Expected to account for 40 per cent of luxury spending by 2025 (according to a McKinsey & Company report), the Chinese market has become a key driver of luxury sales. This helps to explain the abundance of brands that have launched capsule collections for the approaching Chinese New Year.
With 2022 being the Year of the Tiger, the big cat — long a favourite motif in fashion — has become the inspiration for many festive ranges. However, not all holiday collections are created equal, and we must confess that our eyes glazed over after seeing a seemingly endless stream of photos of orange and black striped bags in our inbox. So, here, we pick our favourite pieces from five brands’ festive collections. Subtle, creative and non-cheesy, you’ll be happy to continue sporting them long after you’ve dusted off the last pineapple tart crumbs.
Our favourite element of Balenciaga’s Chinese New Year collection is a roaring big cat silhouette, which appears on hoodies, T-shirts, backpacks, wallets and caps. The sport-inspired logo is classic, on brand for the streetwear-influenced label, and a clever riff on the year’s Chinese zodiac creature. Additionally, many of the brand’s core pieces, from its ready-to-wear and its bags, have been updated in tiger-ish colours such as orange or shades of brown. But for those who like their references to be as literal as possible — yes, there are orange and black striped items.
Available at a festive pop-up taking place at Paragon until Feb 15, the Gucci Tiger collection includes a beautiful new print that depicts tigers lolling against a colourful backdrop of greenery and blooms. It is a reinterpretation of a late 1960s archival design. by Vittorio Accornero, an artist who created the brand’s signature Flora design. This print decorates a range of ready-to-wear pieces, including outerwear, dresses and shirts, as well as shoes and bags.
Who doesn’t like playing a bit of dress-up? Coach’s mascot, Rexy the dinosaur, certainly does. In the brand’s Lunar New Year collection, Rexy pulls on a tiger outfit to mark the occasion. It’s an image that makes us smile, which means a lot in these groundhog days. You’ll find this playful motif on hoodies and T-shirts in auspicious red and pink, as well as small leather goods.
We are sometimes stumped as to why fashion brands choose to mark the Chinese New Year in a very literal manner, especially when said year belongs to an animal that is not typically associated with fashion — which is more likely than not to make a fashion item lose its appeal after festivities are done with. These brands might want to take a leaf from Dior, which has created a timeless butterfly print that signifies the arrival of spring rather than any particular zodiac year. This charming tableau of flora and fauna is found on ready-to-wear and accessories, as well as on the brand’s signature bags.
If you have long adopted a certain animal as your house motif, you have every right to make the most of it when a suitable occasion rolls around. Kenzo reimagines its favourite feline in several ways for its festive collection, always with its signature streetwear bent. We like this all-over blue and grey print, finished off with tigers in true-to-life colours at the top and bottom. Or, you could simply wear any of your other Kenzo pieces featuring its good ol’ roaring tiger.
All images provided by the respective brands.