11/15/2021

EDITOR’S LETTER

This issue explores the common strategy of luxury collaborations in celebration of pop culture brand anniversaries. Both the Pokémon x Baccarat and Xbox x Gucci act more as viral marketing tools and collectors items rich with cultural capital than products made for their everyday consumers. Our Modern Collectibles guest Sarah Andelman chose the Damien Hirst collaboration which celebrated Mickey Mouse’s 90th birthday and Swiss watchmaker Swatch’s 35th anniversary back in 2018. As always, we welcome feedback and tips to collabs@jingdaily.com.

—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

toiletpaper x peacebird

TOILETPAPER, PEACEBIRD, AND SURREAL STREETWEAR

BRANDS: TOILETPAPER X PEACEBIRD
DATE: 
November 5
COLLAB BIO: The Italian Toiletpaper magazine, co-created by artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari, has designed a collection with Chinese streetwear brand Peacebird. An immersive exhibition in Shanghai ran from November 6 to 14 to promote the quirky capsule.

CONSUMER INSIGHT: 

  • The Weibo hashtag (#PEACEBIRDxTOILETPAPER Collaboration#) attracted over 2 million reads and 14 discussions. These numbers are largely due to Weibo influencers talking about the collab, such as @独行中的yeonee who posted photos from the pop-up, which received 33 comments, 51 likes; people complimented the atmosphere and aesthetics of the exhibition.
  • A WeChat account focusing on exhibitions in Shanghai, TOP魔都 published one post about the pop-up which is currently at 66k reads.
  • Overall, the offline activation has proved successful, with consumers reacting with awe at the interesting photo opportunity and abstract concept of the exhibition.
EXPERT TAKE: According to managing director at China marketing agency Comms8, Carol Chan, Toiletpaper is known for bold collaborations with brands and artists around the world. “I believe the timing of this collaboration is a build up for Double 11, to energize Peacebird at the heart of their young audience prior to the main shopping festival, and to differentiate itself as a creative fashion brand,” said Chan. The marketing expert detailed how it has not only driven social buzz, but was also an opportunity for KOL content and organic conversation on social media, cutting through the “cluttered” Double 11 season.

Chan added that there could have been more done on Baidu as there was no keyword strategy to coincide with the activation: “I’d be interested in seeing how a partnership like this could be amplified in other paid and owned media for a bigger result.”

GLOBAL COLLAB SPOTLIGHT

Analysis of a recent release that has sparked global conversations

pokemon x baccarat

BACCARAT’S GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL

BRANDS: POKÉMON X FRAGMENT DESIGN X BACCARATBACCARAT
DATE: November 8
COLLAB BIO: In celebration of Pokémon’s 25th year anniversary, Baccarat has released 25 Pikachu Fragment figurines by Japanese artist Hiroshi Fujiwara for $25k, as well as a smaller crystal Pikachu character and Poké Ball.

CONSUMER INSIGHT: 

  • As the Pokémon Pikachu Fragment is priced at $25k, it triggered the most online reaction, being unaffordable to Pokémon’s widely-young demographic of fans. Despite the negative feedback of not being able to afford it, overall, users seem to love the drop, with 90 percent positive sentiment worldwide.
  • So far, the $410 Poké Ball and the $440 Pokémon Pikachu are out of stock, but the crystal design with the highest price point is still available to order.
  • Many fans on Instagram commented that they would have preferred to see the Pokémon character Onix as a crystal figurine. According to The Toy Zone, Onix is the third most popular Pokémon in the world, after Pikachu (#1) and Charizard (#2).
  • Pokémon only published one post about the Baccarat collaboration on Instagram, proving that it is aimed more at collectors than their typical consumer-base.

EXPERT TAKE: Founder and Creative Director of the luxury marketing agency Sum, Simon Woolford explained that the merging of popular culture with luxury brands is a commonly-used way of combining high and low art. “You can connect its roots as far back as Jeff Koons and Andy Warhol,” said Woolford. “In terms of cute characters, we have seen several collaborations, for example, with Snoopy and Browns and Bape.”

Woolford continued to highlight the other trend of gaming collaborations. He said the $25,000 price point and 25 pieces of the Pikachu Fragment contrasts to the democratized approaches that other luxury brands have adopted, such as Gucci’s average item selling for less than $5 on Roblox. Woolford noted, “Baccarat’s position as an exclusive brand is reinforced. It remains to be seen whether there will also be a digital gaming component or if this is just tapping into the recent marketing trend.”

VIRAL COLLABS: BY THE NUMBERS

Measuring the latest trending partnerships via consumer behavior and global conversation

TRENDING CONVERSATIONS

  • There’s a sense that the Jil Sander x Arc’teryx will be worn off the slopes a lot more than it will be on, despite being a ski-wear collection. Arc’teryx fans think it’s too hypebeast and Jil Sander fans are predominantly saying it’s mainstream, presenting the risks of collaborations in losing their most loyal customers. But it’ll likely attract new fans to both brands.

  • The Xbox x Gucci launch, celebrating 20 years of Xbox and 100 years of Gucci, is popular among both brands’ fanbases. Across Instagram and Twitter, most users want it but the high price point has triggered frustration. Some users have commented that they now prefer Xbox to Playstation.

  • According to Twitter, the Air Jordan 2 is an unpopular silhouette which has created a divided reaction to J Balvin’s upcoming Air drop. Sneakerheads say they would prefer to see a retro Air Jordan 2 over a flashy collaboration of the shoe. Over on J Balvin’s Instagram, his fans are loving the collaboration.

