The world lost one of the best collaborators of all time over the weekend. Virgil Abloh refreshed the art and fashion worlds with community spirit, always portraying a deep understanding of how powerful people are when they come together.
“‘Two heads are better than one’ is something I firmly believe in. Collaboration is what happens with everyone in my offices and I believe in extending that outwards. I look for someone that has an authentic voice that, together, we could make something we couldn’t make individually.” —Virgil Abloh, Abloh-isms [Princeton University Press].
—Sadie Bargeron, Brand Editor
*All social-listening data featured in this newsletter is in partnership with social media intelligence platform Digimind.
CHINA COLLAB SPOTLIGHT
A 360-degree study on one of the latest China-based collaboration campaigns
THE UGG X FENG CHEN WANG LOVE STORY
UGG x FENG CHEN WANG
Launched exclusively to China through UGG’s WeChat store on November 15, followed by a global launch on November 22.
For AW21, UGG has released a second capsule with London-based Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang. The footwear can be worn as both a boot and sandle, inspired by Ying and Yang.
On Weibo, the hashtag #UGG x Feng Chen Wang# has been read almost 4million times and there have been 29k discussions around it, which was down to the popularity of UGG rather than awareness of Feng Chen Wang.
KOLs contributed to mentions, with popular actress Song Yanfei 宋妍霏, idol Yamy, and actress Zhou Dongyu 周冬雨 posting photos wearing the products.
In general, the multidimensional design attracted the most compliments, with consumers saying it’s playful, fun, cool, unique and attention-grabbing.
Feng Chen Wang told Jing Collabs and Drops about her strategy toward collaborations with larger, more established brands, having previously also worked with Converse: “For my own design, I prefer to draw inspiration from personal stories and talk with the community to reflect more diversification. With collaborations, I dig deep into the history of the brand to research how our partnership aligns, to find the unique points that connect us.” The designer continued to explain how two different kinds of DNA can spark new, innovative thoughts and more memorable products.
GLOBAL COLLAB SPOTLIGHT
Analysis of a recent release that has sparked global conversations
SACAI AND NIKE KNOW X MARKS THE SPOT
KAWS X SACAI X NIKE
DATE: The “Neptune Blue” and “Team Red” colorways released exclusively on Sacai’s site and kawsone.com on November 26, with a wider launch on other platforms, such as Nike’s SNKRS, on November 27. The “Reed” and “Purple Dusk” pairs will debut on December 9, followed by other retailers on December 10.
First previewed back in March, KAWS and Sacai have teamed up to launch their Blazer Low in two more styles of “Neptune Blue” and “Team Red.”
As consumers have been waiting since March to hear more about the release, when KAWS and Sacai finally posted the four colorways of the collab with the release date, the comment sections had a buzz of relief.
The general consensus online is that people like the collaboration, but it’s not a special hit for resellers which might be because it’s not impossible to attain, made available on two of the brands’ websites instantly, and via raffle on other platforms.
According to Lyst, the launch of a KAWS x Sacai x Nike blazer, resulted in a 140 percent jump in searches for Nike Blazers in general, while “Nike x Sacai,” “KAWS” and “KAWS x Sacai Nike shoes” were among the most used key terms.
Associate at creative agency AndArt Agency, Sabina Apostoloff said that the collaboration signals a continued demand for the Brooklyn-based artist’s signature motifs. “KAWS has been dropping sneaker collabs since 2002, and there still appears to be a vast demand for his designs; previously released KAWS x Nike sneakers have sold out within minutes, and their resale values often rocketed to over 500 percent of the original price. Since KAWS and Sacai have both independently teamed up with Nike before, the three-way powerhouse collaboration seems like a natural progression.”
VIRAL COLLABS: BY THE NUMBERS
Measuring the latest trending partnerships via consumer behavior and global conversation
On A Bathing Ape’s (BAPE) official Instagram, the most-liked comment about the new Vans x BAPE drop is: “this would have gone hard in 2016.” Some people enjoyed the coming together of two iconic streetwear brands, but others critiqued the designs as lazy. Weirdly, Vans didn’t post about it on their account at all on November 29, the day of release.
The majority who have discussed Supreme x Skittles online seem to love it, unsurprised by the randomness because of the skate-brand’s history of partnerships. Some called it the “best collab yet”, while others are annoyed that it is only being sold in the U.S.
In comparison to the Peleton collaboration, the upcoming Ivy Park x adidas collaboration has received more positive feedback on social media. Set to launch in December, it has already picked up online momentum due to teasers on Ivy Park and adidas Instagram accounts. In the annual Year in Fashion index, Lyst reported their previous collab to be the most-searched-for of 2021.
JING DAILY’S MODERN COLLECTIBLES
In this series, we invite influential voices to discuss noteworthy collaborations: modern collectibles
Art toy and contemporary art collector James Li is the founder of CHOCO1ATE Artspace in Beijing, a member of the UCCA International circle and founder of street-fashion media group SIZE MEDIA.
MODERN COLLECTIBLE COLLAB:
BE@RBRICK Jinx 100% & 400%
As League of Legends enters its second decade and the TV animation League of Legends: Battle of Two Cities is released, Riot Games looked to the production level of international movies and rich, detailed content. The Battle of Two Cities presents the most original League of Legends city-state story. As the main character in the series, Jinx’s instantly-recognizable appearance combined with the rich story setting behind the characters was really positively received. On this occasion, Riot Games and BE@RBRICK launched the joint BE@RBRICK Jinx 100% & 400%, which combines the head IP of the art-toy world with the super-popular characters in the esports world, and the global, ultra-limited release has made it highly exclusively and sought after.
