Drawing inspiration from its collection of royal portraits, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) has partnered with the fashionable Chinese cosmetics brand Perfect Diary to release a limited-edition collection of eight lipsticks. The items went online in the run-up to JD’s 618 shopping holiday and are the latest in a series of cultural consumer products born from collaborations between museums and brands specifically for young Chinese consumers (the demographic largely responsible for driving the trend).
Packaged in sleek playing-card-style boxes with one of the eight royal portraits on the cover (some popular choices include Napoleon I, Queen Victoria and Louis XIV), the lipsticks are available on JD and the WeChat e-commerce platform Youzan. Consumers can choose to purchase a single lipstick at $14.50 or a box set of four at $45.
Perfect Diary, a brand founded in 2016 that is aimed at China’s Gen Zers, labeled the series Little Diamond on account of the glitter included in each product. Lipsticks draw their color palette from a feature of the chosen MET portrait and cover a range of quirky hues including milk tea, carrot, and red velvet.
One strong product detail is that each individual lipstick has the relevant royal bust embossed on the casing’s lid. This attention to detail and the affordable price point has seen the collaborative product receive generally positive reviews from online consumers. “The color looks good and the packaging is also good-looking,” writes one consumer in the comment section on the e-commerce platform Tmall. “There is a retro feel to the product. It also includes a souvenir similar to a playing card. However, the texture is a little too dry.”
C-pop star Zhu Zhengting is the face of the Little Diamond promotional campaign, which sought to build off the theme of this past May’s Met Gala, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” as a way to elevate it to royal status. Perfect Diary photographed The Nine Percent singer in a range of playful guises, each complementing individual lipsticks in both tenor and tone.
The MET follows on the heels of London’s British Museum and the V&A Museum in monetizing its IP by creating products aimed at Chinese consumers. Since the storied New York institution partnered with China IP product experts Alfilo Brands earlier this year, we’re sure to see more products along the lines of the Perfect Diary collaboration in the future.