Why the Chinese New Year Is Big Business for Fashion Brands

As the Chinese diaspora today ushers in the Year of the Dog, many are celebrating through costume parades, firecracker ceremonies and fanciful shows to commemorate the beginning of the spring season.

But for retailers, the Lunar New Year is more than just a holiday — it’s a sales opportunity. The bustling atmosphere provides a conduit through which brands can appeal to the fastest-growing demographic in the United States, according to the Pew Research Center (the Chinese population represents the largest single origin group in the Asian-American population).

As revelers crowd stores in search for gifts and furnishings to ring in the new year, it’s no surprise companies are taking advantage of Chinese spending power, particularly that of young Chinese consumers, whose elders traditionally provide them with hongbao, or red envelopes, tucked with “lucky money” to mark the occasion. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele designed a special capsule in the likeness of his Boston terriers to mark the occasion. Adidas released a sneaker pack inspired by the four Chinese blessings of happiness, salary of a high official, longevity and good luck. And Nike’s Jordan Brand had a full CNY-themed collection along with a fresh colorway of Boston Celtics star baller Kyrie Irving’s Nike Kyrie 4 signature sneaker.

Other luxury brands that are capitalizing on the new year include Dolce & Gabbana, Bottega Veneta and Louis Vuitton, all of which released digital campaigns on WeChat; Dior, with its exclusive Rose Des Vents jewelry collection; and Prada, which has opened pop-ups for the festivities, launched its new characters, the Robot Dachshunds, as well as made available its Prada Cahier bag with CNY motifs. In over a dozen stores worldwide and those across China, Prada’s windows also display Year of the Dog installations.

With the celebration extending two weeks until the Lantern Festival that marks the 15th day, brands that offer limited-edition merchandise — especially international brands — have several days to not only capitalize on the sizable Chinese market but build relationships with customers on a global level.

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