Tmall’s Foray Into Adaptive Fashion

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 Tmall’s foray into adaptive fashion, Qeelin’s pop-up in Shanghai featuring its Bo Bo collection, and C-beauty label Girlcult’s latest artist collaboration.

Tmall Taps Adaptive Fashion Through Brand Partnerships

BRAND Tmall
CATEGORY E-commerce
PLATFORMS Weibo, Tmall
MEDIUM Image, Short-video

OVERVIEW 
To celebrate the opening of the 11th National Paralympic Games, Tmall teamed up with the China Association for the Promotion of Disabled Services and seven brands — Reebok, Skechers, Semir, Warrior, Qiaodan, Ecco, and Camel — to launch the One Shoe Project campaign. In addition to a campaign video, the project provides single-shoe sales services for consumers with leg disabilities and creates a shoebox half as wide as normal shoeboxes for them.

NETIZEN REACTION
The campaign was received positively by Chinese netizens due to its nimble approach to the disabled community. Weibo user @Shallwekook noticed that “although Tmall has various marketing tactics to tap consumer segments with huge buying power, it still tapped this underrepresented group.” And many netizens hold high expectations of this project, hoping it will be developed as a long-term initiative.

VERDICT
Adaptive fashion is an emerging but sensitive segment for fashion players in China. Still, Tmall approached this trend through the lens of shoes — an accessory that physically abled consumers take for granted. Moreover, the campaign video, which stars leading players in various walks of life with leg disabilities, did not portray their traumas negatively but delivered a positive message by highlighting how they have embraced their challenges.

Qeelin Opens Pop-up in Shanghai Featuring Its Bo Bo Collection

BRAND Qeelin
CATEGORY Luxury Jewelry
PLATFORMS Weibo, WeChat
MEDIUM Image, Short-video, Offline Pop-up, WeChat Mini Program
FEATURED TALENTS Liu Shishi (34.5M Weibo Followers) | Zhu Zhengting (24M)

OVERVIEW 
On October 27, Kering-owned luxury jewelry house Qeelin launched a pop-up shop “Qeelin Bo Bo Funky House” at Gateway Plaza 66 in Shanghai, spotlighting its iconic Bo Bo collection. “Bo Bo” is synonymous with “treasure” or “precious” in Chinese, which not only symbolizes the rarity of pandas, but also celebrates innocent curiosity. In addition to a variety of Bo Bo pieces, the pop-up featured a host of interactive programs such as a dance machine and a claw crane, through integrating the house’s Chinese DNA with modern pop cultures.

NETIZEN REACTION
On opening day, the campaign received organic social traffic on Weibo and WeChat, with positive comments on the brand’s Mini Program, drawing inspiration from the wildly popular show, Squid Game. Offline, many visitors showed strong interest in the playful “Qeelin Bo Bo Funky House” and actively participated in the interactive programs. Styled with hip looks and dynamic personality, the pop-up has successfully resonated with Chinese local shoppers.

VERDICT
Qeelin has been known for its signature Wulu designs with auspicious wishes. In the latest Bo Bo campaign, the house opted to highlight the panda-like figure to consolidate its brand image embodying a playful fusion of Chinese symbolism and modernity — but with a funky twist. Through incorporating engaging games that are popular among Chinese shoppers, the campaign promises to lure more local Millennials, especially those in their early thirties, and Gen Zers.

C-beauty Brand Girlcult Launches Special Frida Kahlo Collection

BRAND Girlcult
CATEGORY Beauty
PLATFORMS Weibo, Xiaohongshu
MEDIUM Image

OVERVIEW 
C-beauty brand Girlcult recently launched its Long Live Life collection, which features the IP of Mexican female artist Frida Kahlo. In honor of the renowned painter, the launch included eyebrow pencils, lipsticks, and eyeshadow palettes. The colors featured in the products drew inspiration from the nature and artifacts of Mexico, which were signature features in her portraits. Additionally, the package design is consistent with the brand’s quirky and maximalism aesthetic.

NETIZEN REACTION
This special collection has been included in Tmall’s Double-11 Shopping Festival pre-sale, receiving over 2,000 orders within one week. Many Weibo users excitedly commented below the campaign posts in anticipation of their packages, with some confessing their purchases were driven by an admiration of Kahlo and her life journey.

VERDICT
Founded in 2018, Girlcult is an emerging homegrown beauty brand that completed its Series A financing in 2019, led by IDG Capital. Compared to other domestic beauty players, Girlcult has built its brand image rooted in art and design. Its founder, Ma Jiawei, believes that consumer preferences and trends are ever-shifting, whether the styles are Western, Japanese, or Korean. Thus, a unique brand personality with its own aesthetic is more consistent and sustainable for a beauty brand. This vision can be seen in the brand’s ongoing project Girlcult Moodboard, which shares inspirational artworks and artists with brand followers.

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Marketing