With the official start of the Chinese New Year just a few days behind us, it seems that luxury brands have already committed themselves to ushering in the Year of the Snake. From Bvlgari to Bentley, many of the top names in luxury have launched limited-edition items using snake-themed designs and patterns to commemorate the new year.
Although the proliferation shared by Western designers to incorporate traditional Chinese themes helps to embrace and celebrate the holiday, their motives are as crafty as the serpentine creatures etched on their products. European and U.S. retailers are using Chinese zodiac elements to “win over” the growing number of wealthy Chinese consumers globally, hoping to appeal to wealthy buyers looking for Chinese elements alongside their favorite luxury brands.
Though the introduction of Chinese-inspired products has been years in the making, more recent efforts in all aspects of branding, including design, marketing and management, have represented a shift from printing Chinese patterns for the sole purpose of selling to understanding the cultural significance behind them, as well as partnering with Chinese people of influence. Take for example the Shang Xia store, a collaboration from the French-based fashion house Hermes, which opened in Shanghai in 2010 to recreate the ancient Chinese way of living in luxury. More recently, Li Bing Bing, a Chinese movie star, is starring for the third time in Gucci’s ad campaign dedicated to the house’s accessories line.
Below are a few luxury goods to scale up your own Year of the Snake collection.
SWAROVSKI Crystal Snake Figurine
The Austrian brand synonymous with crystals introduces its Chinese Zodiac Snake as “a symbol of rebirth, longevity, and protection in ancient China.” Info
HOGAN Snake’s Year Limited Edition Handbags and Shoes
Hogan has introduced snake-year China-style limited shoes and handbags featuring a tone of Chinese red coupled with a snake pattern profiled by golden and deep black stitches. Info
VACHERON CONSTANTIN “Year of the Snake” Watch
Vacheron Constantin’s Métiers d’ Art collection introduces the Year of the Snake watch, the first model in its “The Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” series based on the 12-year cycle. info
HORIYOSHI III “Year of the Snake” Scarf
Add a little edge to your everyday look with this incredible accessory handwoven at Mount Fuji, Japan and made of 60% Silk, 40% cashmere. info