A Return to NYFW Doesn’t Disappoint

The Jing Daily Fashion Week score kicks off with New York for the Spring 2022 season. Despite the excitement caused by physical shows and IRL celebrity appearances alongside the explosion in digital collections and NFTs, the pandemic is far from over. President Biden’s Summer of Freedom failed to materialize in the US — but its fashion capital did not disappoint.Offering a cacophony of physical shows and online presentations, this NYFW was bookended by the legendary Met Gala, meaning there were plenty of A-listers in town wearing labels and attending the museum’s extravaganza.In light of the continued difficulties facing brands at this time, this season sees Jing Daily focuses even more closely on the score methodology, which is based on the parameters below. That means we offer readers deeper insights into a brand’s China footprint (both physical stores and online presence), how well they are representing consumers, and how it is engaging with Chinese audiences. Then we evaluate how well these initiatives worked overall.Again, the score ranks a curated selection of the schedule’s global luxury brands alongside Chinese designers, analyzing how both international names and local ones connect with valuable Mainland shoppers. As tensions between the US and China continue to simmer, no less than 14 Chinese brands have appeared on the schedule, a testament to the continual draw of the country and its vital market.Methodology:Model representation: evaluates representation of Asian models on the runway.Digital impact: evaluates Chinese netizen reception and engagement on leading social media platforms, including Weibo, WeChat, and Little Red Book.KOL & celebrity visibility: consider the star power associated with the brand through strategic KOL and celebrity partnerships.Special brand efforts: consider special programs or efforts on a brand’s part to speak to the Chinese audience. Company or brand contributions toward the ongoing virus crisis are also considered.Design context: a qualitative assessment of how the brand’s collection will speak to the Chinese audience based on current trends and preferences.Brand history: considers existing brand history in China, including overall presence, social reach, number of stores, earning trends, and brand missteps.Michael Kors Brand History: Michael Kors, the King of American “jet-set” sportswear, has over 100 stores in Mainland China and is present on e-platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, and WeChat Mini Program. It has a combined following of 734,500 followers on Weibo and Little Red Book.Model Representation: 6/65 looksInfluencer Impressions: Chinese actress and Michael Kors global ambassador Gao Yuanyuan shared a Weibo post inviting her followers to watch the livestream show with her. In addition, influencers like @ElephantKingdom, @fashion_BangZ, @MrJiliang, and many more posted about the show. Altogether, they reached 132 million netizens in total.Netizen Reaction: Overall, highly positive. @ZhizhiIsLychee approved the looks: “Gorgeous to wear for dates or an everyday look!” And @OnlyEatSweets, who counts 420 followers, called it: “So high class, full of fashion sense! I love it!” Meanwhile, @ExquisiteFairy noted the handbag’s details, commenting: “A bag full of flowers, so pretty!”The Verdict: Opened by Kendall Jenner and closed by Gigi Hadid, Michael Kors’s runway show was, as usual, a gathering of supermodels. Although it lacked a Chinese top model presence, the influence of Kendall and Gigi secured brand interest from netizens. Moreover, by leveraging its global ambassador, Gao Yuanyuan, who enjoys nearly 50 million followers on Weibo, Michael Kors’ livestream show on the platform amassed over 14 million views. However, the brand could have further amplified its catwalk show reach by leveraging its full ambassador list (Wang Feifei, Wu Lei, Song ZuEr).Jason WuBrand History: A leading global design talent based in New York, Jason Wu has recently become more active in the Mainland. The brand launched its first flagship store in Shanghai last year, and Wu’s personal Weibo account has amassed a total of 65,000 followers.Model Representation: 3/34 looksInfluencer Impressions: With media outlets like @HypebeastChina, @iDChina, @SacHomme posting about the show, the brand’s social posts reached 4.8 million netizens in total.Netizen: Overall, the comments were extremely positive.The Verdict: The flower tie-dye technique made in collaboration with fabric artist Cara Marie Piazza has delighted Chinese consumers, who praised it as sophisticated and romantic. Following collaborations with the widely known domestic kidswear brand Balabala and the entrepreneur Wendy Yu for her beauty line launch, Jason Wu is now highly familiar to Mainland consumers. Consequently, he is receiving a lot of attention from media outlets and bloggers. However, his brand’s official account on Weibo lacks a following, so it is time for it to rely on traffic stars to garner further exposure.Thom BrowneBr

A Return to NYFW Doesn’t Disappoint

The Jing Daily Fashion Week score kicks off with New York for the Spring 2022 season. Despite the excitement caused by physical shows and IRL celebrity appearances alongside the explosion in digital collections and NFTs, the pandemic is far from over. President Biden’s Summer of Freedom failed to materialize in the US — but its fashion capital did not disappoint.

Offering a cacophony of physical shows and online presentations, this NYFW was bookended by the legendary Met Gala, meaning there were plenty of A-listers in town wearing labels and attending the museum’s extravaganza.

