recovery will be a costly endeavor.

This is an opinion piece where all views expressed belong to the author.

Named one of the “Global Top Five Luxury Key Opinion Leaders to Watch,” Daniel Langer is the CEO of the luxury, lifestyle and consumer brand strategy firm Équité, and the executive professor of luxury strategy and pricing at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He consults many of the leading luxury brands in the world, is the author of several best-selling luxury management books, a global keynote speaker, and holds luxury masterclasses on the future of luxury, disruption, and the luxury metaverse in Europe, the USA, and Asia.

Follow him: LinkedIn:, Instagram: @equitebrands /@thedaniellanger

older women China

Never Too Old: How China’s New-Gen Brands Are Challenging Ageism

On March 9, Tmall’s official livestreaming account hosted a three-hour live shopping show during its evening prime time, as the platform does every day. But instead of featuring a group of mid-20s, fresh-faced models — the typical hosts for such livestreaming sessions — the show was presented by three women aged over 60. 

Opening with a runway walk, the session then showed the three senior hosts sitting in a brightly colored studio, introducing audiences to a wide range of products including makeup, gadgets and healthcare items. 

These three “silver-haired grandma hosts,” as Tmall referred to them in social media posts, were part of the platform’s social commerce initiative to recruit more senior live-streamers and diversify its streaming content.  

Tmall’s official livestream account featured three grandma hosts on March 9, 2023. Photo: Tmall’s Weibo account

Whether it’s senior livestream hosts on e-commerce platforms, product campaigns ditching airbrushed filters for older models, or images that better align with seniors’ contemporary lifestyles, content relating to mature consumers is on the rise across Chinese media. 

For instance, in 2020, the megahit TV idol show Sisters Who Make Waves showcased performers aged over 35. And last year, Chinese tech giant Tencent launched a mini docuseries, I Want to Grow Old Like This, telling the stories of six senior influencers who started a second career late in life. Also, in October 2022, Tmall rolled out a pop-up initiative that paired senior content creators with Gen Z influencers to push fashion merchandise to consumers of all age groups. 

Tmall’s “Silver Hair Modern Plan” pop-up initiative paired senior content creators with Gen Z influencers. Photo: Tmall’s Weibo account

Targeting China’s expanding ranks of senior consumers is a smart move. The country’s population of over 60-year-olds has already surpassed 267 million, according to the 2021 census. By 2035, this group is expected to exceed 400 million and make up 30 percent of China’s population. 

Business opportunities aside, the media’s changing representation of older groups is finding a receptive audience among China’s younger generations. For Gen Z and millennial consumers, it’s the “cool” element of these seniors’ stories that matters most. 

“Many younger consumers today are attracted to brands that are woke enough to address pressing social issues, and ageism is top of mind,” says Lin Chunyi, a social media executive at Shanghai-based marketing consultancy Ylab. “These consumers are aware that they will grow old one day, too. So, portraying aging in a positive, inspiring way, will resonate with younger consumers.”

The rising visibility of senior influencers on social media may also play a role in changing perceptions of what aging entails.  

“Older women have always been shamefully sidelined in fashion and beauty ads. Whenever I want to buy something, I always see a face 30 years younger than mine in the store window. Even when fashion items are for women my age, they are always formless and ugly. I have, though, sensed a shift in attitudes in recent years, as people like myself are making our voices heard on social media,” says Su Chenyun, a 65-year-old fashion blogger who goes by the moniker Auntie Su on Xiaohongshu. 

“I ask brands to do me a favor, that is, not to see elderly women as elderly women, but just as normal, stylish women,” Su says. 

On Xiaohongshu, accounts focused on senior fashion, such as @Senior Fashion Club and @Senior Girls Group 101, have proliferated over the past few years. 

China’s culture-forward brands, including underwear label Neiwai and accessories brand Songmont, are increasingly age-inclusive in their advertising. 

In 2019, Neiwai’s “No body is nobody” campaign — arguably China’s first body-positivity campaign — showcased women of various body types and ages, including gray-haired senior models who rarely make an appearance in China’s youth-idolizing advertising landscape. 

Ma Jie starred in Neiwai’s “No body is nobody” campaign and went on to become a media personality and senior fashion influencer. Photo: Neiwai

Ma Jie, the senior model who starred in Neiwai’s ads, later became a social media personality and recently appeared in accessory label Lost in Echo’s “Lie Girls” campaign. 

Songmont, Chinese trendsetting bag maker par excellence, is another pioneer in age-inclusive marketing. For Women’s Day last year, the brand published a campaign series photographing the older artisans who hand-make its leather bags in rural Shangxi province, styling them with a contemporary chic look that’s rarely seen in ads featuring senior models.

In October last year, the brand chose Wu Yanzhu, an 84-year-old actress who began acting in her late 70s, as one of the three models in its latest video campaign.

“I want to see women and men my age participate in fashion just like the younger people. I do not want to be treated as a senior person who only fits into certain styles,” said Su, the senior fashion blogger. She added that most of her social media followers comprise 20- to 30-year-olds, who, thanks partly to her stories, now “see growing old as less scary.”

For her, brands should represent more older people in their content. 

“As a society, we should no longer see aging or retiring as an end point, but the beginning of endless possibilities,” says Su.


Gucci x Vans’ Roblox Collab, Li-Ning Joins Peacekeeper Elite & More: Web3 Drops Of The Week

Gucci is back with another high-profile collaboration, tapping its longstanding Roblox community and Vans in a first-of-its-kind project that sees the luxury house deploy gamification through scavenger hunts and interoperability. The project follows Gucci’s tie-up with Vans earlier this year.

Turning to China, Li-Ning is proving why it’s one of the mainland’s most promising Web3 pioneers. The sportswear label recently launched a digital collection via an immersive virtual realm embedded in one of the country’s popular video games, Peacekeeper Elite. What can Li-Ning’s competitors learn from its so-far impressive metaverse roadmap?

The luxury hospitality industry also continues to grab Web3 by the reins and capitalize on its potential. This time, it’s the Ritz-Carlton that’s breaking the mold, dropping its very own series of NFTs in China in honor of its 15th anniversary. But as the mainland’s regulations on digital assets are stringent, the question remains as to why the hotel chain chose to launch this project there, rather than in another less-restrictive market.

The Gucci x Vans collaboration is the first of its kind in Roblox. Photo: Roblox

A Lesson In Cross-Collaboration: Gucci And Vans Team Up To Launch First Co-Branded Experience In Roblox

What Happened: Scavenger hunts just got a style upgrade thanks to Gucci’s latest Web3 project in collaboration with Vans. The two iconic labels have merged their immersive virtual worlds in Roblox to create a first-of-its-kind consumer experience.

“Gucci Town” and “Vans World” deploy the power and potential of in-game interoperability, enabling users to flit between the two spaces to collect a series of fabrics and patterns through portals inspired by shoe boxes. Once users have completed the scavenger hunt, they can trade their swatches in for special wearables for their avatars.

The Verdict: The partnership showcases how brands can reimagine their virtual spaces to enhance the consumer experience and prevent their activations from becoming obsolete. It’s also a great example of how fashion brands can combine their ambitious ideas and expand on their milestones through collaboration. As for Roblox, this is the first time the platform has developed a co-branded venture of this sort, and the project opens the door to similar endeavors from other Roblox participants, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Nars. 

