Not Celebrating Lunar New Year? You’re Out!

Here comes the ad of GUCCI’s latest capsule collection – a group of relaxed young people wearing Three Little Pigs-heavy apparels and enjoying luxurious New York lives in the company of their pet pigs. This picture, taken in a chic apartment near Central Park, is promoting the brand’s global collection designed for the 2019 Lunar New Year starting on February 5th. Guess what is the zodiac animal for 2019?

Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, is the most celebrated cultural holiday among 2 billion East Asians worldwide. The holiday is a two-week festival filled with reunions among family and friends, auspicious wishes and, very importantly, lavish shopping and traveling.

It has long been a tradition for brands in Asia to celebrate this festival. But now, Lunar New Year is evolving and going global, thanks to the significant spending power of Asia’s market and Asian Americans, as well as their growing influence in global consumer trends. Realizing the enormous business opportunity, brands are making devoted efforts for this season to delight, not just Asians, but trendsetters around the world who are hungry for cultural experiences.

This sub-context has set the tone for brands’ Lunar New Year products and campaigns – modern and trendy yet still revolving around traditional rituals to fit the festive spirit and need. Here are the six rituals that have commanded brands’ celebrations of the season.

1. Wear New Things

Lunar New Year marks a time of change and new beginnings (what a perfect excuse for shopping!). Wearing brand new things on New Year’s Day symbolizes forgetting misfortunes and welcoming good luck.

This explains why luxury fashion and accessories brands are among the most vigorous players of the season. Different tiers of luxury brands are aggressively engaging their target groups with exclusive designs.

While GUCCI plays chic vintage in its Year of Pig collection, Louis Vuitton enchants fans with cute and chubby piggy accessories.

Photo Credit: Louis Vuitton

For the rich, there is Chopard L.U.C XP Urushi Year of the Pig watch in 18-karat rose gold and in a limited edition of 88 pieces.

Photo Credit: Chopard

For the young and trendy, Longchamp has collaborated with popular Chinese fashion influencer Mr. Bags to create a line of adorable bags and accessories. (Sorry, this collection has already been sold out in the U.S. thanks to eager fashionistas!)

Photo Credit: Longchamp

2. Fresh up the Look

New Year, New Look. To be precise, a radiant and glowing look.

Beauty is another industry that is big on this season. Skincare and cosmetic brands and beauty retailers are gearing up to send out their most beautiful New Year’s wishes.

GIVENCHY’s beauty line is promoting these elegant limited editions on the home page of its official website in the U.S.


TATCHA, a San Francisco based high-end beauty brand, has launched a new brightening serum priced at $88. No. 8 is regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture with its pronunciation similar to the word ‘fortune’, and is frequently used in Lunar New Year greetings and celebrations.

Photo Credit: TATCHA

Sephora in Canada has rolled out a celebratory promotion with a curated collection – brands’ Lunar New Year limited editions and products with a touch of lucky red in their packaging.

Photo Credit: Sephora Canada

3. Enjoy Opulent Feasts

Just like Thanksgiving, Lunar New Year is the time for family and friends to gather over dinners, especially the feast on the Lunar New Year’s Eve which is the ultimate embodiment of reunion. These celebratory gatherings are certain to have an abundance of delicacies and good wine.

Food and beverage brands are the early birds in celebrating this cultural festival and have been passionately launching special merchandises in both local and travel retail channels.

Whether it is for self-consumption or gifting, premium liquor has always been a darling choice for wealthy and sophisticated consumers. This year, Hennessy has continued its collaboration with acclaimed Chinese artists for its limited edition. The design is filled with auspicious Chinese cultural symbols that together present a “dream of past and present, heaven and earth — the natural and beautiful cycle of life”, according to a statement by Hennessy.

Photo Credit: Hennessy

There are treats for the sweet tooth too. Godiva has been launching zodiac-shaped chocolates for more than a decade and what’s refreshing to see is that Sugarfina, a trendy candy brand that is often labeled as the Tiffany of candies, is celebrating the Year of the Pig in the U.S. in the cutest way with strawberry flavor bite-sized gummy pigs!

Photo Credit: Sugarfina

Taking note the soaring popularity of Asian food and Asian chefs in the U.S., food and lifestyle retailers, such as Williams Sonoma, are creating special collections to help their consumers design menus and select themed décor for Lunar New Year parties.

Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

4. Exchange Gifts (Including Money)

Gift giving, especially to children and seniors, is an essential Lunar New Year tradition to show one’s love and respect to family and friends.

LEGO’s Year of the Pig sets, family reunion dinner and dragon dance with figures in pig suits, have quickly become one of the most desired toy gifts for the season, especially for today’s Asian American parents who endeavor to foster their children’s cultural confidence.