JING DAILY’S MODERN COLLECTIBLES

In this series, we invite influential voices to discuss noteworthy collaborations: modern collectibles

SARAH ANDELMAN

SARAH ANDELMAN

Sarah Andelman founded Parisian boutique Colette with her mother in 1997, and has since become known as a collaboration-mastermind. As an influential figure in streetwear and beyond, Andelman knows the impact of combining the creativity of various industries.
MODERN COLLECTIBLE COLLAB: “It’s so difficult to just pick one. I think of the recent one like Supreme x Tiffany, I think of old ones like Hello Kitty x Playboy, or KAWS x CDG during Colette. I think of the ones I helped with my new company like APC x Sacai or Undercover x Valentino…I’d also like to mention the Café de Flore x Highsnobiety which I worked on. But in the end, I’ll pick Mickey x Damien Hirst x Swatch.”

THE STORY: It was released for Mickey’s 90th and Swatch’s 25th anniversaries in 2018. 19,999 pieces of the Mirror Spot Mickey were available on Swatch.com and just 1,999 pieces of the Spot Mickey design a few days later. Hirst was asked to create a design which would be an ode to Mickey Mouse.

THE IMPACT: “In my eyes, it means everything is possible. There’s no more limit on how any brand or any artist can collaborate together. Now, people get it and want this kind of crossover… But I also appreciate the union of three icons: iconic character, iconic brand, iconic artist. And the result is a perfect balance of all this creativity.”

IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Collabs and Drops is honored to feature exclusive interviews on the latest collaborations.

MISSONI
Credit: Missoni

SPONSORED

MISSONI TAKES CHINA

For the first time in its 68-year history, heritage Italian label Missoni, founded by partners Ottavio and Rosita Missoni, is joining Chinese netizens by launching a Tmall platform and WeChat Mini Program, accompanied by a brick-and-mortar flagship at the Kerry Center in the Jing’an District of Shanghai.

Will the brand follow others’ footsteps of collaborating with local KOLs and Chinese names to connect with consumers there? Missoni CEO Livio Proli revealed that it’s too early to say, but what we do know is that their strategy is: slow and steady.

Read our interview with Missoni CEO Livio Proli here

louvre abu dhabi
Credit: Louvre Abu Dhabi

LOUVRE ABU DHABI TAPS NEW TALENT

The Louvre Abu Dhabi just launched an ongoing partnership with Swiss luxury watch brand Richard Mille, hosting an annual exhibition that will present the work of four to six UAE-based artists, with one winner set to be awarded $50k.

As relative newcomers in their respective fields, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which opened just four years ago, and Richard Mille, a premium watch brand since 2001, make for a natural pairing. The announcement depicts how the arts can utilize collaboration to the industry’s advantage.

Read our interview with the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Curatorial and Collections Managing Director, Dr. Souraya Noujaim here

ON OUR RADAR

Jing Daily’s collabs-to-watch this month

  • ADIDAS X NAO VIRTUAL LOOM

    Throughout November, adidas and NAO Virtual Loom are running sustainability workshops in Shanghai, with a DIY activity on November 6 and three Remake DIY events on November 13, 20 and 27. NAO incorporates artificial intelligence to simulate and weave fabric designs, and is expanding into the NFT space.  

  • NORDSTROM NYC X MONCLER

    Nordstrom NYC has a Moncler ski chalet pop-up across various cities in the U.S., being the largest global activation of the Matt Black Collection; it’s running from November 8 to December 5.  

  • FENG CHEN WANG X UGG

    Today, on November 15, Ugg and Chinese designer Feng Chen Wang have released a China-exclusive collaboration on UGG’s official site, the Tmall flagship store and Feng Chen Wang’s site too.

  • WRANGLER X SANKUANZ

    Utilitarian Chinese label Sankuanz has produced a collection with mainstream jeans brand Wrangler today, November 15. The collection comes three-days after Wrangler opened its first Chinese store in Nanjing Deji Plaza.  

  • KAWS X REESES PUFFS

    Artist Kaws is releasing blue and orange limited edition Reeses Puffs boxes. The KAWSPUFFS will retail for $49.99, dropping on November 17 at shop.kawspuffs.com.  

  • SUPREME X MISSONI

    As part of its strategy to attract younger consumers, Italian luxury label Missoni has joined streetwear titan Supreme to collaborate on some of their signature knitwear, with a Fall/Winter 2021 collection launching on November 18 in North America and Europe, and in Asia on November 19.  

EMAIL US

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

JING’S COLLABS CATCH UP

Check out the Jing Group’s latest coverage on collaborations in China’s luxury industry

  • HOW TO GET CO-BRANDING RIGHT IN CHINA Many well-known, co-branded Western campaigns have achieved viral success in China via partnerships. But what about local Chinese brands? How can they reap the benefits of collaboration without having to tap into the influence of global players?
  • SUPREME AND TIFFANY IS HAPPENING, BUT WILL IT WORK? Chinese netizens’ opinions about the project are mixed. With the rise of the “he” economy (or male consumption), this strategy is likely to work for the American jewelry maker now that China is shifting away from traditional masculinity toward a more inclusive definition.
  • WHY LOOKING AT NFTS, GAMING AND THE METAVERSE MAKES SENSE FOR LUXURY Balenciaga delivers skins and hoodies for Fortnite fans while Gucci offers limited edition accessories on Roblox. Will consumers start to doubt real life influencers and prefer online socializing?

All social media data is sourced from social listening tool Digimind.

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