French fashion brand Kenzo has officially launched its first capsule collection for 2021 - "Kenzo Chinese New Year 2021 Capsule Collection" - in its stores across China and its official flagship store on Tmall. The collection consists of 12 ready-to-wear styles and 5 accessories, with three black and lemon yellow T-shirts with the word "Ox" and pictograms exclusively available in China.
The Chinese New Year is an annual competition of creativity and marketing for fashion brands, and one of the most important is the creation and promotion of Chinese Zodiac - these special designs must perfectly integrate the brand's own DNA with the meaning of the Chinese Zodiac in order to deliver a winning and appealing product. Over the years, Chinese consumers have gone from being pleasantly surprised by the Chinese Zodiac collections of international brands to becoming more and more accustomed to them, and have even begun to look at their creativity with an increasingly critical eye. In such a situation, how will Kenzo win the approval and favor of Chinese consumers?
The collection uses not only the highly saturated reds commonly found in "Chinese New Year designs," but also conventional colors such as black, white and lemon yellow, which are highly wearable for everyday use - allowing the collection to be used in scenarios that are not limited to the festive atmosphere, but are also suitable for everyday wear.
In terms of patterns and designs, the collection is even more refreshing to consumers.
Kenzo is known for its creative designs of wild animals, and its "Tiger's Head" collection is already iconic, but this capsule collection is a change from the original design style, instead of using a figurative animal image as the main visual, the Chinese character "牛" is transformed into a new chic pictogram, and even into a full range of prints, which are used in sweatshirts, knitwears and accessories.
In contrast to the usual "Chinese New Year designs" of elaborate details and heavy colors, Kenzo's collection is abstract and minimalistic in its approach to the Chinese zodiac sign "Ox", making the "Ox element" distinctly present while also becoming a small and interesting presence in the overall simplicity of the design.
The brand said: "In this series of prints, we deliberately selected representative 'ox' patterns and totems from different cultures of different regions, both figurative and abstract, including the English letter OX and, of course, the most representative Chinese characters of Oriental culture. "
In the creation of the Chinese character "牛", Kenzo used calligraphic strokes and shapes to create a wonderful combination of the character "牛" and the Kenzo brand logo. This is partly due to the brand's founder Kenzo Takada's love of calligraphy, and partly due to the brand's current artistic director Felipe Oliveira Baptista's love of abstract line art. Among the many totemic motifs that appear in the collection, a square design resembling an oriental seal resembles a hieroglyphic "Ox" and an early fresco of a "Ox" in Western primitive art.
From the earliest expressions of lines to the contemporary and diverse illustrations of Oxs, this series shows the expressions related to Oxs in different cultures with rich contents, making its connotation go beyond the confines of China only. As the brand introduces, "We live in a multicultural society, and Kenzo's DNA has always flowed with the interplay and collision of two cultures, East and West, and has always advocated the diversity of human cultures." Kenzo's symbolic meaning of "the commonality and diversity of the world's cultures", expressed through the multicultural Ox totem collection, is also in line with the cultural views recognized by the young generation in today's globalization.
Refocusing on the relationship between the collection and the Chinese Lunar Year of the Ox, the brand further explains, "In both Eastern and Western cultures, the 'Ox' is a beautiful symbol of wealth and strength, as well as a sense of solidity and reliability, and is an auspicious animal loved by people all over the world. The Chinese New Year and the Chinese zodiac culture are loved all over the world, and with the auspiciousness of the 'Year of the Ox' festival and the joyful atmosphere of people's celebration, Kenzo hopes to present its good wishes to every consumer through this collection. Happy New Year of the Ox, Sending Love!"
To coincide with the launch of the capsule collection, and to demonstrate the brand's sincerity in serving Chinese consumers through multiple channels, Kenzo is also releasing related images on its official accounts on Weibo, WeChat, Tiktok and RED, as well as launching an interactive app for New Year wishes.
Before this collection, Kenzo has also launched special collections with Chinese cultural elements.
For example, for the Year of the Rat, Kenzo launched the "Kung Fu Rat" Chinese New Year collection, which brought together twelve kung fu masters of the Chinese zodiac in the form of cartoons, with the rat as the leader, to celebrate the New Year. Earlier, Kenzo had also launched the brand's earliest pattern signed by the founder, Mr. Kenzo Takada, in calligraphy, paying tribute to the classics and reflecting the strong sentiment of oriental calligraphy culture. The "tiger" pattern, as the brand's most classic and widely loved logo, is one of Kenzo's most distinctive DNA, represents the totem of the mysterious and powerful culture of the East.
Looking forward to the coming year, the brand said: "China has always been one of Kenzo's most important global markets, and in 2020 the world economy as a whole was affected by the shock and impact, but the excellent performance of the Chinese market is encouraging. We hope that the global economy will recover soon in 2021 and the "Ox" market will rise! We also look forward to interacting with more young people online and offline in the second half of 2021 when things recover better.