From the editor

If Moncler hadn’t already been crowned king of collaborative innovation, then it sure has now. Presented at Olympia London in a star-packed LFW event on February 20, the puffer jacket trailblazer presented collaborative Genius Fall 2023 projects with Alicia Keys, Palm Angels, Rick Owens, Mercedes-Benz, Pharrell Williams, Salehe Bembury, Jay Z’s Roc Nation, and more. It has proven the sculptural possibilities of the puffer, and that a dazzling brand identity can morph into any format.

This week, we zero in on Moncler x Mercedes-Benz, debuted at the London exhibition, as well as other London hits such as Mowalola x Timberland and the finale of Raf Simons x Fred Perry. And in China, we look at how smaller releases can still achieve impactful long-term results.

Got a collab tip? Send the news to collabs@jingdaily.com. For now, that’s it from the industry’s only newsletter providing a lowdown on the most exciting co-branded releases every week. Thank you for reading.

Got a collab tip? Send the news to collabs@jingdaily.com. For now, that’s it from the industry’s only newsletter providing a lowdown on the most exciting co-branded releases every week. Thank you for reading.  —Sadie Bargeron, Collabs & Drops Editor

[Left clockwise] Raf Simons x Fred Perry, Moncler x Mercedes-Benz, and Mowalola x Timberland
[Left clockwise] Raf Simons x Fred Perry, Moncler x Mercedes-Benz, and Mowalola x Timberland


Analysis of three hot global releases…

RAF SIMONS X FRED PERRY —Clothing collection, February 21

THE VERDICT: With the Belgian fashion designer’s eponymous label closing, this marks the last ever Raf Simons x Fred Perry collection. The partnership started in 2008, and has since been recognized for celebrating niche pockets of British style. Shot by British photographer Ewen Spencer, the campaign features the performance of British punk band Kid Kapichi, with all four members wearing pieces from the collection. The artists have just 187,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, reflecting their place in UK subculture. The collection’s graphics are all taken from American and British record covers from the late 1970s. It’s difficult to measure the success of such a collaboration, but the duration of time these two have been teaming up suggests strong sales. The shared consumer interests of both brands makes it a reliable, durable pairing that others can learn from.

MOWALOLA X TIMBERLAND — Boots, February 18

THE VERDICT: In comparison to the Mowalola x Bratz and New Balance releases, the Timberlands haven’t yet garnered as many mentions across global social media. That said, American rapper Rico Nasty walking in the show wearing said Timberlands did attract some attention — the artist posted a TikTok which is currently at 23,500 views, as well as an Instagram post to her 1.9 million followers. Back to the actual footwear: This could be Timberland’s chance to be resurrected, seeing as Mowalola has such a cult fanbase. The young Nigerian designer has become a tastemaker among Generation Z. In addition to having such a distinct aesthetic, the creative director has a fanbase that consists of trendsetters across the arts, which is crucial for newer brands to grow.

MONCLER X MERCEDES-BENZ — Project Mondo Art Piece, February 2023

THE VERDICT: Mercedes-Benz’s G-Class vehicle has received a Moncler makeover, kitted out in a puffer-inspired roof and wheels. The luxury car brand extends beyond its core offering to build cultural capital and maintain esteem as an artistic innovator. Unveiled at the star-studded London event on February 20, the “sculpture on wheels” became a main feature, among other collaborative installations by the likes of Rick Owens and Palm Angels. Assisted by the performances of Alicia Keys and Little Simz at the event — which was also frequented by A-listers like Justin Bieber, Pharrell Williams, and Naomi Campbell — the art piece has gone viral. The official tweet by Moncler has 45,700 impressions. Over on Mercedes-Benz USA’s account, impressions reached 47,000 on one post. On Weibo, the hashtag has been read by 37,000 netizens on the day of writing this alone. Of course, it’s expected that the tie-up would be discussed across all major publications, given that Mercedes-Benz has 36.6 million followers on Instagram and Moncler has 5.2 million. The reach is insane, and the piece is so well executed. An exemplary collab.


