While Sotheby's is exploring global talent, collaborations have typically skewed towards European or American artists and creatives. Now, however, brands are recognising the power and benefit of working with a new generation of Chinese creatives – not only to establish greater local relevance but to offer a stage for rising talent. In turn, such collaborations can help to capture younger shoppers’ attention in China and beyond.
Brands can take cues from partnerships such as Converse x Feng Chen Wang, a Chinese-born, London-based fashion designer who describes herself as being ‘at the forefront of a new generation of fashion talent emerging from China'. Similarly, Diesel last year partnered with Chinese label Pronounce on a unisex range that reinterpreted pieces from Diesel’s archive. Adam Schokora, founder of Chinese creative agency Neocha, notes: ‘[Younger Chinese consumers] know it’s the Century of China and they want to see their favourite brands co-creating with local Chinese talents.’
A particular segment of the luxury sector – gemstones – is turning to collaboration to help improve working practices across the entire supply chain, from mine to final sparkling product. Launched in the spring of 2021, the Gemstones and Jewellery Community Platform is the brainchild of The Coloured Gemstones Working Group (CGWG), an organisation created by coloured gemstone mining companies in 2016, and consultancy TDI Sustainability.
Through this new community platform, the CGWG will engage and unite jewellery and gemstone companies and independent designers of all types, offering free resources and training tools, alongside self-assessment tools specially created for organisations of different sizes and business functions. The aim? To take positive, collaborative action on human rights, environmental protection and fair labour practices – issues that continue to impact coloured gemstone mining.
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