Luxury and fashion may not feel the urge to put much time or resources towards Western Valentine’s Day in China, and this thought is partially correct. Juggling between Chinese New Year and the Beijing Winter Olympics game, Valentine’s Day on February 14 is hardly this season’s most eye-catching event. And with China celebrating three different Valentine’s Days (the other two are 520 Day and Qixi Festival), this V-day is less Chinese than the rest.
However, these concerns shouldn’t stop brands from localizing V-day capsules and converting them into another sales peak. China’s millennials born after 1990 and Gen Zers born after 1995 are the country’s most frequent romantic gift-shoppers, according to data from the microcredit app Huabei. Always hunting for unique gifts to enhance their “sense of ritual (仪式感)” in life, young Chinese consumers get excited about every possible gifting occasion. Therefore, failing to impress them on Valentine’s Day could become a lost opportunity for brands.
As China’s most frequent romantic gift-shoppers, post-1990 millennials & post-1995 Gen Zers are eager to shop for gifts as long as they find the right products to enhance their “sense of ritual” in relationships.
This year, most of the luxury’s big names see the V-Day capsule as a post-CNY shopping pit stop for Chinese consumers after the big holiday season. As a result, most have tailored their global V-Day campaigns to China by integrating local celebrity videos without localizing product offers or SKUs. In comparison, some C-beauty and K-beauty labels have taken their V-day games to the next level by building destination products.
Here, we’ve handpicked the six most-talked-about Valentine’s Day capsules in the Chinese fashion community.
Valentino’s V-Day strategy is all about harnessing the power of the idol economy in Gen-Z China. As a local twist of the brand’s global Locò bag offering, Valentino dropped a WeChat e-commerce campaign that features INTO1, a popular Chinese-Japanese-Thai boy group. Then, to create an even more “intimate” appeal with this boy group’s massive fanbase, the brand published a mini-film featuring the 11 members and their shooting experience with the Locò bag.
The Italian Maison’s V-Day Love Story collection has a quirky charm that made this capsule’s love-lettered pieces feel playful rather than cheesy, in typical Gucci fashion. In collaboration with the Los Angeles-based visual artist Ariana Papademetropoulos, the campaign features origami-shaped purses to GG Supreme-emblazoned wallets, scarves, and sneakers.
In addition to the capsule, the brand’s latest #GucciLinkToLove campaign features the Chinese super-idol Xiao Zhan in stackable, gender-neutral jewelry.
Balenciaga’s V-day capsule, which includes key streetwear pieces like tie-dyed shirts, chunky sneakers, and the brand’s hottest Hourglass bags in revamped pink versions, is a deliberate nod to youth culture. A far cry from the hyper-feminine, sweetheart aesthetic that used to define V-Day fashion capsules, this Balenciaga drop is a must-have for China’s rebel fashionistas.
Intricate and dreamy, Loewe’s Love is in the Air V-day capsule is a red iteration of the brand’s signature anagram print. With a range of bags, bucket hats, and leather accessories in coordinated Valentine’s Day hues, this capsule delivers a reassuring answer to fans obsessed with the brand’s consistent aesthetic.
Inspired by the tradition of love letters, C-beauty brand Perfect Diary just dropped a V-Day gift kit in the shape of stacked envelopes. In China’s traditional love culture, showing one’s feelings through a handwritten letter is an important love-declaration moment. With this kit, gift recipients will go through layers of retro-design envelopes to unwrap the product, just as if they’re unfolding love letters from their teenage days.
To make the experience even more heartfelt, Perfect Diary integrated an interactive feature that lets the sender record a voice message for the recipient, who can listen by scanning the QR code on the love letter.
Well-versed in Chinese Gen-Z language trends, the K-beauty label 3CE launched a V-Day capsule in collaboration with the designer toy brand ROBBi. With the designer collectible market quickly rising in China, more fashion and beauty consumers have seen shopping as a chance to “collect,” leading the brand to sell lipstick along with a limited-edition toy and a facial powder — all wrapped in a designer-illustrated cover.