In light of the continued difficulties facing brands at this time, this season sees Jing Daily focuses even more closely on the score methodology, which is based on the parameters below. That means we offer readers deeper insights into a brand’s China footprint (both physical stores and online presence), how well they are representing consumers, and how it is engaging with Chinese audiences. Then we evaluate how well these initiatives worked overall.

Again, the score ranks a curated selection of the schedule’s global luxury brands alongside Chinese designers, analyzing how both international names and local ones connect with valuable Mainland shoppers. As tensions between the US and China continue to simmer, no less than 14 Chinese brands have appeared on the schedule, a testament to the continual draw of the country and its vital market.

Methodology:

  • Model representation: evaluates representation of Asian models on the runway.

  • Digital impact: evaluates Chinese netizen reception and engagement on leading social media platforms, including Weibo, WeChat, and Little Red Book.

  • KOL & celebrity visibility: consider the star power associated with the brand through strategic KOL and celebrity partnerships.

  • Special brand efforts: consider special programs or efforts on a brand’s part to speak to the Chinese audience. Company or brand contributions toward the ongoing virus crisis are also considered.

  • Design context: a qualitative assessment of how the brand’s collection will speak to the Chinese audience based on current trends and preferences.

  • Brand history: considers existing brand history in China, including overall presence, social reach, number of stores, earning trends, and brand missteps.

Michael Kors 

Brand History: Michael Kors, the King of American “jet-set” sportswear, has over 100 stores in Mainland China and is present on e-platforms such as Tmall, JD.com, and WeChat Mini Program. It has a combined following of 734,500 followers on Weibo and Little Red Book.

Model Representation: 6/65 looks

Influencer Impressions: Chinese actress and Michael Kors global ambassador Gao Yuanyuan shared a Weibo post inviting her followers to watch the livestream show with her. In addition, influencers like @ElephantKingdom, @fashion_BangZ, @MrJiliang, and many more posted about the show. Altogether, they reached 132 million netizens in total.

Netizen Reaction: Overall, highly positive. @ZhizhiIsLychee approved the looks: “Gorgeous to wear for dates or an everyday look!” And @OnlyEatSweets, who counts 420 followers, called it: “So high class, full of fashion sense! I love it!” Meanwhile, @ExquisiteFairy noted the handbag’s details, commenting: “A bag full of flowers, so pretty!”

The Verdict: Opened by Kendall Jenner and closed by Gigi Hadid, Michael Kors’s runway show was, as usual, a gathering of supermodels. Although it lacked a Chinese top model presence, the influence of Kendall and Gigi secured brand interest from netizens. Moreover, by leveraging its global ambassador, Gao Yuanyuan, who enjoys nearly 50 million followers on Weibo, Michael Kors’ livestream show on the platform amassed over 14 million views. However, the brand could have further amplified its catwalk show reach by leveraging its full ambassador list (Wang Feifei, Wu Lei, Song ZuEr).

Jason Wu

Brand History: A leading global design talent based in New York, Jason Wu has recently become more active in the Mainland. The brand launched its first flagship store in Shanghai last year, and Wu’s personal Weibo account has amassed a total of 65,000 followers.

Model Representation: 3/34 looks

Influencer Impressions: With media outlets like @HypebeastChina, @iDChina, @SacHomme posting about the show, the brand’s social posts reached 4.8 million netizens in total.

Netizen: Overall, the comments were extremely positive.

The Verdict: The flower tie-dye technique made in collaboration with fabric artist Cara Marie Piazza has delighted Chinese consumers, who praised it as sophisticated and romantic. Following collaborations with the widely known domestic kidswear brand Balabala and the entrepreneur Wendy Yu for her beauty line launch, Jason Wu is now highly familiar to Mainland consumers. Consequently, he is receiving a lot of attention from media outlets and bloggers. However, his brand’s official account on Weibo lacks a following, so it is time for it to rely on traffic stars to garner further exposure.

Thom Browne

Brand History: With 15 boutiques on the Mainland, Thom Browne has expanded its physical presence in China, especially in emerging regional markets like Ningbo, Zhejiang Province.

Model Representation: 6/46 looks

Influencer Impressions: With creative talents like @theBallroom (a creative studio founded by Chinese star stylist Lucia Liu) and fashion critic Mars commenting on the show, social posts reached over 55 million netizens.

Netizen Reaction: Overall positive. The show’s theatrical setting, with statue-like models wandering in a beautiful garden, has been enthusiastically received by Chinese fashionistas. The Ballroom commented, “Thom Browne meshed craftsmanship with art perfectly. Each garment and detail pays homage to American fashion.”

The Verdict: It has been four years since Thom Browne’s last presentation at NYFW. The designer moved his show back to the city for one season to support his partner Andrew Bolton’s exhibition “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion,” which opened at The Met. And Bolton’s artful curatorial approaches smartly inspired this season, consisting of Browne’s typical suiting ideals, handmade grey flowers, and rainbow-colored tulle dresses. Though this season has been praised by several recognized fashion KOLs, it could still grow its social exposure through the brand’s channels (the show’s video recording only earned 700 views on Weibo thus far.)