The collaboration between Riot Games and BE@RBRICK is their first esports project and the first esports BE@RBRICK collaboration. The launch of this product coincided with the League of Legends global finals. China’s Edward Gaming (EDG) team has won the trophy three years in a row; this has made Chinese esports fans, who aren’t art collectors, join the fan frenzy making this product really popular, surpassing the same type of products during the same period.
As the official offline sales partner of this product, we also contributed a lot to the sales performance. We invited the chief sharing officer of CHOCO1ATE and well-known female artist Lin Yun to shoot a promotional video with our special display stand. The powerful impact of this collaboration is bound to set off some trends in esports culture and the art in the market.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Collabs and Drops is honored to feature exclusive interviews on the latest collaborations.
THE DALMORE TURNS TO BLOCKBAR FOR FIRST NFT
We can exclusively announce that Blockbar.com is launching The Dalmore Decades No.4 Collection via non-fungible token (NFT) on December 7 at 10am EST, by raffle. It’ll retail at USD$137,700 and can be purchased via Ethereum (ETH) or credit card. The news follows Blockbar 1’s collaboration with premium whisky brand Glenfiddich in October of this year, foreshadowing how the luxury consumer goods market can benefit from NFTs.
Co-founder of BlockBar 1 Dov Falic explained the appeal to Jing Collabs and Drops, “The biggest drivers for luxury spirits brands are transparency and reaching a new audience of consumers. For blockbar.com, using NFTs to authenticate rare wines and spirits attached to a physical bottle allows us to offer customers complete transparency of products that lead straight back to the brand owners. We also act as the catalyst for luxury spirits brands, such as Glenfiddich, Penfolds and The Dalmore, to reach a new audience of younger, more digital savvy crypto collectors — an audience the brands wouldn’t reach through the traditional route to market.”
COPERNI BAGS MAISIE WILLIAMS FOR FIRST COLLAB
For the first time since relaunching three years ago, Parisian womenswear label Coperni has released a co-branded capsule. And it’s with mega-KOL and Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. Starting off strong on the partnership-front, the brand told Jing Collabs & Drops how they plan on navigating co-branded lines, mentioning an upcoming project with London-based jewelry brand Alan Crocetti and a well- known Asian sunglasses company.
CHINA C&D COLUMN: C-BEAUTY SINGLES’ DAY
For the China Collabs & Drops Column of November, Jing Daily features director Gemma Williams looked into the beauty collabs of Singles’ Day 2021. Local beauty disruptor Perfect Diary’s sales reached 291 million yuan in sales, which was a steep drop from the previous Double 11’s high of 602 million yuan. Another hot contender in the C-Beauty sector, Guochao brand Florasis, also saw sales dive — last year they topped 519 million yuan but this year fell off to 307. This downspell has forced local C-Beauty brands to ideate inventive new ways to capture young consumers.
ON OUR RADAR
Jing Daily’s collabs-to-watch this month
SWAROVSKI X NIKE
The two brands have been working on products together for five years. The latest Swarovski x Nike crystal-covered Air Force one will be released exclusively via the SNKRS app on December 1.
SHANTELL MARTIN X B&B ITALIA
In celebration of the Cameleonda by Mario Bellini, Shantell Martin has joined B&B Italia, creating an “immersive artwork” in the B&B Italia flagship store in Miami. It will run from December 2 to January 3.
KAPPA X PALACE
For the first time, Italian sportswear brand Kappa has joined Palace for a FW21 capsule collection, set to come out on December 3 in the U.S. and UK, and December 4 on WeChat. It’s a nostalgic concotion of 90s British football culture and Kappa’s Italian archive.
CROCS X SALEHE BEMBURY
One of the most-hyped collabs of 2021, the Salehe Bembury x Crocs have finally been given a release date of December 14 and 15 via a raffle on the brand’s official website.
KIDROBOT X METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART
To commemorate the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 150th anniversary, it is releasing a second line of Dunnys in partnership with art and collectibles organization Kidobot. They’re available to pre-order at KidRobot.com for a limited time, with estimated shipping for Q4 of 2022.
Interested in featuring your brand collaborations and drops in our newsletter? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
JING’S COLLABS CATCH UP
Check out the Jing Group’s latest coverage on collaborations in China’s luxury industry
POP MART’S KEITH HARING EDITION SIGNALS ITS GLOBAL ART IP AMBITIONS
“Keith Haring is one of the most famous pop artists globally,” POP MART tells Jing Culture & Commerce via email. “In addition to selling in China, POP MART hopes to reach more overseas consumers through this collaboration.”
SHOULD BRANDS DISTANCE THEMSELVES FROM “CONTROVERSIAL” CELEBRITIES?
Aside from extreme cases like Kris Wu and Zhang Zhehan, brands could face a backlash if they are not loyal to their ambassadors.
CAN DEJAWOO CHANGE THE LUXURY RESALE GAME IN CHINA?
Recently, dejaWOOO, a fashion resale aggregator that makes it easier for Chinese fashion consumers to search for, discover and purchase pre-owned luxury and designer fashion worldwide, officially launched after receiving its first pre-seed investment.
All social media data is sourced from social listening tool Digimind.