It’s no secret that working with fashion influencers in China — when done correctly — can be a profitable venture. For example, Tod’s, the prestigious retailer of Italian-made leather shoes, handbags, and accessories, is currently reaping the benefits of one such a collaboration.
On June 26, the brand unveiled its 2019 Summer limited edition “Unicorn D Styling” bag (roughly priced at $2,175) and designed in partnership with the Chinese handbag guru, Mr. Bags (包先生), marking the third collaboration between the two parties. Since the launch, Mr. Bags’ online store and Tod’s mainland boutiques sold out — some 320 bags — garnering approximately $696,000 (4.77 million RMB). The impressive sales numbers doubled the record of Mr. Bags previous collaboration with Montblanc last summer.
The synergy of Tod’s and Mr. Bags maximized the power of the blogger’s global influence. (Mr. Bags has around 5.3 million followers on Weibo and more than 950,000 fans on WeChat nowadays.) The new bag was based on Tod’s classic “D Styling” handbag that was named after Princess Diana. The style, which made a comeback last season, is available in a variety of textures and colors. Mr. Bags gave it a new color — Airy Blue (雾霾蓝) — which is one of the chicest colors among Chinese consumers right now. Plus, he added a cute unicorn pendant, which he also designed.
The collaboration, once again, designated WeChat’s Mini Program as the primary sales venue. However, compared with last year’s collaboration with Tod’s, where Mr. Bag’s exclusively pushed out products via his “Baoshop” Mini Program three days before Tod’s own Mini Program, with this release the bag was made available the same time on both platforms.
In terms of pre-promotion sales, Mr. Bags first made an announcement via a 24-second video on WeChat, on June 18. The video has been viewed 40,000 times as of this publication. The blogger then pushed a message notification on June 25 to remind his fans of the upcoming sale, with an official editorial launch the day after. In addition, Tod’s also partnered with a number of Chinese celebrities, including Ouyang Nana (欧阳娜娜), Jiang Suying (江疏影), and Li Qin (李沁) to pose with the Unicorn D Styling bags a few weeks before the sales.
The vast success of this collaboration between Tod’s and Mr. Bags again demonstrates the power of China’s social commerce, and the power that top-notch influencers have in driving brand engagement and sales. And given the lucrative results, this collaboration is almost certain to continue for some time.