Both Vans and Gucci have played their cards right when it comes to building a well-rounded branded experience in Roblox, setting them up for success with this latest move. According to metaverse data platform Geeiq, Gucci Town has received over 42 million visits since its launch back in 2022, while Vans World has attracted over 94.5 million visits since September 2021.

Peacekeeper Elite is demonstrating its retail potential through its partnership with Li-Ning. Photo: Peacekeeper Elite

Li-Ning Joins The Video Game Hype And Drops Digital Fashion Collection In Peacekeeper Elite

What Happened: China’s sportswear label Li-Ning has launched its first product collection in the immersive virtual space “Oasis World,” an experiential landscape that is installed inside the mainland’s popular video game Peacekeeper Elite. Released on April 12, Li-Ning’s Spring/Summer 23 collection was sported by hyper-realistic models within a dedicated catwalk space, and also featured Peacekeeper Elite’s own virtual influencer as part of the collaboration. 

Keeping in line with the current gamification trend, ​​users can take part in a Parkour Charging Activity and access check-in points in order to “charge” their Li-Ning “Yunyou C4D” shoes. Those who complete the activity can exchange their shoes for treasure boxes, game coins or other exclusive benefits offered by the brand.

The Verdict: Following recent scandals online, Li-Ning’s ambitions for this year include pushing its way to the forefront of the Chinaverse — something it seems to be doing well so far. In February, the brand celebrated Valentine’s Day by teaming up with virtual artist Tian Xiaolei to produce a campaign that tells the story of two individuals who fall in love in the metaverse. Now, it’s utilizing platforms like Peacekeeper Elite to boost brand exposure among domestic gamers. 

The release is making the rounds across China’s socials too. Dubbed “the first fashion product release in Peace Oasis World,” the project generated over 22 million views on Weibo within 24 hours. It’s numbers like these that indicate how widely recognized and lucrative blockbuster games like Peacekeeper Elite can be across the mainland. Luxury retail should take note.

Luxury hospitality operators are discovering new customer experience opportunities through Web3. Photo: WeChat

The Ritz-Carlton Sanya Debuts NFT Collectibles To Celebrate Its 15th Anniversary

What Happened: The Ritz-Carlton (Sanya Yalong Bay) hotel in Hainan province has debuted an NFT collectible series to celebrate its 15th anniversary. It aims to create a virtual and in-person interactive hotel experience for guests, especially members of its loyal customer community. From April 24 t0 May 12, customers who reside at the hotel will receive the celebratory NFT.

Guests will be able to enjoy a number of benefits and a unique anniversary experience courtesy of the token. For example, holders can claim a welcome gift reward when they first use the NFT, including customized welcome necklaces, fruits, and desserts. Those who then hold onto their NFT can later use it to receive a gift if they stay at the hotel again within a year, comprising a customized “surprise experience” from the hotel’s guidance team or management team.

The Verdict: Though mainland China still imposes a range of restrictions on digital assets, the global hotelier chain chose to launch its first NFT series there rather than in a market that is more open to digital assets. The buzz surrounding digital assets is notably louder in China than it is in the rest of the world, which could have been one of the reasons the brand decided to roll out the token-based project in the country. 

The hotelier may have a shot at international Web3 success too. The luxury hospitality industry has become enamored with metaverse’s possibilities over the past few years, acknowledging its potential utility for establishing new loyalty member platforms and enhancing guest experiences. With global luxury hotel and resort industry revenue expected to hit $160 billion by 2031, there’s scope for huge payoffs for those that innovate. 

Sportswear giants like Nike and Adidas are leading the way in metaverse community-building. Photo: Adidas

Nike Vs. Adidas: Web3’s Battle Of The Sportswear Brands Is Back On

What Happened: Nike and Adidas are stepping up their metaverse activities this week, announcing the next phase of their community-focused platforms. Nike has launched the first drop from its Dot Swoosh program. The Our Force 1 (OF1) project consists of two virtual sneaker NFTs, powered by Polygon, which pay tribute to the label’s iconic 41-year-old Nike Air Force 1 silhouette. Each token is priced at $19.82, and will only be available to buy in fiat currency.

Meanwhile, Adidas has unveiled a new drop as part of its Alts by Adidas community, hot on the heels of its recent NFT.NYC activation event. The brand has shifted its approach to NFTs, from creating PFP projects to building community-centric loyalty platform. The new Alts launch will see members receive a “dynamic NFT” that can host eight different “Alt[er] egos” that correspond to different rarity traits and interactive storylines. To receive the new utility-jammed token, holders of the brand’s “Into The Metaverse” NFTs can burn them to join the new ecosystem created by Adidas.

The Verdict: Taking note of the recent shift in demand for better quality community programs in Web3, both Nike and Adidas have upped their efforts. They’ve done so by improving their collections and prioritizing perks such as customization options, rewards systems, offline meet-ups, and future utilities.  

But who is winning the race? As of now, Dot Swoosh is still in its early stages, so it’s hard to say what a fully developed platform could offer. In Adidas’ case, its recent IRL event at NFT.NYC heralds strong potential for the longevity of its Web3 roadmap. The brand also fleshed out its online presence by gifting event attendees physical products embedded with NFC chips. Alongside the technological bonuses, the freebies can further act as status indicators — or badges of honor — to signify one’s involvement in Adidas’ exclusive online cohort.

Prada Rong Zhai

Inside Prada’s Pop-up Market In Rong Zhai


On April 15 and 16, Prada transformed Rong Zhai — a 1918 historic residence in Shanghai restored by the Prada Group — into a weekend market. Selected vendors dedicated to high quality products and sustainable lifestyles brought organic vegetables, fruits and eggs, as well as vinyl records, books and ceramic vases.

Alongside the pop-up market, Prada presented an exhibition named “Human Brains: Preserving the Brain — Forum on Neurodegenerative Diseases” at Rong Zhai, which runs until May 21. Over the last weekend, the event welcomed nearly 3,000 visitors from sectors including fashion, art, and architecture.

Netizens’ Reaction

The pop-up market was not only for guests invited by the brand, but it was also open to the public upon reservation. As such, the event engaged an extensive number of fashion insiders and consumers, who collectively drove social media traffic. Visitors posted their snapshots of Rong Zhai’s spring vibe and Prada’s special packaging. On Xiaohongshu, the hashtag “Prada Rong Zhai” reached over 6.6 million views as of publication. 

Nearly 3,000 visitors went to the Prada Rong Zhai event last weekend. Photo: Prada


This is not the first time that Prada has leveraged farmer’s market culture in its marketing efforts. In 2021, the Italian house took over a fruit and vegetable market located in the Wulumuqi Road neighborhood of Shanghai as part of its Fall/Winter 2021 campaign called Feels Like Prada. At the market, the most simple and essential foods were wrapped in Prada packaging featuring its Fall/Winter 2021 signature prints. The creative initiative was one-of-its-kind in the mainland and allowed the brand to be exposed to a broader audience.

More than just a place to buy groceries, these outdoor markets help cultivate in-person communities, which have become increasingly sought after as China becomes more digitalized. With a finger on the pulse of China’s shifting consumer culture, Prada breaks the boundaries between luxury and everyday life.