Private Policy

Brand History: Founded by creative duo Siying Qu and Haoran Li, Private Policy is a genderless and inclusive label based in New York. The brand is also popular in China, where it counts over 23,000 followers on Weibo, and is stocked at 20 major department and multi-brand stores, including Labelhood, LMDS, and ENG.

Model Representation: 14/35 looks

Influencer Impressions: With media outlets like @HypebeastChina, @iDChina, and @SacHomme posting about the show, its social posts reached 4.8 million netizens in total.

Netizen: Overall, the comments were positive. @style-stepEDX commented that the innovative cuts underscored the label’s liberated approach to genderless fashion. 

The Verdict: Private Policy’s innovative and genderless approach to fashion has won the hearts of young Mainland consumers. Moreover, its recent appearance on the Chinese fashion variety show Fourtry and Li Jiaqi’s broadcast secured incredible exposure for it. Today, the brand frequently appears on local celebrity and media coverage and actively collaborates with other homegrown brands and talents.

Peter Do

Brand History: The Vietnamese designer has yet to launch in the China market. However, he has several instances of UGC on the platform LRB.

Model Representation: 9/46 looks

Influencer Impressions: With influencers like @Dipsy迪西 and @Maissen-H posting about the show, its social posts reached 52 million netizens.

Netizen Reaction: Overall positive. Along with functionality and the brand’s signature minimalist design (boosting the brand’s Chinese shoppers), this season presented a lighter cut and color pattern compared to the previous ones. The Spring-mood colors such as pink, mint green, and champagne resonated with netizens and received positive comments like “well-balanced between softness and sharp outlines.”

The Verdict: Thanks to Do’s trainee experience with the much-loved Phoebe Philo, his brand has seen growing recognition among local fashionistas, recording over 1,000 UGC posts on Little Red Book. However, Chinese shoppers need easier access to the designer brand.

Coach

Brand History: With 189 boutiques and outlet stores in China, Coach has been a leading player in the country’s affordable luxury sector. However, its dominance in the local market has recently been challenged by emerging designer brands.

Model Representation: 5/46 looks

Influencer Impressions: Thanks to the coverage of local fashion media outlets like ELLE China and Vogue China, social posts reached nearly 45 million netizens.

Netizen Reaction: Overall positive. With a retro-vibe, Coach’s Spring 2022 Ready-to-Wear collection paid homage to the house’s first designer, Bonnie Cashin. As an advocate of comfort and pragmatism, Cashin’s legacy was also reflected in this season and positively received by Chinese netizens.

The Verdict: KOL Lil Elephant Kingdom (@小象王国) noted that the collection looks promising in terms of sales. Still, the brand missed the opportunity to communicate with local shoppers this time. Aside from a seven-second teaser posted on Weibo, the video presentation was not shared on the brand’s official social channels, including Weibo, WeChat, Little Red Book, and Douyin. Meanwhile, no Chinese celebrity ambassadors or partners starred in the campaign, weakening the presentation’s exposure in China.

Tom Ford

Brand History: By debuting China’s first women’s store in 2012, the brand has garnered 205,900 followers on Weibo.

Model Representation: 5/41 looks

Influencer Impressions: With influencers like @PipiJuice, @Youranmila, @Frigaciak, and major media outlets posting about the show, social posts reached 41 million netizens in total.

Netizen Reaction: Overall comments were mixed. Blogger @Aiqinghai comments: “He seems to be back to when he was at Gucci,” and @HuoHuaBrothersMate points out that “The shoes remind me of electronic shackles.” @Rayisam states: “When something is extremely unfashionable, it’s hype.”

The Verdict: “Fashion may actually be what saves fashion in the end,” says Tom Ford, adding that black doesn’t photograph well, and bold and bright looks are needed for the tiny screens of our phones. However, Ford’s heavy use of neon sequins is unlikely to appeal to Chinese consumers. But the company has other ways to win over local shoppers, for example, through its beauty line, launched in 2011.

Gabriela Hearst

Brand History: Launched in Fall 2015 by Uruguayan designer Gabriela Hearst, the eponymous brand is active on popular Chinese social platforms, such as WeChat and Weibo, with over 10,000 followers on the latter.

Model Representation: 1/32 looks

Influencer Impressions: With major media outlets like @IFFashion, @TencentFashion, and @SinaFashion posting about the show, social posts reached 22 million netizens in total.

Netizen Reaction: The overall comments were unexpectedly negative. They included the @ZhizhiLovesEating comment: “Chloé has also been baffled in recent years.”

The Verdict: This year, Gabriela Hearst joined Chloé as creative director, succeeding Natacha Ramsay-Levi. The move has helped her make a name in China. But her “slow luxury” concept hasn’t won the appreciation of netizens yet. Nonetheless, as domestic consumers become more conscious of climate change and start demanding sustainable products, the brand has great potential in the Mainland market.

Reported by Agnes Wu, Lisa Nan, and Gemma A. Williams