THE YEAR OF THE TIGER IN FASHION

Sustainable Ways Fashion Brands are Celebrating the Chinese New Year
Under the traditional Lunisolar Chinese Calendar, February 1st marks the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year, the most important festival in China. 2022 is bringing the year of the tiger, a symbol known for strength, exorcising evils, and bravery. Fashion brands are taking advantage of the new lunar year with major fashion houses such as Versace, Fendi, Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Balenciaga, Dior and more adorning their new capsule collections with tiger prints to celebrate the festivity.

As excited as we are to see the new collections inspired by the tiger zodiac, there are mixed reactions as to whether brands should be commercialising the Chinese New Year and if there is a risk of overshadowing the cultural significance of this celebration. Tokenism is an issue that many global consumers have a low tolerance to. Nevertheless, many brands are using this as an opportunity to celebrate Chinese culture and its traditions. Lisa Ing, a Chinese, London-based corporate lawyer states, "Chinese New Year is very important to me [and] incorporating things like our traditions and superstitions matters. Luxury brand consumers are so largely Chinese [and] we see campaigns all the time for other Western occasions like Christmas". Brands are looking for more respectful ways to authentically represent and celebrate Chinese culture and designing collections with a philanthropic focus may be the answer.

A number of fashion houses are using the new year to try out sustainable initiatives in their campaigns.
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Gucci
For Prada's collection, the company launched a contest asking participants at global art schools for their best interpretations of the tiger judged by a panel of artists including Liu Ye, Lu Yang and Goshka Macuga. The project will run throughout 2022 and aims to bring a sense of community back to the conceptualization of the designs. Prada's tiger capsule collection also has a charitable focus of dedicating their new line to preserving endangered species of tiger. Their 'Action in the Year of the Tiger' campaign will be donating to the 'Walking with Tiger and Leopard' programme from the China Green Foundation to bring attention to the species close to extinction that we must help to preserve.

Bottega Veneta is now taking over part of the Great Wall of China in tribute to the Lunar Year and, with this installation, they have pledged a donation to support the renovation and maintenance of the 'Shanhai Pass', that marks the starting point of the Eastern end of the Great Wall and is historically known as the 'First Pass under Heaven'.

Gucci
is also stamping their signature style on the Chinese New Year by designing a collection that reinterprets the 1960's archival tiger pieces by Vittorio Accornero. Gucci is giving us The Tiger Who Came To Tea vibes with their impressive 80-piece, ready-to-wear collection embellished with tiger motifs for their rendition of the 'Year of The Tiger'. Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele is using his nature fascination to create a glamorous collection that will be supporting 'The Lion's Share Fund' to promote the preservation of natural habitats and endangered species.

More and more fashion brands are using the fresh start of a new year to kickstart their environmentally-conscious sartorial directions and it's a great progression to see!
Article by May Garland
Main image PRADA