Now for our China spotlights…

[Left to right] Yvmin x Shushu/Tong, A.Society x Plants Of Gods, and Wow!Dragon x Lucas Beaufort
[Left to right] Yvmin x Shushu/Tong, A.Society x Plants Of Gods, and Wow!Dragon x Lucas Beaufort

A.SOCIETY X PLANTS OF GODS — Plant pots, December 10/Pop-Up February 20

Verdict: Established in 2018, eyewear brand A.Society has discovered an interesting consumer overlap with Hong Kong’s first root plant brand Plants of Gods (POG). As a stylish garden store that sells root plants, cactus, and succulents imported from Madagascar, POG is made for the social media generation. In the same way, Gen Z is one of A.Society’s core consumer bases. The eyewear brand appears to have a stronger presence beyond China, though. There are just 1,096 views of A.Society’s hashtag on Xiaohongshu, in comparison to its 13,400 followers on Instagram, which is above average for a new era sunglasses brand. POG benefits from A.Society’s fashion positioning as well as its pop-up in Hong Kong’s Harbour City, which is currently promoting this collaboration. At the same time, A.Society is able to explore new product categories in a way that is consistent with its brand identity.

YVMIN X SHUSHU/TONG — Jewelry, Spring 2023

Verdict: Artistic local jewelry brand Yvmin helped accessorize Shushu/Tong’s “Pretty Woman” Spring 2023 collection that was showcased at Shanghai Fashion Week. The two names are becoming frequent collaborators and have previously launched a collection together, sold internationally via luxury multi-brand retailer Ssense. Out of the growing list of independent Chinese designers who have a presence in London, Shushu/Tong is one that has managed to attain a fan base across the mainland, too.
Shushu/Tong is regularly featured in outfit posts across Xiaohongshu, with some gaining thousands of likes, boosted by pictures of Blackpink’s Jisoo wearing its pieces. Currently, its official hashtag on Xiaohongshu has 4 million views, and Yvmin’s has 2.5 million views. The independent jewelry brand is similarly benefitting from its localization strategy, as it has worked with Beijing’s Marrknull, the brand of Tim Shi and Mark Wang. As a “conceptual” jewelry brand, Yvmin designs translate well into fashion collections.

WOW!DRAGON X Lucas Beaufort — February 16

Verdict: This marks artist Lucas Beaufort’s first ever art toy collaboration, cleverly venturing into the realm of collectibles. Sold exclusively via Lepop’s official platforms, the dragon figurines illustrate how artists can connect to the local market via toy collaborations. Seeing as this project lasts one month, the pieces are covetable, and collectors are showing interest in them. Both players involved benefit from cultural capital; this is the first artist series for Wow!Dragon too, foreshadowing more to come.
In comparison to the Marsper art toy which was also released in February, there hasn’t been any noise surrounding this collaboration. On LePop’s official Weibo account, the post about Wow!Dragon x Beaufort has a modest 28 likes, whereas the Marsper Valentine’s Day post has 8,940 likes. As Beaufort’s reach is that of a micro influencer — having 84,000 followers on Instagram and 4,220 on Xiaohongshu — it is unsurprising that this drop has not gone viral. Across Xiaohongshu, small influencers have posted about the collaboration, though likes average around 100 with minor engagement.
The project is sure to contribute to Beaufort’s exposure in the mainland, but unlikely to truly lift him off. It’ll be interesting to see whether this is a stepping stone for Wow!Dragon to release a blockbuster artist collaboration. Watch this space.


Five collabs-to-watch of the week


    Named “Capitana,” the unisex clothing line prioritizes sustainability, crafted from 80 percent deadstock materials.


    The extensive collection of apparel, leather goods, footwear, and accessories combines two moguls of Italian craftsmanship and tradition.


    Catering to their streetwear consumers, Levi’s and Stussy have designed another denim capsule. Photographer and filmmaker Frank Lebon shot the campaign, which has been teased on Stussy’s social media accounts.


    Three new designs of the New Balance 574 silhouette have surfaced ahead of Spring 2023.


    The denim brand had its signatures reworked into Ancuta Sarca’s DIY footwear and accessories for her Fall 2023 collection, shown at LFW.