Photo Credit: Lego

Compared to physical gifts, another form of Lunar New Year gifting is even more rooted – money. Cash are packed inside a red envelope and given out as a wish for prosperity. Now, with the world adopting digital payment and China marching into cashless economy, what is more common (and actually more fun) to do is customizing and exchanging red envelops trough Apps at Smartphones – a staggering 688 million people worldwide have used WeChat Red Envelope during 2018 Lunar New Year! If you don’t know what is WeChat, here is a concise intro of this super app.

WeChat Red Envelopes

5. Travel

Do you know that Lunar New Year is actually the world’s largest annual human migration? With close to 400 million people traveling to home and 7 million traveling around the world for vacations, Lunar New Year is a golden week for global tourism. America is ranked one of the top vacation destinations, and Chinese tourists on average spend $7,000 per person during their stay in the U.S., according to U.S. Commerce Department.

More and more retail and hospitality brands are hosting themed celebrations to welcome both local shoppers and Asian tourists who are in joyful buying mood.

As the largest shopping mall in the west coast, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, for instance, has put up store decorations, cultural performances and in-store promotions to attract the crowd.

Photo Credit: South Coast Plaza

In Universal Studios Hollywood, one will be greeted by Minions in traditional Chinese attire and a Mandarin-speaking Megatron, and can learn Kung Fu with the Dragon Warriors in an interactive show.

Photo Credit: Universal Studios

In Las Vegas, a 20-foot high jade coin is displayed at Bellagio Conservatory to wish people good luck.

Photo Credit: Bellagio Conservatory

6. Entertain and Have Fun

The joy of Lunar New Year is essentially for everyone!

For E-sports gamers, League of Legends is arming the pig-riding warriors with a set of electrifying Lunar New Year skins!

Photo Credit: League of Legends

For families with young kids, there is Peppa Celebrates Chinese New Year, a feature film co-developed by the producer of Peppa Pig, a famous British animation series, and Alibaba Pictures. For those who don’t know Peppa Pig – this pink piggy and her animal friends are like Avengers to preschoolers worldwide.

Photo Credit: Alibaba Pictures

For classic music lovers, New York Philharmonic’s annual Lunar New Year celebration comes with a fiery program!

Photo Credit: New York Philharmonic

Savvy brands across numerous industries are capitalizing on Lunar New Year and engaging the aspiring global Asian consumers and beyond. The celebrations are indeed everywhere!

In the U.S., with Asian Americans being the fastest-growing group and shaping mainstream culture, Lunar New Year is no doubt an auspiciously promising business opportunity brands should not miss out. A smart Lunar New Year campaign creates a good impression and entrance, but what helps brands sustain a strong relationship with Asian Americans and stand out from competitions are continuous and meaningful engagement.

Curious to know how? Drop us a line. We wish you a Happy New Year, again!

Written by Selina Guo
Planning Director

Top 8 Asian Beauty Vloggers Continued!

Continuing on our list of the best Asian Beauty and Fashion experts to follow, here are our Top 8 Picks beyond Chinese-North Americans.

These gals (and guys) are rocking in-language and English vlogs across Asia and North-America. Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, you name it.

#1 PONY Syndrome

PONY’s Korean in-language channel rose to fame starting with her 2016 Taylor Swift transformation video. That single video went viral and cracked 19M views. For the most part, her videos are easy to follow tutorials and beauty tips, with a few shocking transformations. Her 4.5M followers garner her over a million views per video.

#2 Asahi Sasaki

Proclaimed self-taught Sasaki does everything from day-to-day makeup to horror-makeup on her YouTube vlog sasakiasahi. An example of her variety is her visual masterpiece “1000 years of Japanese Beauty – Evolution of Women” that takes the viewer from different eras of Japanese beauty (2.9M views). As of late, her videos keep to product reviews and tutorials but they’re still a ton of fun.

#3 Yuuri Fukuse

Another Japanese makeup transformer is Yuuri Fukuse. Watching her take herself from pretty freckled girl-next-door to Pink-haired Glam Star is always a mesmerizing experience. She is unrecognizable at the end of most of her videos. Our favorite tutorials are her Disney transformations thought it’s been a while. Her following is a respectable 500+k on YouTube and 82K on Instagram.

#4 Miki Kawanishi

Ok, one more Japanese star. In one of her most popular videos, Miki takes us through her morning routine. Even though her YouTube following hasn’t broken 1M, this video got her 6.2M views! She explains all the details including contacts that expand your irises. Her upbeat attitude is a lot of fun to follow.

