THE END OF YEAR ISSUE
2o21’s best collab hits in China and beyond.
2o21’s best collab hits in China and beyond.
We’ve seen an avalanche of collaborations this year, which has made gaining consumer attention a tough task. Those that have broken through the noise are big player clashes, artists invited to design collections, and novelty viral moments which are more of a marketing ploy than direct consumption driver. Can distributing too many make your own brand identity fade or does it only enhance it? How can you stand out amid an overflow of collabs? In our special end of year issue, we look into those that did in 2021.
As we look forward to 2022, please send all your collab news and tips to: firstname.lastname@example.org and we wish you all a healthy, happy new year.
—Sadie Bargeron, Brand Editor
*All social-listening data featured in this newsletter is in partnership with social media intelligence platform Digimind.
Analysis of the best China-based drops that this year brought us.
Date: May + September 2021
Collab bio: May saw Coach announce its official partnership with Chinese e-commerce leader POIZON – known for its active community – releasing unique handbags, leather goods, and accessories with the platform. Then later in September, the American luxury label dropped FW21 bags there, prior to the official wider-China release date.
Date: July 2021
Collab bio: Millennial Chinese jewelry brand Yvmin went viral around the world for creating a unique fine jewelry prosthesis for the Chinese model Xiao Yang as part of an “art project.”
Impact: Following the drop, the eight-year-old brand saw a significant uptick in social engagement, compared to its usual level, as shown in the graph below. The collaboration attained a 5m estimated reach, with 40k accounts talking about it worldwide and 70k mentions [data measured across 86 countries].
Date: May 2021
Collab bio: The CLOT x Nike Air Max 1 “Kiss of Death” was the first collaboration between both brands in 2006, priced at $150 USD; it has since been sold for over $1,000 USD on resale sites. In March 2021, Nike dropped a rerelease of the sought-after sneaker, followed by a May 2021 CHA pair (pictured above) inspired by the different colors of Chinese tea, based on an unreleased sample back in 2006.
Impact: The level of likes in comparison to the amount posted about this collaboration emphasizes just how much people loved the drop in China — despite there being just 28k organic mentions, there was a reach of 92 million.
Jing Daily Features Director, Gemma Williams, discussed the five best collaborative releases in China throughout 2021 in her latest column. The trends to watch? Beauty colliding with high fashion, NFT collabs, lifestyle brands tapping key opinion leaders (KOLs), E-sports and blind boxes.
Check out the Chinese Designer Collabs Column here.
Our selection of collaborations that had the world watching this year.
Date: November 2021
Collab bio: Famous for routinely dropping weird and wonderful collaborations, Supreme did it again by releasing a surprise collection with Tiffany & Co.
Impact: As found in the latest Insights Report by Jing Daily, The Drop: Understanding Successful Brand Collaborations, Supreme x Tiffany garnered meteoric engagement across global social platforms, despite not having an active pre-release period, as pictured below. Unlike Crocs x Salehe Bembury and Yeezy x Gap, there were zero teasers or “leaked” photos and no phased release, yet the clash of unsuspected names was enough to build the highest peak of mentions, in comparison.
Date: November 2021
Collab bios: Unveiled in April for Gucci’s 100th anniversary Aria Collection, The Hacker Project with Balenciaga involved the two Kering labels joining forces and merging their heritage signatures. Then, as if by imitation, in September came Capri Holding’s Versace and LVMH’s Fendi’s turn to collide, with The Swap for Pre-Fall 2022, which saw creative directors Donatella Versace and Kim Jones “swap” roles to design 25 looks.
Is this the stuff of Chinese Gen Z dreams? Read the Jing Daily take here.
Collab bio: “This year, Xbox celebrated its 20th anniversary and the brand marked the occasion with a wide range of collaborations and merch,” said Jesse Einhorn, Senior Economist at StockX. “None were as boundary-breaking as the Xbox Series X Gucci Edition. The entire shell of the console is laser engraved with the Gucci monogram, the Xbox controllers feature Gucci’s signature blue and red stripe, and everything comes in a Gucci trunk case that features the brand’s tan monogram print.”
“Limited to 100 units globally, the Gucci-branded Xbox Series X is trading on StockX for over $20,000 USD on average, which is more than 100 percent higher than its original price tag ($10,000 USD) and more than 40x the retail price — and 30x the resale price — of a standard Xbox Series X.”
“Since its release on November 17 2021, StockX has facilitated several trades of this product, despite the extremely limited production quantity. This release exemplifies the convergence of fashion and gaming, and points to a broader trend that we’re seeing, which is the rise of cross-category collaborations.”
Measuring the year’s trending partnerships via consumer behavior and global conversation.
These luxury NFT drops prove 2021 was the year fashion fully embraced the metaverse.
One of the first NFT drops to go viral, the RTFKT x FEWOCiOUS virtual sneaker and merch collaboration in March 2021 fetched $3.1million USD in the space of seven minutes. We had the pleasure of interviewing the talented FEWOCiOUS, you can read it here.
On September, 77 Karl Lagerfeld figurines hit digital fashion marketplace, The Dematerialised, for 77 eurors (Karl’s lucky number), followed by 77 of a second Chrome-finish version priced at 177 euros. Since then, the brand’s released four editions, with the latest being a collaboration with London street artist Endless — the KL7xEndless pieces were sold at 777 euros to just seven lucky collectors.
In collaboration with Turkish artist Refik Anadol, Bulgari opened a public installation in Milan called Serpenti Metamorphosis throughout October. The digital art display is set to tour various other cities before its titular digital work is minted as a NFT. Read more here.
October saw Jimmy Choo creative director Sandra Choi collaborate with NYC artist Eric Haze and iconic creator Poggy on a capsule collection, accompanied by their first NFT endeavour. Consumers could win four of the Love Pumps in 8,888 mystery boxes sold on cryptocurrency exchange platform, Binance.
Celebrity-loved luxury gym Dogpound joined Balmain to release $1,095 USD sneakers on December 8, with the brands also hosting an NFT auction to win a signed physical pair. It’s the third time the French fashion house has released NFTs, following on from the 10th annniversary “Flame Dress” for Vogue Singapore, sold on Binance.
Luxeto is the first native luxury brand to enter the metaverse with a debut collaboration launching on December 24, in partnership with early NFT maker CryptoPunk. They’re releasing 10,000 unique punk sneaker NFTs which come with physical sneakers, once the NFTs are redeemed.
Interested in featuring your brand collaborations and drops in our newsletter? Reach out to us at email@example.com
Introducing The Drop: Understanding Successful Brand Collaborations.
As part of the Insight Report series, Jing’s Collabs & Drops has delved into the distribution strategies of collaborations in China and the rest of the world, with a report encompassing where, when, and how they are launched. You can buy The Drop: Understanding Successful Brand Collaborations here.
Report Preview: The Early Access Strategies of Collabs in China
China-based researcher and co-author, Zihao Liu, shared a preview of the report on Jing Daily. “Our research found that beauty brands and luxury fashion labels tend to adopt different early access tactics in China. It is common for the former to give products to various KOLs before a launch, allowing them to review and demonstrate the use of the product before it goes on sale. By comparison, big fashion names rely far less on private influencers to generate consumer anticipation in China. Instead, they tend to grant early access to their brand ambassadors or A-list celebrities.” Read the full article here.
All social media data is sourced from social listening tool Digimind.