TRP Travel Retail Style Index: February 2021

Amorepacific Off-White beauty collaboration

Welcome to the latest travel retail column for DRG by Alison Farrington aka The Retail Planner (TRP).

This month, we welcome all the auspicious brand news in celebration of the Lunar New Year for 2021’s Chinese Year of the Ox. We also look at some new skincare launches that will appeal to clean and K-beauty fans.

1/ SHISEIDO ‘INSPIRES JOY’. For Asia Pacific and US travel retail stockists, SHISEIDO has launched an exclusive set of Lunar New Year products for bestselling skincare products, Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate* and Vital Perfection Uplifting and Firming Cream (below). They feature gold and red packaging that is inspired by the art of calligraphy and designed to evoke feelings of empowerment for the Chinese New Year celebration.

In China, SHISEIDO has partnered with WeChat for a gamification campaign to ‘Discover Your Fortune with SHISEIDO’, inviting users to strike open destination-themed fortune cookies to revel a lucky animal or motif and a blessing for the New Year. Fans of the game compete on a weekly WeChat leaderboard for a range of SHISEIDO prizes.

The China-exclusive NARS range, ‘New Year, In Bloom’ (below) is a cheek and lip collection that focuses on warm blush cheeks and red or nude lip tones. I love the opulence of the red compacts featuring gold floral designs for bestsellers, Light Reflecting Setting Powder* and Quad Eyeshadow in Deep Sunrise*, as well as four shades of matte or satin lipsticks*: Wen Wo, China Rose, Intrigue and Banned Red.
NARS Chinese New Year 2021
SHISEIDO Chinese New Year 2021

TRP takeaway: SHISEIDO’s Lunar New Year exclusive products are a cultural gifting opportunity executed with joy in mind. I admire the Asia sensibility behind the seasonal messaging: customers can express a more powerful and resilient self via the imagery of blooming flowers and brush strokes – a visual presentation of turning goals into action.

Burberry and Dior have launched capsule collections to celebrate the Lunar New Year and it’s all about logo re-interpretations this year. There’s a touch of Arnold Palmer (80s golfing legend) about the new Burberry Year of the Ox collection*, that features plaid check trenches, polo shirts and red leather accessories (below). The clothing sees the Burberry B updated with auspicious cow horns – a statement of honesty, diligence and hard work for those born under this zodiac sign, according to Chinese culture.

Dior Homme’s Kim Jones has collaborated with skate icon Shawn Stussy again for a graffiti-style Dior logo collection updated with appliqué oxes that appear on bombers, bags and trainers (below). Off the back of the AW21 Kenny Scharf for Dior presentation, there’s a deep street wear aesthetic running through the brand and I’m loving the agency it’s bringing.
Dior men Chinese New Year 2021 collection
Burberry Chinese New Year collection

TRP takeaway: These luxe-streetwear drops are designed for the hype beast market. Lunar New Year merch is a global business – see Netflix’s Bling Empire for more – and especially for menswear, these ‘festive’ collections appeal to a growing demographic that Jing Daily is calling the ‘He Economy’.

L’Occitane en Provence has opened a new eco-conscious concept store in Hong Kong’s Pacific Place that promises a number of different customer rewards and recycling options. A first look at this #MEGA (Make Earth Green Again) concept store showcases the natural beauty brand’s sustainability credentials – its goal is to have 100% of its bottles made from 100% recycled plastic and all of its stores to offer a recycling service by 2025.

I’m a big fan of the rewards initiatives that encourage customers to drop off their empty beauty containers (from L’Occitane or other brands) in exchange for points. Or they can complete a three-minute personal carbon footprint evaluation. Currently, there’s a Chinese New Year Tree of Wishes in-store, where it’s all about green New Year greetings.

TRP takeaway: L’Occitane is setting sustainability skincare precedents with its purposeful retail strategy and I can see this concept being rolled out to smaller travel retail locations.

K-beauty brand house Amorepacific has partnered with Off-White (top) for a fresh take on skincare with a wellness element. The Protection Box includes mask packs and lip balms made by Amorepacific own label, with Off-White contributing a face covering, while the box itself doubles as a bag courtesy of the Off-White designer strap. The kit includes a special edition game of Yut, a Korean game traditionally played during the Lunar New Year holiday. The collab will be available in Korea this month, followed by Japan and China in March.

