Chinese New Year is here once again, with this year's festivities beginning on February 16th. As China's importance in the luxury market continues to grow apace, international retailers and brands are celebrating the 15-day festival with special store openings, events and collections.
Timed shortly before the New Year, Dover Street Market has opened its first Chinese store in Beijing. The multi-brand concept store, conceived by Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons, opened in the city's Chaoyang district on February 3rd, teased across all social media and a new DSM Beijing Instagram page.
The new store features installations from Comme des Garçons and Roberts Wood SS'18 collections. Full of graffiti wall art and large sculptures, the retail floor also includes select pieces from Russian menswear talent Gosha Rubchinskiy, LVMH prize winner Marine Serre and young designer Xiao Li.
For the lunar event, DSM stores worldwide also dropped a ‘Year of the Dog’ themed capsule collection. The retailer teamed up with an extensive list of brands including NikeLab, Undercover, Stussy, Vans and Expert Horror among others, to produce tees with printed dog motifs.
Prada also debuted its new pop-up bar concept for Chinese New Year called Prada Spirit. The retail space will launch for one month at Galaxy Mall in Macau on January 20th. The luxurious red velvet café will offer an exclusive menu of leather goods products. The concept bar will further travel to major Asian cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Seoul and Singapore, as well as Canada’s heritage fashion retailer, Holt Renfrew.
In New York, department stores celebrate the new 'Year of the Dog' with references to red and gold in their window displays, symbolising good fortune, prosperity and joy. The all-red Bloomingdale's windows are decorated with Chinese greetings; mannequins wear satin red gowns and traditional sky lanterns hang in the background. Meanwhile, Saks Fifth Avenue features gold and red ready-to-wear selections from Stella McCartney, Valentino, Gucci and Prada in its flagship store windows.
Parisian grand magasin, Galeries Lafayette, collaborated with Chinese artist Song Xiewei to reinvent their window displays. Silk reconstructions of China’s river and mountain landscapes extend across the shop windows and the festivities continue inside with limited edition products, including luxury watches equipped with traditional Chinese calendars to celebrate the Year of the Dog.
Fashion labels are also acknowledging high-spending Chinese consumers by unveiling zodiac-themed capsule collections and special items.
Gucci pays homage to the new 'Year of the Dog' with a collection inspired by artist Helen Downie. The 63-piece special line features illustrations of two Boston Terriers, named Bosco and Orso, across all ready-to-wear and accessories.
Giorgio Armani has used Chinese social media WeChat and Weibo to launch a video of his all-red New Year collection featuring the dog zodiac sign. Chinese actress Xin Zhilei models the capsule collection wearing a red bulldog print sweater and matching cross bag. More accessories include soft leather wallets and elegant silk scarfs with red stylised dog prints.
Longchamp reached out to Chinese fashion blogger Tao Liang - better known by his online moniker, Mr. Bags - to design his first global accessories collection. The Chinese influencer re-envisioned Longchamp's classic Le Pliage Cuir line with appliqué dog paws and quirky collar tags on travel bags, totes and clutches.
Anna Sui and Valentino are among the fashion brands that have launched stylised red envelopes for their Chinese customers - this New Year tradition sees friends and family hand out red envelopes full of cash, for good luck and prosperity.