However, there were a few differences between the pop-up market in Rong Zhai and the previous takeover. Instead of using a real market, the brand transformed its well-known cultural hub into one. Moreover, this recent pop-up event largely targeted the brand’s followers, rather than the general public. With this localized marketing approach, Prada further consolidates its community stickiness and fosters emotional connections with its loyal customers.

Why Earth Day 2023 Is A Big Deal For Brands And Consumers In China

This year a rising number of international and domestic players have actively taken part and promoted initiatives around Earth Day in China to showcase a commitment towards sustainability. 

Domestic sportswear label Li-Ning released a limited-edition recycled skater clothing capsule collection in collaboration with Steve Harrington. Beauty brands Shiseido and Biotherm exhibited their green proposals during the China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan. And luxury houses like Prada announced their past year’s results and upcoming ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) plans to further commit in the field.

Domestic sportswear label Li-Ning released a limited-edition recycled skater clothing capsule collection in collaboration with Steve Harrington. Image: Li-Ning

The scenario reflects the reality of brands trying to cater to local consumers becoming increasingly climate-conscious through green practices. In 2021, Accenture observed that the pandemic strongly influenced Chinese shoppers’ sustainable consumption more than average globally. According to the consulting survey, 83 percent of Chinese consumers shared that the pandemic influenced them to make greener purchases versus 64 percent globally.

With consumers pursuing sustainable practices and looking for brands that align with their values, Earth Day allows businesses to demonstrate their progress in space. “Earth Day carries an incredible educational potential,” says Sennait Ghebreab, academic and program leader at the Istituto Marangoni, and author of Responsible Fashion Business in Practice: Sustainable Concepts and Cases across the Fashion Industry. “Year by year, it has been an effective way to promote eco-friendly programs, such as using renewable energy sources, resource conservation, and trash reduction,” she continues.

Here, Jing Daily looks at how brands approach the theme of sustainability in light of Earth Day.

Reducing packaging waste 

Local consumers’ growing interest in clean and green beauty pushes skincare and cosmetics brands to act on reducing their packaging, supply chain CO2 emissions, and business models to meet shifting ethical needs. L’Oréal signed a three-year deal with e-tailer Alibaba to establish low-carbon standards, develop new products, and create measurable circular economy solutions.

Japanese beauty giant Shiseido is pushing for all its brands to integrate refill options into their selling methods. Image: Shiseido

Other brands have come up with creative and innovative ways to address the issue for Earth Day. US-based skincare label Estée Lauder encourages its clients to reuse their serum and cream bottles for house decoration, offering DIY suggestions. Japanese beauty giant Shiseido is pushing for all its brands to integrate refill options into their selling methods. Both initiatives aim to reduce beauty’s notorious packaging and plastic waste issues.

Transparency and traceability of products

According to consumer research and retail monitoring service NIQ’s 2023 report, 78 percent of respondents agreed that companies should show full supply chain transparency. 

“The development of conscious consumers has resulted in more thoughtful customers, who question their purchases and demand transparent and honest communication from all brands,” states Ghebreab, the Istituto Marangoni fashion business course program leader.

French beauty house Biotherm developed a product impact labeling system, which grades a product’s pollution levels during the supply chain process. Image: Biotherm

In light of this, French beauty house Biotherm developed a product impact labeling system, which grades a product’s pollution levels during the supply chain process, allowing consumers to track the product’s environmental and social impact. Biotherm introduced the new initiative at China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan.

Meanwhile, Prada Group is continuously investing in a vertical integration model to attain complete control and traceability of its supply chain — from sourcing, sampling, and production, to logistics. Eighty-eight percent of the group’s manufacturing occurs in Italy, and a large part is conducted inside the group’s owned facilities. Its logistic hub in Levanella, which covers 44,000 square meters, allows the brand to manage all its product shipments from the site.

Its logistic hub in Levanella, which covers 44,000 square meters, allows the brand to manage all its product shipments from the site. Image: Prada

Corporate social responsibility 

Thanks to the easy accessibility of corporate information online today, consumers increasingly hold companies and groups accountable for their environmental and social impact. The corporate image directly influences the perception of its brand portfolio.

Businesses are directly acting on a group level. Luxury conglomerates like Kering, LVMH, Prada, as well as Chinese sportswear group Xtep have all signed to reach net zero carbon footprint by 2050, the most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement.

Environmental is one aspect of sustainability. Social responsibility is also becoming a key area brand are investing in. “Prada’s motto is to be drivers of change. This vision is based on three pillars: planet, people, and culture,” shares Lorenzo Bertelli, Prada Group head of corporate social responsibility. At the Italian luxury maison, women represent the majority of the workforce, 63 percent of the corporate population, and 59 percent of the women hold managerial positions. 

Through Prada Academy, the house trains young people to ensure the know-how is passed down to young generations. Image: Prada

The fashion house is also investing in the future of the workforce. Through Prada Academy, the house trains young people to ensure the know-how is passed down to young generations. The company plans to employ 400 people by 2023, of which 200 will come from the Prada Academy. The latest figures show that 20 percent of Prada Group’s workforce is under 30. 

Xtep’s 2022 ESG report points out that the company invests in its employees’ career growth and safety. In 2022, Xtep employee training hours reached 364,305 hours, training a total of 11,278 employees. Regarding employee health and safety management, Xtep implemented the Occupational Health and Safety Management System (OHSMS) at work. 

Communicating Sustainability 

Meanwhile, Pwc’s 2021 Global Consumer Insights survey on China revealed that 72 percent of Chinese consumers said they try to buy from environmentally responsible companies versus 54 percent globally. Not only do brands need to act on their traditional business model to make it sustainable and socially responsible, but they also need to communicate their commitment to shoppers timely. 

Sennait Ghebreab, the fashion academic adds: “The pivotal element to consider is always having a genuine and honest conversation and avoid greenwashing, as consumers penalize firms that release deceptive statements.” 

That being said, Earth Day has become the perfect moment to deliver such a message.


Mytheresa Chinese designer talent luxury

Luxury Powerhouses Aren’t Just Betting On Chinese Shoppers, They’re Investing In Chinese Talent

What Happened: This week, German ecommerce platform Mytheresa unveiled the exclusive collections from its debut China Designer Program. Announced last fall, the initiative tapped four emerging Chinese designers — Xu Zhi, Jacques Wei, Susan Fang and Didu — to each contribute a capsule collection to the retailer. The designers were chosen by a jury that included Chuxuan Feng, editor-in-chief of T Magazine China, and Mytheresa Vice President of Fashion Buying Tiffany Hsu, who also offered guidance to the designers throughout the process. Mytheresa will promote the collections with a campaign created by a Chinese production team, including photographer Liang Zi and models Ci Ci Xiang and Emma Bei Pei.

The China Designer Program brings exclusive womenswear capsules by selected Chinese designers to Mytheresa. Photo: Mytheresa

Mytheresa joins the list of other global luxury entities looking to promote Chinese talent in recent months. Last December, 24s, the ecommerce retailer owned by LVMH, collaborated with Chen Peng on a 23-piece collection. The shortlist for the 2023 LVMH prize also included two Chinese brands, Louis Shengtao Chen’s namesake line and Marrknull by Wei Wang and Tian Shi. 

