China Collabs Of The Week: Guerlain x Li Hongbo, The Marsper IP, And Collectible Care Bears | Jing Daily
The trending Chinese collaboration of this week is, unsurprisingly, one featuring Marsper. Owned by the marketing company LePop Group, it’s the big-eared, sleek virtual bear that seemingly has the mainland’s netizens in a chokehold. Thanks to the IP’s solid fanbase (it was established in 2020), more and more businesses are capitalizing on its lucrativeness by incorporating it into products. Phone case label Casetify — now known as the collaboration king — is the latest to follow Gucci and team up with the bear. Judging by Weibo, it’s already a hit for both parties.
But more on that later. This week has also seen French luxury name Guerlain tap Beijing-based visual artist Li Hongbo, who is most known for his virtuosic paper sculptures. Hongbo has crafted cases for the brand’s new edition of the famously expensive Orchidée Impériale range. Opting for a Chinese talent is strategic, considering Guerlain’s popularity in the mainland. The French cosmetics line has an exemplary Weibo, Xiaohongshu, and WeChat strategy, which has previously been reflected in games that promote products. Here, it’s leaning into a particular aspect of the modern Chinese consumer mentality: gaming. And the firm has also found success by holding elaborate pop-up stores in the likes of Hainan and Macau.
On the streetwear side, China’s seen a week that has continued the trend of “local name x global institution” crossover thanks to drops from Asics x 8On8, and New Era x Uppervoid.
Finally, Pop Mart has revealed a Space Molly x Carebear collaboration, releasing two sizes of its globally-loved art toy. Dive into the Chinese collabs of the week below.
GUERLAIN X LI HONGBO
Launch date: October 25
Trend: Luxury beauty brand x artist
Verdict: Fuelling the historical brand’s cultural capital, these premium luxury cases of creams are an extension of the house’s classic product offering. The three-piece collection includes one priced at $6,800 (50,000 RMB), one at $3,600 (26,000 RMB), and the least expensive at $1,500 (11,000 RMB). Li Hongbo has designed each one to promote the beauty group’s new range of their famously luxe Black Orchid creams. All of the jars took a month’s work and 50 pairs of hands. It will impress China’s luxury shoppers, that’s for sure.
SPACE MOLLY X CARE BEAR
Launch date: October 28
TREND: Art Toy x Nostalgic IP
Verdict: Having worked with a plethora of names, from Yves Saint Laurent to Philip Colbert, Pop Mart extends its fanbase frequently through collaborations such as its latest one. This particular launch taps the nostalgia marketing often prevalent in China’s brand collaboration scene. Consumers feel a sense of fondness for moments that they resonate with in the past, which enhances this appeal. It’s also the first time that the concern has released a set of 400 percent and 100 percent figurines, creating a notable moment in history that collectors will capitalize on.
NEW ERA X UPPERVOID
Launch date: October 21
Trend: Global Sportswear x Local Streetwear
Verdict: Another western-Chinese crossover, the New Era x Uppervoid is made for streetwear lovers. The domestic label, most known for outerwear, allows New Era to reach its fashion-interested customers, while sticking to its core sportswear DNA. Plus, as Uppervoid is relatively emerging (with just over 9,500 fans on Weibo), the New Era name invites more exposure to the brand in return. There have been just 200 reads of #uvnew# suggesting this is a low-profile collaboration, despite New Era’s huge following in China (490,000 fans on Weibo).
ASICS X 8ON8
Launch date: November 1
Trend: Sportswear x Chinese Designer Brand
Verdict: Coming together for the third time, Asics and designer outfit 8On8 are releasing a Gel-Spotlyte Low sneaker. Global footwear players co-branding collections with homegrown talent has become the ultimate route to connect with a new generation of consumers (China’s Gen Z shop with national pride much more so than their predecessors). As 8On8 also appeals to youth culture, these sneaker collaborations with Asics are the ultimate key to connecting with Gen Z all over the world.
MARSPER X CASETIFY
Launch date: October 28
Trend: Popular Metaverse IP x Global Brand
Verdict: In China especially, the virtual character of Marsper has gained meteoric popularity since being founded in 2020. It became the first Chinese IP to be tapped by Gucci in 2021, which further fuelled the cool factor and consequent fanbase. On the day of publishing, the Marsper x Casetify hashtag on Weibo had 86,000 reads. Especially as a result of collaborations like this, Casetify has managed to gather a solid consumer base in China — from Harry Potter to Blackpink. Over 3,000 people liked Casetify’s official account post which has 12k fans: illustrating high engagement and appetite for the partnership.
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