Retail in Asia


Looking back at the 2021 collaborations where East meets West

As the year is coming to an end, it is time to look back at the collaborations 2021 brought in.

This year has been peppered with collaborations where East meets West. Western brands are more and more teaming up with Asian brands, designers and artists to appeal to Asian consumers.

Here we have rounded-up some of this year’s cross-border collaborations.

SEE MORE: Top Korean celebrities who became luxury brand ambassadors in 2021

Wolford x Neiwai

Chinese lingerie brand NEIWAI unveiled “Gaze Into Eternity” in October, a limited edition collection in collaboration with Austrian brand Wolford.

Each brand contributed its values and goals in sustainability to the collaboration, breaking through the conventional barriers of competition and creating something better than either can achieve alone.

The NEIWAI x Wolford Collection includes six pieces: elegant tops, a bodysuit, a skirt, leggings and a headband.

Source: NEIWAI
Dior x Sacai

Luxury fashion house Dior announced its collaborative project with Japanese label Sacai in June. The menswear capsule collection was designed by Dior Men’s Artistic Director Kim Jones and Sacai’s Chitose Abe and features 57 pieces spanning luxury ready-to-wear pieces, as well as accessories like branded sneakers and bags. The capsule reveals hybrid creations that merge Dior tailoring and excellence with the Japanese label’s sportswear style and technique.

The hallmark of the Dior and Sacai collaboration is a new logo: the “i” in “Dior” has been stitched over with the Sacai name in black. This is the first time the French luxury fashion brand has altered its brand logo.

Source: Dior
Procter & Gamble x Watsons

P&G and A.S. Watson joined forces in December to launch a co-created skincare brand in the Greater China markets. Named aio, the Japanese brand has launched with one hero sku and has been designed with fully recyclable packaging to align with both companies’ responsible beauty and sustainability goals.

“This is a P&G BEAUTY first breakthrough collaboration with a retail partner to co-create a new skincare brand from scratch,” said Markus Strobel, Global President, P&G Skin & Personal Care.

Source: Watsons
BTS x Samsonite RED

Samsonite RED, a global contemporary business casual bag brand, launched “BTS X Samsonite Red” collection in October, combining the musical theme of BTS’ song “Dynamite” and its “From Red to Purple” campaign.

The collection features a total of 11 products including suitcases, backpacks, crossbody bags and travel accessories, reflecting the retro pop music theme showcased from the song and music video.

Source: Samsonite RED
Louis Vuitton x NIGO

In October, luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton unveiled the second LV2 collection designed with Japanese streetwear designer NIGO for Pre-Spring 2022.

Standouts include a wool coat belt that is reminiscent of the design of an obi sash found in traditional Japanese clothing, along with a striped tailored jacket marked with a monogram pattern and wrap structure drawn from the kimonos. Japanese elements have also been applied to classic bag styles and accessories, such as the furoshiki knot detail found on the cruiser bag. A contemporary street-leaning outlook is found on the latest takes on the LV Trainer with bold graphic motifs marking the collaboration.

Source: Louis Vuitton
Canada Goose x Angel Chen

Lifestyle brand Canada Goose teamed up with Angel Chen and released two capsule collections in collaboration with the Chinese designer in 2021.

The first capsule collection launched in January was initially revealed during Shanghai Fashion Week in October 2020 and boasts thirteen pieces for women and men. Angel Chen interprets the brand through her unique perspective, not only through modern silhouettes but also with vibrant colours.

The second capsule collection for Fall 2021 features bold silhouettes with belted pieces and A-line shapes, as well as provides stylish versatility and reversible jackets. The collaboration blends Canada Goose’s functional expertise with Angel Chen’s signature style and the fusion between Eastern and Western aesthetics.

Source: Canada Goose
Soulland x Li Ning

Danish menswear brand Soulland and Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning released their first capsule in February. Dubbed “Pre-Inter-Post” — a Latin term for “before-during-after” —the collection explores the two brands’ shared passion for running innovation. The collaboration finds Soulland reimagining two of Li-Ning’s most directional running silhouettes: the Shadow and Wind Ranger.