Some luxury powerhouses are even looking beyond fashion and into culture. Last week, Kering invited Chinese choreographers Wen Hui and Weng Mengfan to its Women in Motion at West Bund dance festival in Shanghai, in support of local female creative talents. Additionally, Miu Miu will host a localized Women’s Tales screening, party and forum in the ancient town of Wuzhen in late April.

From April 15-16, Kering hosted the second edition of its Women in Motion at West Bund event to celebrate women’s creativity in choreography. Photo: Kering

The Jing Take: The opening of the Chinese economy is slated to help luxury spending in 2023 return to pre-pandemic levels, with LVMH already reporting boosted sales and record share prices at the end of Q1. With those potential sales on the horizon, luxury brands like Versace and Bulgari have also announced a bevy of Chinese brand ambassadors in recent months. 

The recent engagement with emerging Chinese talent shows that luxury powerhouses aren’t just looking to capitalize on established names — they are localizing their own relevance by investing in young talent from the country. Those investments paint a more holistic picture of companies’ strategies to connect more with the Chinese market. 

“We are excited to feature the creativity and beauty of Chinese designers…and to give these talented designers access to our global audience and platform,” stated Mytheresa CEO Michael Kliger in a press release. Kliger added to WWD that the Chinese consumer “goes beyond China, and it’s a very important audience. They’re buying at home, and abroad — and they’re traveling once again.”

Emerging Chinese designers like those participating in Mytheresa’s program have the potential to connect with a global audience outside their own borders as well. This past season, Paris Fashion Week welcomed a handful of emerging Chinese designers to show for the first time, just as Chinese editors and buyers were able to return to the festivities since the pandemic. 

Among those designers was Rui Zhou, who had previously won the 2021 LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize for Young Designers. Her label, Rui, has already appeared on the likes of Dua Lipa, Solange Knowles, and Blackpink’s Lisa, and counts Montreal ecommerce retailer SSENSE among its stockists. 


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A post shared by Rui Zhou (

China has long since influenced the global luxury market thanks to the buying power of Chinese consumers both at home and abroad. Western fashion labels have recognized this power by appointing Chinese ambassadors and establishing a retail footprint in the country. Pre-pandemic engagements between luxury brands and Chinese designers were at an all-time high. 

COVID, however, caused a partial hiatus in this trend. But three years later, that has changed, and engagement seems to be swinging towards a high once again with China’s borders opened and consumers’ growing interest in homegrown talent (as per a recent McKinsey report). 

Western conglomerates are wise to invest in Chinese talent that might one day command global influence, as labels like Rui are steadily establishing. As the Chinese economy recovers, the influential Chinese audience may support local talent as much as Chanel or Dior in future.

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.


From Farfetch To SYKY: Why Talent Incubators Are Web3’s Creative Secret Sauce

When it comes to the future of fashion, all eyes are on the rising generation of digital fashion creatives to usher in the industry’s next era. 

The past year has seen a boost in recognition of new virtual pioneers, leading to an uptick in demand for better education and support for the community. As a result, more virtual talent incubators have cropped up, each designed to help tomorrow’s trailblazers crack the online landscape through technological innovation. 

“We are focused exclusively on digital designers because we believe that this is a nascent category that is going to fundamentally disrupt the fashion industry,” Alice Delahunt, founder of luxury platform SYKY, tells Jing Daily. “We’re also focused on designers who are creating 3D fashion, leveraging technology to push the limits of their imaginations and creativity, and showing a really nuanced understanding of what digital fashion means.”

The SYKY Collective 

The digital fashion startup is the latest to launch a support initiative for new talents. Announced last week, SYKY’s new one-year program — coined the SYKY Collective — is designed specifically to empower creatives and equip them with the tools and knowledge needed to launch a fully-fledged brand.

Ten emerging designers will be selected to take part in SYKY Collective’s inaugural program. The chosen participants will have access to exclusive industry events, one-on-one sessions, and potential luxury brand collaborations. Moreover, the membership will be overseen by a number of mentors, including The British Fashion Council and Calvin Klein’s Jonathan Bottomley, who will each provide their own guidance on creative strategies, business considerations, and more. 

The next phase in fashion 

Traditional fashion accelerators like Fashion East’s non-profit mentorship and the CFDA’s Launch Pad Program have proved paramount in expediting the careers of new talents. As the hype around Web3 wanes, developing similar programs tailored exclusively to the online realm will be key to its next phase of growth.

SYKY isn’t the first to follow in the footsteps of its offline predecessors; fashion’s most prestigious educational institutions have also joined the brigade. Parsons School of Design announced its partnership with Roblox last year on a new elective metaverse curriculum, while Paris’ ESMOD University launched its very own meta-wear course, dedicated to supporting and nurturing the new generation’s rising stars.

The gaming platform and fashion institute partnered to educate on digital fashion and trends last year. Photo: Roblox

Additionally, Farfetch’s Dream Assembly Base Camp accelerator pivoted its focus towards Web3 last year.  The 12-week program, which kicked off its metaverse-centric efforts in September 2022, fostered a number of platforms including digital fashion label altr_ and Web3 facilitator — the latter raising $3 million in seed funding for global expansion. 

“Our goal is to create a supportive and inclusive environment where companies can access the expertise and resources they need to turn their ideas into successful businesses,” Farfetch’s Senior Director of Product Innovation Carol Hilsum tells Jing Daily.“We are committed to helping build the next generation of technology companies that will shape the future of the luxury industry and beyond.”

The base camp received an “overwhelming amount of positive feedback” on its first official debut, according to Hilsum. It has since received applications from over 500 companies for its second iteration which will take place later this year (the program is gearing up to announce its new cohort of pioneers soon). 

Widespread industry potential: Enter brands like Mastercard

Demand for programs like SYKY Collective and Dream Assembly has also trickled into other industries. This month, Mastercard will launch its NFT-gated, Web3 Artist Accelerator platform that will provide toolkits and mentorship to five up-and-coming musicians from different genres. 

Similarly to SYKY and Farfetch, the program features a panel of experts recognized for their work and credibility in the Web3 space. Both Ledger’s Chief Experience Officer Ian Rodgers and Web3 artist Latashá are on board, and will educate each creative on how to monetize their work on the blockchain and cultivate a strong community of fans in the metaverse. 

Incubators like the above are fundamental to the evolution of the digital space, and Hilsum believes that the metaverse’s trajectory will rely heavily on their contributions. “The luxury industry has a unique opportunity to leverage Web3 technology and create new and innovative products and services that can enhance the customer experience and drive business growth,” she says.

Mastercard’s new accelerator program for music artists will be powered by NFTs. Photo: Mastercard

But Delahunt is keen to clarify that these programs will benefit their chosen industries, not compete against them. And talent scouted will hopefully form a new class of digital creative leaders of tomorrow.

“We’ve never endeavored to compete against the established industry. Instead, we’ve made it our core mission to bridge the gap between these two worlds, and nurture the magic that exists at the intersection of technology, innovation, history and legacy,” she says.

Exalting the names of tomorrow, incubators like these are promising signs for the future of Web3 and its increasing validity, even during times of uncertainty. We understand that Web3 technology is still in its early stages, and there are many unknowns about the problems it can solve and the use cases it can support,” Delahunt says. “That’s why we believe it’s crucial for early-stage companies to have a space where they can learn, grow, and collaborate with others who are exploring similar opportunities.”

