The world's best-known brands mark the Chinese New Year with new takes on classic designs
THE CHINESE NEW YEAR or the spring festival is a time of change and new beginnings, and a time too for showing off new clothes and accessories on visits to friends and family on New Year’s Day. It’s believed that new clothes are auspicious and can protect the wearer from evil spirits and misfortune.
Red represents good fortune and joy. Chinese people decorate their homes with red lanterns to ward off bad luck. Still, the most popular way to celebrate the Chinese New Year is to hand out red envelopes filled with money.
Equally traditional is the belief in Chinese astrology with 12 animals of the zodiac representing the year when you born and how it will affect your life throughout the year. 2019 is the Year of Pig!
And, as ever, the world’s leading brands are aiming to attract Chinese spenders with special designs to celebrate the grand festival.
Polpat Asavaprapa, founder and creative director of Asava Group and president of Bangkok Fashion Society, notes that fashionistas should have no problems looking the part during the festivities if they follow a few tips.
“Red is a naturally strong and bold colour. My tip for wearing a successful red look is to balance the colour with embroidery that is not too dramatic and not too sexy because the whole purpose of dressing up is to visit family and respected elders. In a strict family, tradition demands that the entire dress is red. So mixing in black may not be a good idea. You may wear the red dress with red lipstick if you are confident but you can also tone things down with a nude lipstick. My family also celebrates the Chinese New Year and I think tradition is very important in the way it pays respect to ancestors.”
In term of designing a special collection for the occasion, Polpat says he relies on demand and supply. Marketing with faith is the most powerful tool, he adds.
“I’ve created a modern take on the traditional Chinese gown known as the qipao’ in Thai or Cheongsam for the ASV collection. The look is straightforward but chic, easy to wear and comfortable.”
Burberry turns to Chinese actresses and newly appointed brand ambassadors Zhao Wei and Zhou Dongyu for its Chinese New Year campaign, which celebrates family traditions and togetherness. Shot and directed by photographer Ethan James Green and inspired by classic portraiture, the campaign is reimagined in an informal urban environment, juxtaposing the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary.
The focus is on classic Burberry pieces including archive-print scarves and the trench coat contrasting with urban staples including hoodies, shirts and joggers, all of which are available globally online and in-store from today.
“A family portrait is a very simple concept, but the ceremonial sense behind it holds so much more. For me, being able to go home once a year to spend quality time with my family is something I value above all else, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Zhou Dongyu stated in a release.
Emporio Armani presents a new collection for Chinese New Year with pieces in which the animal that is this year’s symbol of the Chinese zodiac – the pig –is seen in a tribal version in the men’s range, resulting in looks that are fun and urban. The men’s range has a street feel, comprising branded t-shirts and sweatshirts paired with skinny jeans. The palette is very distinct, in shades of red and black, and the seasonal print is featured on all the garments.
In keeping with the traditional hues of Lunar New Year, Michael Kors’ campaign highlights the Mott camera bag in red, the petal quilted Whitney shoulder bag also in red, the Rhea backpack in black and the white Poppy lace-up sneaker – all of which feature glamorous gold detailing. This year’s money envelopes highlight the jet set lifestyle and heritage with a small plane motif and the skylines of Paris, New York and Shanghai. The envelopes, available for Michael Kors customers worldwide, come packaged in a glamorous, specially made box.
The Cos limited-edition collection of wardrobe staples is reimagined and styled alongside timeless pieces in rich navy and textured neutrals across womenswear, menswear and childrenswear. The holiday celebrates tradition, friends and family and this sense of togetherness comes to life in the campaign imagery.
Inspired by the brand’s signature Patricia shoulder bag, MCM releases a two-fold wallet in minimal sophistication. Crafted from Visetos, its streamlined shape is beautifully accented by a contrast front flap in the finest Spanish leather. Inside there are twelve card slots, a bill sleeve and a zipped pocket that’s perfect for stashing coins. It is also fitted with a removable chain that lets be carried over the shoulder as a compact purse.
In celebration the Year of the Pig, Bottega Veneta introduces a unique selection of leather goods, shoes and jewellery. A long-time symbol of luck and fortune in Chinese culture, the pig is interpreted on men’s jewellery and a selection of playful charms, including the nappa leather and hand-enamelled key rings. The pig is also featured on the engraved gold plaque of the women’s Intrecciato Checker sneakers, made in a rich palette of Baccara Rose, Deco Rose and Poppy.
The selection of items includes men’s wallets, pouches, tech accessories, bags, and slip-on sneakers featuring the Tartan Dots craftsmanship in varying shades of
blue and red. The intricate workmanship, introduced for Cruise 2019, provides a unique three-dimensional effect through an exclusive serigraphic printing technique.
Furla presents a new print for the Furla Metropolis S Size. The new bag is part of the Cruise 2019 collection, and brings delicate elements, which define the Serenity print, borrowed from the oriental aesthetic, to the iconic Furla crossbody. It is a tribute to the Year of the Pig with the print boasting a finely drawn graphic representation of the animal, stylised, in white on a red background and surrounded by pink flowers with white petals, and pale yellow ochre pistils.
The piglet, symbol of the new Marni Capsule Collection, comes from an imaginary universe dedicated to the Chinese New Year. A range of accessories for her and a new original version of Big Foot sneakers for him pay homage to the twelfth protagonist of the Chinese horoscope, as well as the sign’s cheerful and dreamy character. Sophisticated and versatile, the necklace features a stylised and semi-rigid jewel pendulum for a rebel touch when juxtaposed with a thin leather strap. The pendant is also the protagonist of the key ring charm, characterised by a snap hook and contrast leather structure. The jewellery range is completed by an ironic pair of pig-shaped earrings.
Earlier this year, British luxury brand, Mulberry introduced a line of bag scarves that can be added to the handles of any accessory for a poetic styling touch. For Lunar New Year, the brand collaborated with artist Li Rui on a bespoke printed scarf design inspired by the traditional landscapes that are prominent in ancient Chinese artworks. The artist’s signature has been worked into the design, adding an element of modernity. The collection features two much-loved silhouettes, the Small Amberley Satchel and the Mini Seaton – available in Scarlet or Black Croc Printed leather. Both styles feature the brand’s signature equestrian inspired Rider’s Lock and detachable straps in keeping with the heritage, form and functionality that is at the heart of every design.
Leading Italian brand Tod’s presents a special collection emphasising
the pig as the symbol of wealth and fortune. Designs include a tiny leather charm in the shape of a pig, ready to stick to bags and smartphone cases and sneakers for women in white or metallic pink and personalised with leather wings.
Tory Burch too marks the occasion with red for good luck, and a touch of gold on clothing, handbags and chic accessories, while Peggy the Pig Mini Bag shines in mirror-finish gold leather.