Jing’s latest collaboration news…

Hong Kong's Victoria Tang collaborates with Belgian contemporary bag brand Kipling. Photo: Kipling
Hong Kong’s Victoria Tang collaborates with Belgian contemporary bag brand Kipling. Photo: Kipling

Victoria Tang On Collaboration And Monkey Business 

To mark her debut handbag capsule with Antwerp’s playful household name Kipling, Collabs & Drops talks collaboration strategies with designer Victoria Tang.

What does the Kipling collaboration mean for the Victoria Tang brand?

“I’m delighted to be working with a global brand on a collaboration that speaks to aesthetics as well as functionality. For me as a designer, it’s always fun to create a collection and not just a one-off piece so I really enjoyed taking a deep dive into the lifestyle of the customer and how we could design something that matched with the brand’s ‘Live.Light’ mantra. Personally, I like to take the opportunity to work with new brands and teams, learn from them, exchange ideas and methods to showcase my own point of view through the product. For the Victoria Tang brand, it is important to showcase a side of me that anchors my roots deeper to find common ground with the brand that I’m collaborating with and also reach a larger audience. Hopefully the beginning of many more to come.”

What draws you to collaboration?

Collaboration is more than just putting two logos together. It’s about merging the two brand aesthetics and understanding brand values through a discovery journey. The creative process is what really draws me to collaboration. It has to spark creativity but also sincerity.

“Growing up in the ’90s, Kipling was a go-to brand for many students and travelers. I have fond memories of using Kipling products during that period of my life. And the monkey (which had different names) was as such a fun feature. So I was excited at the chance to collaborate on a project with a brand I was familiar with. After we started talking, the Kipling team were hands off in letting me explore my concept and inspirations, then hands on in bringing the product to life. It was a very smooth process — which is a great combination for a creative partner!”

Do you think we are seeing more brands connecting the West and the East through collaboration? Is this something that you are striving to do?

“I think we are in for some unpredictable times when it comes to collaboration between West and East, not just in brand collaborations but all sorts of cross-cultural exchanges. In my view, most people, especially the younger generations, are interested to see newness through collaboration and find ways to tell stories to a global audience that mixes elements from different cultures and ecosystems. But that aim comes with some dangers as social media can be a very unforgiving place and critics can be very quick to take down brands (or individuals) for crossing certain unwritten rules. Personally, I try to take inspiration from the world around me. As a Chinese born in London, grew up in Hong Kong who studied and lived in Tokyo, I’m lucky to have been exposed to a broad range of creative inputs that make up who I am — I don’t like to box myself in as ‘West and East.’ We are much more than that.”

Are there any core differences that you see between consumers in the East and West currently?

“Even if there were, it is my opinion that there shouldn’t be any core differences. Consumers now are very knowledgeable and we all share ideas and express ourselves through a variety of mediums — whether it be the clothes we wear, the interiors of the places we live in or the art we collect, and even the music we listen to. They all make up a part of a lifestyle. Perhaps the way of life is really the distinctive difference between the East and West, rather than the products we consume.”

Do you feel an obligation to represent Hong Kong when doing collaborations such as the one with Kipling? 

“I wouldn’t say I feel obliged. It comes naturally to me. I’m proud to be from Hong Kong, a city that has had an amazing impact on so much culture around the world over the decades. Growing up in Hong Kong, raising a family here, running my businesses and advocating for our community is just my day-to-day reality! My Kipling collaboration is infused with some conceptual elements that come from my Chinese cultural background, but the designs speak to women anywhere and I wanted the outcome of the collaboration to be a collection as relevant in China, London, New York or Dubai as Hong Kong.”

Jimmy Choo's capsule of footwear, handbags, and accessories is themed around the key characters of Sailor Moon. Photo: Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo’s capsule of footwear, handbags, and accessories is themed around the key characters of Sailor Moon. Photo: Jimmy Choo

The Jimmy Choo x Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon Collab Wows Chinese Luxury Shoppers

Given the popularity of Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon among Chinese millennials and Gen Z, Jimmy Choo’s collaboration with the manga has driven social buzz before its debut.

Read the full article here


Interested in featuring your brand collaborations and drops in our newsletter? Reach out to us at collabs@jingdaily.com

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