Do you celebrate Chinese New Year? This year’s celebration happens on January 25th and 2020 marks the Year of the Rat (or Mouse, as word shǔ 鼠 refers to both animals).
If you follow the fashion news, you might have seen that your favorite brands are collaborating with artists to release exclusive products for CNY. It’s no surprise that brands are tapping into the Chinese market– the 2019 McKinsey China Luxury Report found that China delivered more than half the global growth in luxury spending between 2012–18. After last year’s scandal, Chinese consumers expect greater cultural sensitivity and it seems like the fashion houses are finally listening. Here’s some of the best CNY art fashion collaborations for 2020 for anyone who wants to celebrate:
You Ada x ZUCZUG: MOUNSEY
ZUCZUG is an independent fashion and lifestyle brand in China that has also created the 3ge3 project, where the brand teams up with artists to transform their artwork into products for daily life. To celebrate the Year of the Rat, they’ve partnered with Hangzhou-based painter You Ada for the MOUNSEY exhibition and collection. MOUNSEY is a combination of the words “money” and “mouse” which is meant to symbolize the fortune associated with CNY. To subvert the weak mouse that’s commonly portrayed in the media, You Ada created a muscley mouse character!
Gucci x Disney: Year of the Rat
The Gucci x Disney collection was unveiled during the brand’s Cruise 2020 Runway show in Rome, but doesn’t release in stores until January 25th. The campaign was shot by Harmony Korine and captures the collection’s ‘70’s style on Gucci ambassadors while they enjoy the rides at Disneyland. Mickey Mouse’s signature red, black, and yellow colors are used throughout this collection and even inspired a special version of the new Gucci Grip Watch!
Thom Browne: Lunar New Year 2020 Campaign, shot by Zhang JiaCheng
Thom Browne teamed up with fashion photographer Zhang JiaCheng to create the campaign for the brand’s Lunar New Year 2020 collection. The clothes re-interpret Thom Browne’s preppy vision in a deep red, which is a color with a lot of significance in CNY tradition. Models Xiaowen Ju and Liang JiYuan capture feelings of both East and West, and the styles of both creatives behind this campaign.
LEDiN乐町 x Oliwa奧莉蛙
Chinese girl’s clothing brand LEDiN乐町 has worked with Chinese illustrator (who is a huge fan of Japanese culture) Oliwa奧莉蛙 to create a special Chinese New Year collection. Her cute characters are drawn with a more retro take on the traditional red color. The collection features t-shirts, sweaters, totes, and other accessories with colorful firecracker elements which also play a cultural nod to Japan’s fireworks festivities.
Selfridges welcomes CNY with Jin Jiaji
The British department store Selfridges has produced a video called “Happiness” with Chinese photographer and director Jin Jiaji that features the artist and his good friends. In the video, the group of creatives combine the fields of music, dance, literature, and art while celebrating CNY through its traditions. The project also includes an online editorial where the creatives like Yang Zi, a poet, strike graceful poses while wearing Acne pants!
Chloé: LUNAR NEW YEAR 2020
French fashion house Chloé has featured rat illustrations by London-based, Kent-born artist Julie Verhoeven on some of their purses, t-shirts, and shoes for CNY collection. Verhoeven was first trained as a fashion designer before focusing more on illustration, and her practice today also includes sculptures, assemblages, installations, and videos. This artist is definitely a fashion favorite– she has also collaborated on merchandise with Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.
Mansur Gavriel: Hand-Painted Signature Bucket Bag
New “it bag” company Mansur Gavriel has partnered with New York-based Chinese designer Cui Xu to design a limited edition of their signature bucket bags. The bags spotlights this year’s zodiac animal with a hand-painted tribute to traditional Chinese wood-cut styles. Only 88 pieces of this bag are available, which is a number that symbolizes fortune and good luck in Chinese Culture.
Vans & Zhao Zhao: Year of the Rat Collection
Vans has collaborated with Chinese artist Zhao Zhao to create a special “Year of the Rat” collection. Zhao Zhao is a former assistant to Ai Wei Wei and was inspired by the daily travels of a city rat for the graphics on the shoe. Each shoe has the perspective of a rat and features various city elements an animal might be exposed to– talk about street art!