TRP takeaway: Off-White founder Virgil Abloh is known for his considered approach to design partnerships; this hook-up with Amorepacific is notable for its mindfulness theme, and emphasis on protection during the Covid-19 pandemic. Well timed as a Lunar New Year gift, it’s a win-win for both parties: Off-White is keen to widen its customer base in Asia, while Amorepacific is looking to recapture its Chinese audience. According to the Korea Times, this project has been in the works for over a year and is designed to test the skincare company’s global reach for collaborations. I’m sure it will be high on the diagous’ wishlists…

After LVMH ‘reconfirmed’ its takeover bid price for Tiffany & Co, the US jewellery brand has had an exec shuffle at the top – Vogue Business shares its point of view. Meanwhile Jing Daily thinks the jeweller could be luxury’s new ‘mega-brand’ to watch. It’s blowing up over in Hainan, China, as DFS joins the resort island’s mega-duty-free-mall opening spree with its Mission Hills development – TMDR captures the crowded spectacle. Resort shopping is on trend again. In China ‘Hainan is a strategic priority’ for luxury brands like Ralph Lauren, reports Bloomberg. And in Hawaii, there’s a new WFH tourism policy called Movers & Shakas that will appeal to all the digital nomads looking for their next remote working home-from-home.

This post is contributed by DRG retail editor, ALISON FARRINGTON, who is a freelance travel retail industry journalist. Read her previous posts on Disneyrollergirl here


WORDS: Disneyrollergirl / Alison Farrington
IMAGES: Amorepacific X Off-White, NARS, SHISEIDO, Dior, Burberry
NOTE: Most images are digitally enhanced. Some posts use affiliate links* and PR samples. Please read my privacy and cookies policy here

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The Drg Style Index: Wales Bonner, Muji, Chanel, Shiseido, WeChat, Nike and more…

Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands and industry stories currently buzzing on my radar…

Wales Bonner SS19 by Harley Weir

It’s been a big old week for Grace Wales Bonner. On Wednesday she was named as the winner of the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund £200k prize, while also collaborating with Dior on its 2020 Resort collection and hosting a ‘devotional meditative sound experience’ in New York with Solange Knowles, as part of Frieze. The prize win is a pretty good accolade, not that it’s the magic bullet people assume it is. Thomas Tait, who won the LVMH Prize in 2014, opened up recently about the reality behind the facade of young designer ‘success’. It’s still tough out there… (more…)


Here’s the latest weekly DRG STYLE INDEX ranking, a round-up of the brands currently buzzing on my radar…

Coach fragrance is coming
Good news for Coach; the revamp is working and sales are enjoying an upswing. Clearly its customers are loving the retro-modern Americana references cooked up by Stuart Vevers of late (not to mention the endless ads of girls-and-cars). Next step? A new Coach fragrance is in the works, fronted by Chloe Moretz. Read more here. (more…)

Buy it now: the best beauty and fashion gifts for Chinese New Year

Beauty and Fashion gifts for Chinese New Year include Giorgio Armani's monkey-themed Illuminating Powder

When is it not gift seaason somewhere in the world? Between Christmas and Valentine’s comes the Lunar New Year, AKA, an opportunity for stores to promote some full price product in festive red and gold. Unsurprisingly, it’s the luxury stores who are pulling out the stops to present enticing, Chinese-friendly gifts, especially with monkey-themed motifs or in editions of lucky number eight.

In truth, I’m not seeing a huge amount of innovation. The beauty brands get my vote for gorgeous jewel-like compacts in lovely packaging – for example this Estee Lauder compact and the Giorgio Armani Illuminating Palette – but for leathergoods brands like Jimmy Choo and Mulberry it’s a case of merchandising all the reds and golds together for a simple (but probably quite effective) pick-n-mix offer.

In China, Burberry is doing what it does best, using social platform WeChat to let users digitally unwrap gifts and create personalised digital Lunar New Year envelopes to send to friends and family. But elsewhere, it’s about slapping a monkey on anything and everything and hoping for the best. Here’s my edit.


WORDS: Navaz Batliwalla