Qixi Festival (七夕 in Chinese), or Chinese Valentine’s Day No. XXX, falls on August 14 this year. And global luxury brands have not skipped a beat in their support of compulsive consumerism. Tapping into the lust for luxury that still roams China’s market, they launched capsule collections boasting modern takes on the Qixi folklore, including new Gen Z faces.
Qixi Festival 2021 is here. And things are getting hot ‘n heavy in the red and romance department (store).
Qixi, aka Double-Seventh as it is celebrated on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, marks the annual meeting between the mythological figures of the mortal Cowherd (Niulang| 牛郎) and the goddess Weaver Girl (Zhinv| 织女) who were deemed an unfit couple by the heavenly powers. At Temper, we usually do not venture out into the business of luxury in China, we leave that to the bosses over at Jing Daily, but we do choose to make the annual exception.
In the face of fortune, many luxury fashion brands lean into any celebratory occasion China has to offer with exclusive limited-edition campaigns. Weaving their own Roaring Twenties 2.0 interpretations into the myth and adding new names to appear with their token brand ambassadors, labels want to entice China’s younger generations into taking a bite out of the luxury game.
GUCCI – Qixi, You and Me
Gucci Les Pommes features a selection of ready-to-wear and accessories embellished with a playful and romantic apple-and-heart motif in celebration of the Qixi Festival. The story of the forbidden between Niulang and Zhinv i paralleled by the label in a one-minute video, a group of characters starring singer, member of WayV and SuperM’s Lucas Huang and Chinese supermodel Ju Xiaowen are filmed wearing Gucci Les Pommes pieces, as they walk, lost in their own worlds.
The video is filmed using a split-screen, with each of the characters occupying one side of the divide. But as they progress, it becomes clear that their respective backgrounds are getting similar, and eventually, the split-screen disappears to reveal them in the same shot. Huang contributed huge social traffic and sales to the campaign, thanks to his cult social following among young local girls.
Moreover, the house collaborated with Tmall Super Brand Day to launch exclusive products, including a Padlock handbag and an iPhone 12 Pro phone case, on its Tmall flagship store.
The collection is available at Gucci Paragon.
PRADA – Qixi Festival Goes Interactive
For the traditional Qixi Festival, Prada’s latest campaign explores the concept of gifts through an original reworking of the Qixi legend. The house has created a special selection of items featuring garments and accessories bedecked with crystals to evoke the arrival of a bright new season. Note a bold new version of the iconic Prada Cleo, decked out with small gemstones, a crystal-adorned pale-pink top and dress, and more star-studded options.
Chinese music artist Cai Xukun again appears in Prada’s Qixi festival campaign to promote items for lovers in China to showcase their affection to one another during one of the country’s best-known Valentine’s Days on August 14. In addition to starring in the campaign’s short film, brand ambassador Kun created the song You Know What I Want especially for the campaign that served as the film’s soundtrack. To maximize social engagement, the campaign came with an interactive challenge on Douyin (the OG Chinese TikTok), inviting users to co-create short videos using the Prada Cleo bag.
The collection is available at Prada.com, in selected Prada boutiques, via Prada’s Wechat Mini Program pop-up store and at Prada’s flagship store on Tmall.
MIU MIU – Qixi Goes Crystal and Cici
Themed Personal Obsession, Miu’s take on the holiday comes with an edit that features embroidered denim garments with crystals, a pink tweed jacket and trouser set à la Elle Woods, a black-and-white cardigan for an elegant look, and accessories to boot. Crystal hair clips, pendant earrings, and a Matelassé bag adorned with mother-of-pearl.
Thanks to Chinese model Cici Xiang’s presentation, the campaign images were a perfect interpretation of Miu Miu girls. Though Xiang is not a typical idol, her loyal social followers drove nearly 28 million views for the campaign hashtag #MiuMiu2021Qixi on Sina Weibo in little over one week.
The collection is available at select Miu Miu locations and online.
DIOR – Check and Mate
Dioramour, how j’adore. See what we did there?
Inspired by the world of fairytales, the Dioramour Chinese Valentine’s Day capsule designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates loved ones in a sophisticated take on black, white, and red. Iconic house designs such as the Dior Book Tote and Dior Addict sneakers have been adorned with hearts, the D-Chess check print, and D-Royaume d’Amour motif. Staples to the maison like the Lady Dior and Dior Caro bag also received an update in an adorable heart-shaped cannage style.
Six famous female faces, including Yang Caiyu, Wang Ziwen, Meng Meiqi, Zhang Ruonan, Lu Jingshan, and Yuan Bingyan, present the collection.
In addition to Dioramour, the label also released some Dior + Kenny Scharf limited-edition gear for men, teaming up with five Gen-Z male up and comers, including actor Rong Zishan and singer Jeffery Dong.
FENDI – Qixi Festival Karligraphy
For the special occasion, the Fendi accessories are dressed to the nines in red and white celebratory colors. A Mini Peekaboo features the Karligraphy-hearted pattern, whilst a cheerful red Mini Sunshine Shopper looks vibrant and elegant with white cream handles. The details continue as fashion jewelry pieces embellished with a red crystal version of the Karligraphy logo are also decorated with red hearts for a final precious and refined touch.
Actor and Fendi bran ambassador Xu Kai (and Xinjiang-born actress Guli Nazha, not seen here) jointly interpret the Fendi 2021 Chinese Valentine’s Day limited series, presenting romance in the name of love and label.
The Fendi Chinese Valentine’s Day Capsule Collection is available in selected Fendi boutiques.
BALENCIAGA – QIXI FESTIVAL 2020 BURN- SLASH MELT-DOWN
Now, many a luxury brand hosting a (holiday) campaign in China has not come out unscathed (here’s looking at you, Dolce&Gabbana), To mark Qixi 2020 on August 25, Balenciaga released four limited-edition Hourglass handbags on the brand’s Tmall online store. In its campaign picture, a male model hands a red Hourglass handbag with Chinese characters that read “He Loves Me” written on the flap to a female model, who looks at the present in awe. The two are standing before a waterfall backdrop that’s flanked by red roses and hearts.
The campaign’s four bags, which come in red, black, pink and white with specially-designed graffiti fonts, exemplified the Too Cool (土酷) style favored by certain Gen Zers but seen by some people as offensive. The bags mimic styles preferred by China’s rural population and have been labeled “tasteless” or even “insulting of Chinese culture” by many netizens while some simply dismiss them as “ugly.”
Swiftly, hashtag #BalenciagaChineseValentineCampaignTasteless (#巴黎世家七夕广告 土) had garnered over 210,000 discussions and 170 million views on Weibo, and the topic #BalenciagaInsultsChina (#巴黎世家辱华) had over 15 million views and more than 6,000 discussions.
And this year’s winner is…
FEATURED IMAGE: by Marcus Byrne on Unsplash
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