Brands Court Chinese Consumers with Luxury Dragon Limited Editions For Lunar New Year

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Brands Court Chinese Consumers with Luxury Dragon Limited Editions For Lunar New Year

  • Chinese consumers accounted for up to 24% of global luxury sales in 2023: Bain
  • High-end brands leveraged Tmall’s AI tools to share gifts and exclusive Lunar New Year offers with users

A smorgasbord of limited editions to welcome the Year of the Dragon. From left: Bottega Veneta dragon earrings; a Gucci sweater; Bottega Veneta scaled sneakers; IWC's dragon timepiece. Photo credit: Bottega Veneta, Gucci, IWC

Move over rabbits, the Year of the Dragon is here and luxury brands in China are lining the shelves with limited-edition products to celebrate.

The Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is celebrated yearly by millions across Asia who mark the occasion by gathering with family and friends.

For China’s luxury connoisseurs, who accounted for nearly a quarter of global luxury consumption last year, according to consultancy Bain, this is also a time to score festive versions of their favorite designer goods.

Dragons hold deep significance in Chinese culture as harbingers of fortune, and luxury labels worldwide reimagined this scaly symbol with an array of jewelry, watches, accessories and more.

Alizila parsed through recent product releases on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform Tmall, and its high-end branch Tmall Luxury Pavilion, to see how these brands are ringing in the new year.

Watches Lunar New Year Tmall
From left to right: IWC’s Portugieser Chronograph Year of the Dragon, the Tag Heuer Carrerra Chronograph, and Vacheron Constantin’s The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac watch. Photo credit: IWC, Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin

Watch and Learn

Watchmakers are no strangers to zodiac-themed timepieces.

This year, they added to their menageries by invoking the color red and dropping tell-tale dragon clues – from scales to tails – on a small selection of watches available only in limited runs.

Swiss manufacturer Vacheron Constantin placed a prowling dragon on the face of its Legend of the Chinese Zodiac watch, while Schaffhausen-based IWC coiled the serpent-like body of a Chinese dragon on the reverse of a special version of its Portugieser Chronograph.

LVMH’s Hublot collaborated with paper-cutting artist Chen Fenwan to produce a special-edition Spirit of Big Bang Titanium dragon watch with just 88 available for purchase.

This also doubled as the brand’s launch on Tmall, where it joined LVMH sister brands like Tag Heuer, which debuted its Carrera Chronograph watch in cherry-red to celebrate the new year.

Jewelry Lunar New Year Special
Clockwise from top: Tiffany & Co.’s special Fleur de Lis bracelet with carnelian; a Lunar New Year necklace from Bulgari; Tiffany & Co. bracelet featuring a Chinese-style woven knot; Swarovski crystal necklace with the five-clawed grip of a Chinese dragon. Photo credit: Tiffany & Co., Bulgari, Swarovski

Accessories and AI

Shoppers were spoiled for choice as fashion designers and high jewelry brands released their own Year of the Dragon goodies – some with an AI-powered twist.

Milanese fashion house Bottega Veneta helped Chinese consumers put their best foot forward in a special run of low-top sneakers embellished with red scales, while Florence-based Gucci ensured fashionists stay toasty and trendy in its dragon-print red sweater.

Jewelry brands like Tiffany & Co., Bulgari and Swarovski rolled out arm candy, necklaces and earrings that combine the finest materials with touches of Chinese culture.

These included strips of diamond-covered gold woven into “Chinese knots”, which symbolize prosperity, and precious stones ensconced within a dragon’s claws.

Tmall Dragon Qr

Tmall Dragon QR code posters from (left to right) Longines, Baccarat, Wedgwood and MCM. Photo credit: Alibaba Group

Luxury labels are embracing the latest technology en masse, and the creative potential of AI shone in some labels’ Lunar New Year campaigns.

German designer MCM and French crystal maker Baccarat were among the brands to leverage Tmall’s AI-powered tools that enables them to generate artwork combining dragon imagery with brand motifs.

These creations appeared on QR code posters on the Tmall app. Consumers could test their luck by scanning the code and entering to win gift boxes and red envelopes from participating brands.

Hungry for more? Discover everything you need to know about Lunar New Year now

Chinese ConsumersLunar New YearLuxuryTmallTmall Luxury Pavilion
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