The three archive Mulberry styles are the Oversized Bayswater, the Maddison, and the Westbourne. Photo: Mulberry

Marni Jam, Corteiz Nikes, Axel Arigato x Mulberry: Global Collabs Of The Week

Another week, another canceled Balenciaga collab; it’s time to bid farewell to the Lay’s potato chip clutches previewed in October 2022. In happier news, beauty brand Byredo has launched its new multi-part series to invite a new perspective into each fragrance, starting with photographer and filmmaker Gabriel Moses’ take on “Bal D’Afrique.” 22

Other headlines? Ye’s Yeezus Tour Maison Margiela mask is on sale for $50,000 (343,800 RMB), Eli Russell Linnetz has been named Pitti Immagine Uomo’s guest designer in June for Spring 2024, and MSCHF’s take on Timberland’s 6-inch Wheat Nubuck boots is doing the rounds. 

Our top collaborations of the week include Corteiz and Nike’s Aegean Storm launch, Axel Arigato x Mulberry coming together for the first time, and Marni Jam x No Vacancy Inn. For our verdict on those, check out the below, and subscribe here to receive Collabs & Drops’ updates straight to your inbox.

Marni Jam x No Vacancy Inn

marni no vacancy inn

Marni’s new project is debuting with Tremaine Emory and Acyde’s No Vacancy Inn, with a vibrant kaleidoscopic collection. Photo: Marni Jam

Date: April 20 global, April 27 Asia

Verdict: First announced in October 2022, Marni and No Vacancy Inn allowed some time for curiosity and desire to grow before revealing the upcoming collection. Supreme creative director and general streetwear aficionado Tremaine Emory and Acyde’s No Vacancy Inn has just 40,400 followers on Instagram, whereas established luxury house Marni has 1.9 million — though, this is the ideal route for the latter to tap into style subcultures. A free-form agency that has thrown parties all over the world with the likes of A$AP Mob, Virgil Abloh, Tom Sachs, and Stüssy, No Vacancy Inn is all about creative community. As such, it’s the perfect first collaboration for creative director Francesco Risso’s new multidisciplinary program, Marni Jam, which was founded to work with other creative entities.

Axel Arigato x Mulberry

Axel arigato mulberry

From XL Mulberry favorites, to varsity jackets, Axel Arigato x Mulberry has won fans of both brands over. Photo: Axel Arigato

Date: April 17

Verdict: Launched in 2014 by friends Max Svärdh and Albin Johansson in Sweden, Axel Arigato (1 million followers) has become globally renowned for well-crafted, immaculate sneakers. By 2020, annual turnover was well above $60 million, with sales growing 60 percent compared to 2019. That year, Eurazeo Brands invested $56 million to become a major shareholder. In short, it’s about time a luxury brand like Mulberry snapped up a collab opportunity with Axel Arigato. Following on from the Paul Smith and Miffy collections, both launched in Q1 of 2023, Mulberry is evidently striving to connect with its Generation Z and millennial clientele. Combining the trends of baseball jackets and DIY denim with Mulberry’s trademark leather accessories, this is one of the best Mulberry co-branded collections in a while.

Corteiz x Nike

corteiz x nike

Corteiz and Nike have brought excitement back to the Air Max 95 silhouette. Photo: Crtz.rtw

Date: April 14

Verdict: If anyone thought the hype bug had died down, not-so-underground streetwear brand Corteiz is proving that it hasn’t. For its debut Nike collaboration, the third and final Air Max 95 saw a traffic-halting launch on the streets of Paris on April 11. Following on from its crazy sneaker drops in London and New York City, the crowds were expected.

Selling out online within a matter of seconds, London’s Corteiz Gutta Green has a 119 percent price premium on StockX and NYC’s Pink Beam has a 118 percent price premium, while the Aegean Storm is currently at 106 percent. Resale is passionately discouraged by founder Clint419, who has an avid following. Crafting difficult-to-purchase products not only increases desirability, but it also cultivates a sense of community as fans check in with each other on drops, and those who understand Corteiz appreciate seeing others wear his work. The formula of scarce products and incredible marketing capital makes Corteiz one of the most unique brands worldwide right now.

L’Oréal Paris Takes A Stand Against Sexual Harassment In China

What Happened: Coinciding with International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023, L’Oréal Paris China launched “36 Strategies,” an anti-harassment initiative designed to help protect and empower Chinese women. 

The campaign was developed under the “Guard Her Against Harassment” project that was rolled out in China in 2022. Over the past year in China alone, more than 200,000 women and men have undergone training in preventing, recognizing and dealing with sexual harassment.

“36 Strategies” aims to reach a wider audience through a deeply Chinese context and online-offline integration. The name refers to a seminal Chinese essay, Thirty-Six Stratagems, which outlines unorthodox or cunning ruses used in politics, warfare and civil interactions. 

To keep the message clear and concise, five core strategies for dealing with sexual harassment have been linked to well-known Chinese idioms. These include: “Make a sound in the East and strike in the West” to distract and interrupt; “Lend a hand in times of trouble” to help others and ask for help if needed; and “Follow with evidence” to record relevant information.

The safety plan is unlocked by scanning a QR code through WeChat, where users are presented with five common harassment scenarios and asked multiple-choice questions. Soundtrack and videos will show strategies and tips aimed at stopping harassment in a safe and timely way. 

In conjunction with the online campaign, a series of offline events will tour China featuring celebrities and experts, including popular stand-up comedian Niaoniao and He Lingfeng, a professor of Psychology, doctoral supervisor at Shanghai Sports University.  

Runner-up of 2022 Rock & Roast and stand-up comedian Niaoniao enjoys a huge following in China, where her comedy deals with relatable local lifestyle issues and social phobia. Photo: L’Oréal Paris

The Jing Take: L’Oréal Paris fared comparatively well in China last year. Admirably, the French cosmetics behemoth is pushing its agenda beyond beauty by tackling social and environmental issues in China and around the world. 

L’Oréal’s “We Are Worth It” slogan, coined in 1971, has defined the brand’s attitude towards female empowerment across generations. The “She economy” is obviously an important one for the world’s largest beauty brand and shows no sign of slowing. According to global consultancy Accenture, China is home to nearly 400 million female consumers aged 20 to 60, who account for as much as $1.4 trillion (10 trillion RMB) in spending annually.

For more than 50 years, L’Oréal Paris has worked to empower women around the world from the inside out under the slogan “We Are Worth It.” Photo: L’Oréal Paris

Extending female empowerment to tackle issues like sexual harassment is a big leap as it requires exploring cultural sensitivities across areas as diverse as Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, India and China, and necessitates careful localization.  

In China, sexual harassment is often a taboo topic, although amendments to China’s Women’s Protection Law, which came into effect this year are an improvement. A 2018 survey of almost 30,000 people by KnowYourself (KY) online community found that 69 percent of respondents in China aged 14 to 55 had been sexually harassed. Of those victims, 75 percent were women and 79 percent had not sought help, either through embarrassment, fear of criticism or lack of education.

L’Oréal Paris has been both bold and smart in finding ways to broach the topic comfortably in China. Approaching harassment like conflict and linking it with well-known Chinese idioms is a meaningful and memorable way to connect with Chinese consumers. Similarly, using the medium of stand-up comedy — which has become hugely popular, particularly among female fans – helps to tackle thorny issues in a way that entertains and resonates with young Chinese audiences. 

