In Nielsen’s 2015 consumer report, Asian-Americans: Culturally Connected and Forging the Future, Asian American buying power was projected to reach $1 Trillion by 2018.
2018 is here now and brands at large are definitely starting to recognize the tremendous impact and influence of the Asian American consumer.
Leading up to Lunar New Year (LNY) every year, we eagerly seek out the best branded LNY campaigns, particularly those that inspire with beautiful execution and cultural tastefulness. This time around, to our surprise and delight, there were SO many more global and U.S. brands celebrating LNY compared to past years, maybe ever.
Today, Feb. 16, marks the start of the Year of the Dog. To kick off the Lunar New Year, we present our Top 5 LNY Capsule Collections featuring our favorite LNY product drops (available here in the U.S.), ranging from high-end designers to activewear to confectionary!
A lesser known LNY tradition is that of fine watchmakers honoring the Lunar New Year holiday with special limited timepieces. We are especially loving the craftsmanship and detail of this year’s L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Dog watch by Swiss brand Chopard. Truly a work of art, the face features a Japanese Akita dog applied using traditional Urushi lacquer techniques and dials crafted by Master Kiichiro Masumaro, an acclaimed Japanese Living National Treasure. Only 88 (an auspicious number!) of these watches were made for Chopard’s 6th limited edition Lunar New Year homage.
Donatella Versace's pet companion, Aubrey, is the inspiration and face of Versace’s LNY collection. The capsule website speaks to this collection: "The Audrey Capsule features the one and only Audrey Versace. She’s feisty, she’s fierce - the perfect protagonist to celebrate the 2018 Lunar New Year. Versace celebrates the year of the dog with special edition leather accessories featuring hand-stitched patches for him and the Audrey Edition DV One degradé bags for her. Discover a selection of Versus Versace products feature the Lunar Year Belt print." All cuteness aside, we applaud Versace for referring to the holiday as Lunar New Year rather than Chinese New Year, recognizing and including the other ethnicities and cultures that also celebrate the holiday.
Can we start off by saying the packaging of Sugarfina’s Chinese New Year Bento Box just hits all the right notes? Though simple in design, it is tastefully executed and the perfect size (and price) to gift. Consumable goods are especially popular during the LNY season when extended families visit each other’s homes and gather for celebratory feasts.
Unlike the other four global brands on our list, Sugarfina is only available, at least for the time being, in the U.S. and Canada. That being said, Sugarfina’s Chinese New Year gift collection is a perfect example of how a brand can embrace a seemingly foreign holiday, strive for authenticity, remain true-to-brand, and ultimately, yield wins for all (the above pictured Bento Box is Sold Out)!
Adidas and Adidas Originals are not newcomers to releasing limited edition Lunar New Year footwear. The exclusive shoes are often collector's items and feature minimal but strategic designs and color ways. This year, Adidas Originals dropped a 2018 Chinese New Year Pack with Year of the Dog and lucky celebration elements on the NMD R2, EQT Support, Superstar, and Campus models. Our favorite feature: the heel patches are emblazoned with the Chinese character “福” (pronounced as 'Fu'), a traditional New Year blessing meaning "luck."
Gucci has also done previous LNY collections, but this year’s Year of the Dog Chinese New Year capsule may be the most elaborate and extensive one to date. In a series of vintage-style campaign photos shot by Petra Collins, the 63-piece collection (yes, 63!) features a Boston Terrier character on clothing, shoes, bags, wallets, and accessories. The character dogs were inspired by Bosco and Orso, the Boston Terriers of Creative Director, Alessandro Michele. From the art direction of the campaign, the inspired aesthetic, and the collectible yet versatile pieces, Gucci’s capsule made it #1 on our list!
There were so many inspiring LNY campaigns and activations this year, and this list highlights only a few of our personal Favorites in Retail. Because it was so difficult for our team to put together just one list, we’ve planned for a second post covering our Top 5 LNY Ad Campaigns. Stay tuned!