Qixi, China’s equivalent to Valentine’s Day, takes place on the seventh day of the seventh lunar calendar month. This year, the holiday falls on the 4th of August, marking the beginning of festivities following the lifting of pandemic lockdowns in Shanghai and Beijing.
Qixi is based on a tragic love story between a mortal cowherd and a goddess and is well known amongst local audiences. Many brands ride on the opportunity by building their brand stories around the myth in order to resonate with local consumers, in the hopes of driving sales on the third Chinese Valentine’s Day of the year.
Bottega Veneta presented this year’s most engaging romance story for the Qixi Festival. The tale was presented in the form of a short video and featured three couples cycling through the streets and countryside of the port city of Qingdao in eastern Shandong province. The movie’s subject, “Love, in motion,” reflects the designer Matthieu Blazy’s idea for the house’s Winter 2022 collection, “craft in motion.”
Bottega Veneta was praised for its inclusivity by featuring two same-sex couples in the film. The campaign also featured products in the brand’s signature green shade, making it stand out amongst a sea of red, a colour that is often associated with romance. The campaign was released live on the 13th of July on WeChat and Xiaohongshu, garnering positive feedback from Chinese viewers.
Balenciaga’s Qixi campaign, shot by photographer Andrea Artemisio, debuted on 18th July. The company issued a series of short videos and pictures in a futuristic setting, featuring robots created by British Engineered Arts. The robots were seen carrying iconic Balenciaga products, including the extra small black Hourglass with rhinestone embellishments.
The campaign video was backed by the popular love song, “Sweet On You” (also known as “Tian Mi Mi” in Chinese) a hit by Teresa Teng released in 1979. Balenciaga states that it wants its Qixi campaign to encourage viewers to consider future possibilities.
Lululemon announced the opening of its JD.com official flagship store on 19 July, just in time for Qixi. The brand launched an exclusive capsule collection that will only be sold on the e-commerce platform, “Express Your Love” which features the word ‘love’ emblazoned on all products to adhere to the festival.
Similarly, Valentino released an exclusive collection named “All Around Love” just in time for Qixi. The collection plays with the concept of the “V Love” logo, a design that merges a “V” sign with the love symbol. The company also collaborated with Li Ronghao, a musician and singer-songwriter, for the theme song of the campaign video – the songwriter’s hit, “Together” was chosen. The music video also features other celebrities such as Chinese model, Zhao Jiali and fashion influencer, Ye Jinghang. The celebrity collaboration increased the video’s reach, garnering 8.4 million views on Weibo since its initial release on 11th July.
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The French house took inspiration from Qixi’s origin story in its capsule collection. In addition, the brand also introduced a special WeChat Mini Program where customers could interact with the collection and the history of the festival online.
Unlike other brands, Lanvin avoided a love-related narrative in its collection out of respect for Chinese culture. Instead, they aligned their brand focus on the value of craftsmanship, emphasising on traditional practices like stitching, one of the key elements of the Qixi myth.