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.

Tencent Douyin tech

Rivals Tencent Video, Douyin Reach Content-Sharing Agreement After Copyright Spat

What Happened: Tencent Video and ByteDance-owned Douyin have announced a new phase of collaboration after a series of spats over Douyin platforms using Tencent’s copyrighted videos. Now, both parties have officially agreed to endorse content sharing, allowing Douyin app users to access Tencent’s popular TV dramas without infringing copyright. 

Owned by ByteDance (which also owns TikTok), Douyin has 780 million users, while the ubiquitous Tencent-owned WeChat boasts 1.3 billion users worldwide. Tencent and ByteDance both top the charts as China’s largest tech companies in an industry that has faced grueling government clampdowns over the past few years. 

The Jing Take: This is an interesting development in the battle of China’s video and live-streaming apps, which have become increasingly popular shopping and entertainment tools among Chinese consumers. 

One of China’s Big Four tech companies (the others being Baidu, Alibaba and Xiaomi), Tencent leads the sector in terms of market cap and is also a big backer of Douyin’s rival, Kuaishou. Non-listed ByteDance has overseen the stratospheric and controversial rise of TikTok globally, as well as that of Douyin at home. 

Recommended ReadingA Luxury Brand Guide To Using Weixin ChannelsBy Julienna Law

This collaboration may signal a milestone in an industry that has drawn much government ire and scrutiny over the past few years. If so, the partnership may be a case of putting aside rivalries for the greater good of advancing China’s tech and social media space, where accusations of monopolization have harmed the sector as a whole. It may also attract more users to the platforms in the long run. 

As video and live-streaming apps grow more popular in China, success will come down to expanding revenue. With greater cooperation between industry leaders, the sky may be the limit in terms of short-term growth. But will it also stifle competition and create greater homogeneity between key video ecommerce sites in the future? Only time will tell.  

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.

What Went Down At NFT.NYC 2023

With traditional brands taking a break from their metaverse activations following the thrill of Metaverse Fashion Week, all eyes were on the true trailblazers of Web3 to deliver at last week’s NFT.NYC event. 

The program, which took place from April 12-14, brought the digital crowd offline with a plethora of afterparties, exclusive dinners, meet-ups, panels, and gamified activities. Established in 2018, the calendar — which has grown from a one-day event with 400 participants to a three-day showcase — now attracts a global audience of C-suite executives, VIPs, and enthusiasts ambitious to discover the potential of the metaverse.

Now officially coined as one of Web3’s most anticipated community events of the year, the pressure was on for participants, which included Adidas, Cult & Rain, Gmoney, and more, to reignite metaverse optimism, following the crypto winter and its recent disrepute. 

Jing Daily takes a look at which activations across the calendar performed well, and where the event fell short of its lofty expectations.

The invite only event brought together the top minds across the industry to discuss new innovation in fashion, luxury, and retail. Photo: Ashumi Sanghvi via LinkedIn

What Went Well? 

One of the highlights was the invite-only Future+ launch event, hosted in partnership with Samsung LED. Featuring a number of curated panels discussing topics ranging from the future of phygital to the power of gaming, the conference brought together pundits from top Web3 startups including Exclusible, The Fabricant, Hape, Arianee, DressX, and more.

According to Ashumi Sanghvi, founder of Future+ and creative production agency MAD Global, the inaugural event accumulated more than 300 visitors over the course of its activation and received an impressive response.

“Conferences like NFT NYC are open for one and all, and as much as that is great for community, there is not much value exchanged besides self-congratulating camaraderie. What I am building is set on the foundation of innovation and delivered with experience at the forefront, to move the entire ecosystem forward with intention and purpose,” Sanghvi says.

Another spotlight moment was Gmoney’s World Connect 02 Treasure Hunt challenge, which combined POAPs (Proof of Attendance Protocol) and physical “treasure” pins that could be collected by fans at various New York haunts, including a downtown bodega and a pizza house.

Participants were encouraged to order the “secret menu” item to receive a 9dcc mystery package that contained several “NYC essentials,” as well as the brand’s Iteration-03 baseball cap — a product that later served as a canvas for a series of physical pins found across the hunt.

Community members were encouraged to take part in a treasure hunt across the city to discover a series of “treasures” and offline experiences. Photo: Courtesy of Chapter 2 Agency / Matthew LeJune

“We received numerous entries for the Treasure Hunt and all 9dcc caps have been dispersed. Based on our latest information from 9dcc World Connect 02, a total of 7845 POAP mints were created using 1854 different devices,” Kenneth Loo, co-founder of Chapter 2 agency, tells Jing Daily. “These impressive figures demonstrate the high level of engagement. It’s clear that communities are willing to interact with ‘networked products’ when given the chance to do so in real life.”

Meanwhile, Adidas celebrated its #ALTSbyadidas ecosystem and genesis NFT drop with its “ALT[er] Ego Motel” meet-up, powered by Web3 record label Probably A Label. The sportswear giant has recently rebranded its metaverse-centric community from a PFP project to a collab-focused and narrative-driven engagement platform.

The event featured live music and entertainment, generating a great turnout and response across socials. Scavenger hunts were also a recurring theme of the week, with Adidas hosting its own treasure hunt activity where participants could win a free branded goodie bag — a prize that included specially designed T-shirts featuring NFC chips and POAPs, further connecting its cohort to the Web3 world.

The event celebrated the label’s recent shift from PFP projects to a more community-focused platform in Web3. Photo: Adidas

Obvious Pain Points

The schedule’s lesser-documented side events, however, failed to resonate with the masses. This was largely due to complications with curation and poor organization by coordinators, which left a number of panels both underwhelming and grossly under capacity.

These pain points serve as a lesson in Web3 survival, demonstrating what happens when profit and numbers are prioritized over well-thought-out and meaningful experiences for the community. 

Moreover, not everyone was convinced that the schedule was worth the hype. Web3-native and enthusiast @vvwvvw_eth tweeted “NFT NYC this year is extremely boring, tbh. Everyone is just repeating the same things, very superficial.” Meanwhile, @9gagceo penned: “Most Web3 IRL events are the opposite of Web3 — they are organized by one party, in one place, at one time, and so centralized that you cannot even get in.”

While big activations from big labels might overshadow the failures, lackluster turnout and feedback like the above implies that the event still has a way to go in boosting enthusiasm and leveraging appeal.  

Future Improvement

Even without the attendance of hyped players like Bored Ape Yacht Club (whose “Apefest” was one of last year’s undisputed highlights), the calendar still generated strong media exposure and buzz online. Major absences like BAYC’s also didn’t massively dent excitement or engagement among Web3 enthusiasts, who mostly embraced the roster of participants and projects nevertheless.

Overall, the excitement around NFT.NYC shows that the industry is still feeling bullish about Web3’s future. However, success at these types of events depends on brands placing community at the heart of their projects, rather than the prospect of clout.

China streetwear

Key Takeaways From The Webinar ‘China: The Streetwear Conversation’

Even though the late Virgil Abloh famously stated that streetwear was dead back in 2019, the extent to which it has infiltrated mainstream fashion today proves otherwise.

