The Social Edition is our weekly series which deep dives into luxury initiatives in China’s social media landscape. Every week, we highlight brand campaigns distributed on Chinese digital platforms — WeChat, Weibo, Tmall, Douyin, and beyond.
Our coverage spotlights global luxury brands, global beauty brands, and local Chinese brands. The latter gives insight into some of China’s most successful campaigns, which often come from local players, and are outside of the beauty and fashion space.
In this week’s roundup, we look at three campaigns, including Saint Laurent’s “Self 07” photography exhibition, Lanvin’s pop-up installations in Hangzhou and Chongqing, and Soulvent’s debut in China’s fragrance market.
Saint Laurent Features Chinese Artists in Photography Exhibition
BRAND Saint Laurent
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo
MEDIUM Image, Short-video, Mini Program
Saint Laurent has released the “Self 07” project, an artistic commentary captured by the lens of six photographers who created exclusive artwork for the house. With the aim of connecting the world, this initiative included six exhibitions that took place simultaneously in six cities between June 9 and 12. Chinese artist duo Birdhead was among the featured photographers. In addition to physical exhibitions, the house launched a curated WeChat Mini Program which allows users to explore all the art pieces.
The creative project has attracted Chinese netizens who are obsessed with Saint Laurent’s brand DNA, racking up over 10,000 views for the campaign post on WeChat. User @Marina commented below the post to showcase her adoration of the exhibition: “Love it! Bravo to the team behind this project.”
Saint Laurent has been dedicated to cultural cultivation, especially in the Chinese market, where it entered a bit later than other brands. In order to better communicate its brand DNA and values to local clients, the house launched the fifth installment of its multidisciplinary “Self” series with acclaimed art-house filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai in 2020 and mounted an exhibition titled “Betty Catroux: Yves Saint Laurent” in 2021. And now, through collaborating with Chinese creatives on this artistic project, the house is expected to further cement its local relevance.
Lanvin Mounts Pop-up Installations at Local Multi-brand Shops
PLATFORMS WeChat, Weibo, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Offline Pop-up
Lanvin has joined forces with leading Chinese multi-brand concept shops, including Hangzhou-based B1OCK and Chongqing-based SND, to unveil pop-up in-store installations spotlighting the second edition of the Gallery Department x Lanvin collection. The project is presented with curated visual merchandising that highlight the arty, street vibe of the collaboration. In addition to the first two stops in Hangzhou and Chongqing, the project will land in SND stores in Aranya, Shenzhen, and Sanya.
The Gallery Department x Lanvin collection has received endorsements from local stars such as Yang Mi, Cecilia Song, and Wang Ziyi. However, because the two pop-ups just launched, the user-generated social posts are limited on Weibo and Xiaohongshu. Expanding to other cities may help the project garner higher offline traffic.
Lanvin has been agile at adapting to emerging trends in the local market as it’s under the umbrella of a local luxury group. Given that the two multi-brand concept stores are well-known photo-op destinations to young fashionistas, the partnership with them can help the legacy French house to rejuvenate its brand image and get closer to their target audiences. Meanwhile, SND’s extensive physical retail locations in tourism-driven cities can potentially recruit new clients for the house.
Can This Newly Launched Chinese Fragrance Brand Become a Game Changer?
PLATFORMS WeChat, Tmall, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image, Short-video
Chinese fragrance brand Soulvent was officially launched in June on Tmall and Xiaohongshu. With a focus on naturalism, the brand aims to explore a balanced relationship between mundane life and nature in the wake of the pandemic, and create a utopian mental and aromatic space for its customers. Its first collection features home scents housed in ceramic containers with clean and organic forms.
Given that Soulvent debuted just earlier this month, its brand awareness among local netizens has been relatively limited. However, the brand is gaining ground by seeding products with lifestyle and beauty influencers and inviting them to post reviews on social channels. Shoppers can purchase samples of different scents before they make a purchasing decision. Overall, their natural ingredient-powered home fragrances have received positive feedback on Xiaohongshu.
The COVID-19 Otaku (stay-at-home) economy continues to fuel home fragrance sales among China’s lifestyle-savvy consumers, particularly following recent lockdowns in major cities. However, the segment has become more saturated since 2020, with global and local brands tapping in. Still, Soulvent could carve out a niche by focusing on the category’s pain point: the hit-or-miss nature of buying scents online. By promoting trial packs to help customers make informed decisions, the young brand could go the distance.