Li Ning announced the release of a new collection in Spring 2022 on social media. The new collection includes The Furious Rider 6, a stylish stable running shoe that is part of an evolving franchise and The Shadow, a revolutionary high-tech cushioning running shoe.

Source: Li Ning

Global fashion brand Zara teamed up with South Korean label ADER ERROR on a collaborative project, “AZ Collection” in December. Tapping into the world of the metaverse and virtual reality, the “AZ Collection” is available virtually on South Korean app ZEPETO. Users of the application can purchase the collection for their avatars.

The collection aims to define a new generation based on the identity and uniqueness of every individual, blurring the boundaries between the virtual and real worlds. ADER’s signature blue appears throughout the collection, including the apparel range of beanies, crossbody bags, boxy suits and sweater vests.

Moncler x Chen Peng

Fashion brand Moncler joined forces with Chinese designer Chen Peng in December, to create an upcycling capsule that breathes new life into a selection of Moncler down jackets.

Peng has upcycled Moncler jackets with his gender-fluid style, including a glossy cherry-red nylon-lacque Bady jacket, a cobalt Badenne jacket. He also remixed the classic colorways of two re-commissioned Gary puffers in a postmodern palette.

Source: Moncler
BTS x Amorepacific

In November, South Korean beauty company Amorepacific collaborated with Korean boy band BTS on “BTS | Amorepacific Lip Sleeping Mask Purple Edition”.

Lip Sleeping Mask is Amorepacific’s beauty brand LANEIGE’s global best-selling product. This collaborative limited edition is intended to celebrate “BTS PERMISSION TO DANCE ON STAGE” tour. LANEIGE uses its unique sweet Gummy Bear scent to send forth the message of ‘Sweet Purple Dreams’. In addition, BTS’ tour artwork on the packaging box and the BTS logo on the front of the jar add to its worth.

Source: Amorepacific
Puma x Pronounce

This Summer, global sports company PUMA and designer brand PRONOUNCE launched a capsule collection featuring apparel, footwear and accessories in an earthy palette inspired by Pumapunku, an ancient archaeological site in Bolivia.

The apparel comes in a vibrant, gradient colour story, with bold colour blocking alongside earthy colours. Details resembling ropes adorn lightweight woven apparel styles with techy details. Items include tees, hoodies and sweatpants alongside more tailored pieces like a collared shirt, trousers, and a selection of jackets.

The footwear in the collection uses a very textural material mix in a neutral colour scheme. Accents of bright orange and rope detailing add a bold touch.

Source: Puma
Loewe x Totoro

Inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s film masterpiece My Neighbor Totoro, Spanish luxury house Loewe together with Studio Ghibli launched a capsule collection in January 2021, bringing the protagonists of the cult 1988 animation to life on clothes, bags and accessories.

Source: Loewe
Canada Goose x BAPE

Long-time collaborators Canada Goose and Boston-based streetwear brand Concepts have come together once again for their latest collection; this year, with the addition of Japanese fashion brand A BATHING APE®.

Launched in December, the collection features three unisex outerwear styles built for cold weather protection and optimal warmth and enhanced with BAPE’s Camo pattern. Additionally, the collection also includes three versatile unisex accessories: a toque, a down-filled scarf and down-filled blanket.

Source: Canada Goose

SEE ALSO: Looking back at the retail pop-up highlights of 2021

Hajime Sorayama x Li Ning

In December 2020, Japanese Artist Hajime Sorayama and Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning released their first sneakers and streetwear capsule, followed by news of a second in China and Japan this November. The global release dates have yet to be revealed.

The 2021 capsule collection features skateboards, basketballs, sneakers as well as apparel and comes in black and white, decorated with gray metallic Li-Ning and Sorayama branding, and the collection’s collaborative torch motif.

Source: Li Ning