In China, local streetwear brands are thriving, and global brand collaborations are fueling their growth. International powerhouses like Nike, Adidas and Asics are increasingly tapping domestic players like Randomevent, Melting Sadness, Roaring Wild and Attempt to connect with Chinese streetwear fans.

Asics partnered with Chinese label Trouble Smile on three co-branded shoes. Photo: Trouble Smile

Due to its soaring popularity, Chinese sportswear label Anta Sports even overtook Nike in annual revenue in China for the first time in 2022, reflecting the country’s evolving fashion landscape. It is therefore the ultimate moment to take a deep dive into consumer trends and movements there.

On April 18, Collabs & Drops invited sneaker product manager Kenneth Huang and GQ China’s Lysander Zhang to discuss the state of China’s streetwear scene. Titled China: The Streetwear Conversation, here are the three takeaways from the webinar.

Gorpcore Is Just One Of Many Trends

Brands cannot generalize a nation as huge as China. One of the leading takes was that the outdoor hiking aesthetic known as gorpcore is just another trend within the multifaceted realm of streetwear.

As Huang highlights, Japanese “city boy” aesthetic, the “Westernized fit” of basketball-inspired looks, Chinese design languages, as well as high fashion looks — influenced by the fact that China remains the world’s second largest consumer of luxury — all contribute to China’s streetwear culture.

Adding to that, Zhang also referenced the Yabi subculture, representing Chinese underground music scenes, as well as the rising popularity of the CleanFit

Social Media Rules The Roost

Zhang also noted that through social media, there is an eclecticism of identities exposed to Gen Z, so they often take different influences to create their own styles. 

“All the young people want to show their unique sense of style through their appearance, through the way they live, through their clothes,” says Zhang. “For example, in Shanghai there is vogueing, which breaks the boundaries of sexuality, and [those consumers] wear whatever they feel comfortable.”

However, as these subcultures become more mainstream and relevant in China, Huang points out a sense of lost authenticity in the purchasing process.

In reference to China’s booming KOL-culture, he said, “The top [of the influencing chain] should be authentic, but even they are being bought by brands now. I think streetwear is having a really difficult moment of real authenticity [in China].”

The Masses Aren’t Aware Of Streetwear History

According to Huang, “The spending power is a lot faster than the cultural developments.” While shoppers in Europe or the U.S. generally have an understanding of streetwear’s origins, those in China tend to be influenced by a small group of consumers who know the cultural relevance of what they are purchasing.

“It’ll take some time for China to get there and evolve the individual’s own taste,” added Huang. “The development of streetwear trends such as gorpcore has moved so much faster than the way people digest culture on a time spectrum.”

For more on brand collaboration, check out Jing Daily’s weekly Collabs and Drops newsletter — a weekly analytical lowdown on the latest news. Sign up here.


A Guide To China’s Fast-Evolving Fragrance Market In 2023

L’Oréal-owned high-end perfumer Atelier Cologne was one of the first international scent labels to enter the Chinese market — as early as 2017. However, in recent months the business has been withdrawing from multiple landmark department stores in China, despite the country‘s booming fragrance sector. 

Dao Nguyen, founder of fragrance and beauty marketing agency Essenzia by Dao, whose clients comprise cosmetics and scent brands that want to engage young Chinese consumers, explains to Jing Daily that in light of local consumers’ shifting demand, “the brand is now working on a 360° revamp from packaging to communication, retail experience, and its business model.” 

L’Oréal-owned high-end perfumer Atelier Cologne was one of the first international scent labels to enter the Chinese market — as early as 2017. Image: Atelier Cologne

In 2022, the mainland market recorded $2.5 billion (17 billion RMB) in fragrance sales. That number is forecast by Euromonitor to nearly double by 2025. The lucrative market is attracting international and domestic players to enter the perfume segment. CBNData shows that the cumulative number of registered perfume companies in China has since 2017 exceeded 2,000. 

Given the increasingly crowded space and consumers’ ever-evolving needs, to win market share, scent labels need to constantly reinvent themselves to stay relevant to local shoppers. 

“The Chinese fragrance market has been through several stages of development and growth dynamics: new drivers on the consumer side and learning curves, multiplication of international and local offerings, and new olfactive trends,” says Nguyen. 

The lucrative market is attracting international and domestic players to enter the perfume segment. To Summer is one of the fastest rising homegrown players. Image: To Summer

Here, Jing Daily looks at how brands should adapt to China’s fast-changing fragrance landscape in 2023.

Evolving olfactive preferences

Local Gen Z consumers are driving China’s fragrance boom. A 2020 iiResearch report shows that over half of the Gen Z population wears scent on a daily basis, and penetration is expected to expand. As such, this cohort is dictating the rules of the market. 

In recent years, Gen Z shoppers have propelled the rise of niche high-end fragrances. According to Euromonitor, sales of high-end perfumes increased 18 percent in 2021 year on year. On the other hand, the mass perfume market shows signs of slowing.

Floral and lemony scents once favored by locals are also losing their appeal. “Atelier Cologne was famous and especially coveted for its citrusy scents — Oolong Infini and Orange Sanguine — back in 2015. But in 2023, the context, consumers, drivers, competition, and olfactive trends have evolved,” says Nguyen. 

Intelligence platform Euromonitor finds that today young consumers prefer woody, maritime, and herbal notes.

In 2020, Byredo’s Rose of No Man’s Land and Juliette Has a Gun’s Not A Perfume ranked among young consumers’ top-10 niche fragrance brands on Tmall. Image: Byredo

In particular, Euromonitor identifies high-end gender-neutral scents as a subcategory with the highest compound annual growth rate (2016-2021). In 2020, Byredo’s Rose of No Man’s Land and Juliette Has a Gun’s Not A Perfume ranked among young consumers’ top-10 niche fragrance brands on Tmall.

In light of China’s evolving fragrance tastes, brands can experiment with dedicated perfumes for the market to cater to local shoppers.

Long-term focus trumps shortcuts like KOLs

“Niche fragrance brands should avoid being complacent, and keep capitalizing on what made their success without reflecting on how market dynamics are changing the game,” says Nguyen.

Celebrities and influencers offer brands a shortcut to rapidly gain exposure and boost sales. However, this approach doesn’t build long-lasting relationships with consumers. Once the marketing budget stops, the conversion rate retreats, too. 

Loewe’s 001, known also as ‘the morning after the rendezvous,’ it’s been one of the most recommended niche fragrances on Xiaohongshu. Image: Loewe

“These tactical moves will not be enough to make a brand last, more worryingly, it can be detrimental to the brand in the mid- to long-term,” adds Nguyen.

Fragrances are associated with feelings. To create resonance and stand out from the crowd, brands should emphasize strong content, their visual identity, and memorable names. For instance, Loewe’s 001, known also as ‘the morning after the rendezvous,’ captured consumers’ imagination. Over the past year, it’s been one of the most recommended niche fragrances on Xiaohongshu. 

Experiential retail stores and online channels replace counters 

Despite their comparatively smaller budgets, lack of retail presence, and the absence of traffic-driving celebrities, niche fragrance brands have successfully developed their own marketing and sales model and rapidly expanded their market share in China, directly competing with established names.

The consumer shopping journey starts with online recommendations as the discovery channel, and ends with purchases on e-commerce platforms. Meanwhile, counters are being replaced by spacious and fully immersive experiential stores that aim to educate consumers about the brand and its perfumes. Recently, niche fragrance brand Le Labo debuted its first duplex store in Shanghai’s Xintiandi shopping district.

Niche fragrance brand Le Labo debuted its first duplex store in Shanghai’s Xintiandi shopping district. Image: Le Labo

Inna Kochanzhi, head of the beauty division at the Gentlemen marketing agency, cites Jo Malone as an example of the strategy’s application. 

“Jo Malone has almost 5 million followers on Tmall, 125,000 on Xiaohongshu, and its annual revenue on Tmall surpasses $150 million, without taking into consideration its offline stores. It developed its popularity in China starting with recommendations, and then they expanded to selling without the help of KOLs.” 

Kochanzhi believes the tactic works today, as well. “The fact is that most Chinese consumers not only like the fragrance itself, but also the social value behind it.” In light of this, online recommendations are a crucial gateway for fragrance-makers to raise awareness and build their reputation. 

Jo Malone has almost 5 million followers on Tmall, 125,000 on Xiaohongshu, and its annual revenue on Tmall surpasses $150 million, without taking into consideration its offline stores. Image: Tmall

“The choice of channels is a very individual one for niche fragrance brands. But, Xiaohongshu is essential. It is a hub for the fanbase and also a search tool, serving as a Google when it comes to niche brands,” says Kochanzhi.

In 2021, fragrance sales in China accounted for only 4.1 percent of the world’s perfume market. Over the five years to 2021, China’s perfume market expanded at a compound annual growth rate of 21.4 percent, 10 times global market growth in the same period. The Chinese market will make up an increasing ratio of the international market, so brands must quickly react to changes in the country to stay afloat.


cai xukun gentlemonster

Cai Xukun And G-Dragon Prove Fan Power and More: China Collabs Of The Week

Chinese Gen Z consumers go all in like no other demographic when it comes to fan culture and star-studded collaborations. A case in point is the Gentle Monster launch this week by Wenzhou’s singer-songwriter and rapper Cai Xukun.

In other news, Disney is celebrating its centennial with a local Randomevent collaboration, and Nike’s Peaceminusone is trending on Chinese socials.

For our verdict on these brand collaborations, check out the below. To receive weekly updates straight to your inbox, subscribe to the Collabs & Drops newsletter here.

Randomevent x Disney

For Spring 2023, Randomevent and Disney have teamed up on a collection dedicated to Snow White. Photo: Randomevent

For Spring 2023, Randomevent and Disney have teamed up on a collection dedicated to Snow White. Photo: Randomevent

Date: April 15

Verdict: To mark Disney’s centennial, the Snow White capsule is connecting with the Chinese market via a local collaboration with streetwear brand Randomevent. It’s a collision of Disney’s nostalgic cultural IP and the local name’s classic casual-wear cuts. The ready-to-wear brand-concept store is slowly emerging from the underground – its hashtag #Randomevent# clocked up 93.376 million views on Weibo. By comparison, Disney’s official 100-year anniversary hashtag #迪士尼100周年# has 16.918 million reads; this part of its campaign is evidently gaining traction in China. 

Recommended ReadingNBA China Is Loving Collabs, But Who’s Wearing Them?By Sadie Bargeron

Gentle Monster x Cai Xukun

Date: April 17

Verdict: Probably the most viral collab of the week, #Gentle Monster X Kun has generated 130 million reads on Weibo, and #GentleMonsterxKun is at 226,600 reads on Xiaohongshu. Expected to sell out within minutes due to the impact of China’s fan culture, this is a hot topic all over social media right now; it is optimum timing for Gentle Monster to be launching its Crystal Clear gaming app too, which is being promoted as part of this release, and being made available in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Dubai, Singapore, Japan, and the US. 

This pairing is proof of how powerful key opinion leader (KOL) products can be — Chinese singer-songwriter Cai Kun has 38.2 million followers on Weibo, and South Korean brand Gentle Monster has 222,000. 

Peaceminusone x Nike

The esteemed Peaceminusone x Nike Kwondo 1 sneaker

The hotly-anticipated Peaceminusone x Nike Kwondo 1 sneaker. Photo: Peaceminusone x Nike

Date: April 18

Verdict: Seeing as South Korean rapper G-Dragon is one of Asia’s biggest fashion icons, any Peaceminusone x Nike collaboration would be huge in China, and its components expected to end up on the resale market. Peaceminusone has transitioned from a primarily KOL-led brand to its current status as almost synonymous in the mainland with local brands like Clot. Despite the new “Panda” sneakers not technically being the product of a Chinese collaboration, they are trending across social media platforms. 

They are priced at 1,599 RMB (double the price of the 3.0 collaboration), and are expected to sell on resale sites for between 4,000 RMB to 6,000 RMB. 


Hermès Hits €200 Billion Valuation On Surging Sales Thanks To China’s Ultra-Rich

What Happened: Following stellar results from LVMH last week, Hermès is next in line to celebrate a strong start to the fiscal year. In the first quarter of 2023, the group’s revenue increased 23 percent year on year to €3.38 billion ($3.69 billion), with sales across all regions growing. Sales in Asia (excluding Japan) climbed 23 percent, attributable to a good Lunar New Year.

This week, the storied house also announced the reopening of its renovated store in Beijing’s historic Peninsula Hotel, its first brick-and-mortar location in mainland China. Unveiled in 1997, the store is now double its original size and took design inspiration from the dragon statues of the Forbidden City. 

“One of 27 Hermès stores in the country, including three in Beijing, the redesign is a testament to the house’s long-standing history and confidence in the Chinese market and its dynamic capital city,” reads the press release.

The newly renovated Hermès store in Beijing’s Peninsula Hotel. Photo: Hermès

The Jing Take: Hermès has been able to weather adverse demand trends thanks to its iconic products — which are often seen as investment pieces — and exposure to wealthy consumers who can handle economic crises. When other brands took financial hits due to China’s prolonged lockdowns, the French luxury giant managed to sustain sales growth in the country, recording 22 percent year-on-year revenue growth in Asia in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Unlike its luxury competitors, Hermès tends to shun celebrity endorsements and trend-chasing tactics to reach consumers in China. Instead it focuses on physical expansion. Besides renovating its Beijing store, Hermès also relocated and expanded its Nanjing store in January this year, reopened its store at Hong Kong International Airport with the addition of a private lounge in November last year, and unveiled a new Shanghai address the preceding month.

“The group has moved into 2023 with confidence, thanks to the highly integrated artisanal model, the balanced distribution network, the creativity of collections and the loyalty of clients,” the company stated.

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As brands rush to capitalize on China’s reopening, Hermès has been strategic about not expanding too quickly — keeping its network targeted and exclusive. Limiting marketing and distribution also allows the Birkin bag-maker to maintain pricing power; after raising prices 4 percent in 2022, the company plans to hike prices by 5 to 10 percent this year, Eric du Halgouet, Hermès’ executive vice president, revealed in October last year. 

Bucking market trends, Hermès is certainly living up to its brand theme this year of “Astonishment.” Passing a market capitalization of €200 billion ($218 billion) for the first time earlier this month, the maker of silk scarves continues to profit off China’s ultra-rich and pull itself ahead of the pack.

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.