#5 Patrick Starr

How can we have an Asian beauty blogger list and not include mega-star(r) Patrick Starr?! Filipino-American Patrick has been making it BIG in beauty. Celebrities flock to co-star in his videos. Patrick not only makes beauty fun and approachable, but he takes it to the next level. Supporter and member of the LGBTQ community, Patrick reaches out to EVERYONE to embrace themselves. Now that’s real beauty!

#6 Promise Tamang

Not your average beauty blogger, Nepalese-American goes beyond day-to-day makeup and does full transformations. From Disney Princesses to turning her husband into the Grinch, Promise is about having fun. Her YouTube channel dope2111 has a fantastic 5.5M followers averaging easily over 1.5M views a video.

#7 Kim Thai

Ok, not interested in looking like Elsa from Frozen? Got it. Vietnamese-American Kim Nguyen is a little more down to earth. Her body-positive tutorials are super cute and informative. She does product reviews and step-by-step videos. Of course it wouldn’t be Kim if there’s not a touch of comedy and realness. Sometimes eye shadows fall out of their case. Sometimes brows are uneven. But that’s what makes us love her. She’s also a joy to follow on Instagram with over 400K followers.

#8  Pearypie Amata Chittasenee

Thai-American Amata goes bilingual (Thai/English or no-dialogue on her videos and IG, making her easy to follow for any viewer. She has recently gone the extra mile in her videos. So even though you’re gonna see some morning makeup routines, you’re also gonna see some fantastic fashion and travel.  Shiseido recently collaborated with Pearypie on The MASTER of ALL project, highlighting Amata’s rise to fame.

We could have kept going but the list is endless. We haven’t even touched upon South Asian Beauty! These men and women are transforming the beauty industry in their own unique ways – using their voices, skills and talents to influence tomorrow’s consumers. We’ll be watching as we are sure you will too.

Top 5 Chinese Beauty Vloggers You Should be Following

Influencers come and go, but when it comes to beauty, skin care, and fashion, people across the globe still rely on the advice from a trusted name.

Influencers who live under a flag of integrity and expertise harness the most loyal of followers; those who check in on a regular basis for the latest news. We’ve taken the lot and pulled some of our favorites, both long-time champs and brave newcomers. Check out our list and follow some of these fascinating, inspiring new voices in Asian beauty.

From K and J Beauty to South Asian Looks, we couldn’t fit it all into one list. We focused today on Chinese-heritage influencers. So be sure to follow up with our next round-up on Asian Beauty that explores other growing voices across the Asian diaspora.

#1 Rainie Tian

Chinese-born, Toronto-based Rainie has scored a respectable 349.5k YouTube followers. Her makeup-heavy videos are informative, her breakdowns and reviews straight-forward. She performs in-language Mandarin but her texts are bilingual – so whether or not you speak Chinese, you can still follow along to a certain extent. Her IG @raintainie, with 186k followers, needs no translation and is more fashion than makeup.

#2 Oh Emma

Canada is producing a lot of stars and Oh Emma is one of them. The proud mother of the CUTEST baby boy is fashion heavy on her IG @oops_ohemma with 199k followers while her YouTube with 321.6k followers is more geared towards her makeup and skin care topics in Mandarin. Her latest video published in Dec. 2018 reviews multiple Japanese makeup products – those that are more esoteric to American general market – making her videos extra interesting.

#3 Nana OuYang

Young (18 years old) and talented, the Taiwanese professional cellist and actress, has made a splash in China. Her IG account has a whopping 1.8M followers, she’s acted alongside mega stars like Jackie Chan. She’s been featured in Shiseido ads and Vogue China. But her Asian American relevancy is only just coming to fruition. Nana OuYang only joined the YouTube crowd in February 2018 with Nabi’s School Life but has already gathered 272.6k followers. Her videos that she unapologetically titles “Vlog [number]” range on topics, from music to cooking to her morning makeup routine.

#4 Maaaxter English

Unlike the predessors in this article, Maaaxter performs bilingually in both Chinese and English, from her home base in Los Angeles. Her main goal is to teach English to Chinese speakers through interesting and compelling themes. Her topics range from everyday conversations like buying your morning coffee to the intricacies of politics. When she talks about beauty and fashion, it’ll be a video like her 26 Luxury Brands Name Pronunciation which reeled in 287k views.

#5 Savislook

Based out of the US, the world-traveler Savislook is hard to pin down. From Milan to Tokyo, Savislook takes her fashion and beauty vlogs wherever she goes. In-language Mandarin, the young and hip Savi screams Crazy Rich Asian glamour and Parisian decadence in all the best ways. It’s no wonder her IG and YouTube channels have about 360k followers total.

Love our roundup? Be sure to check out our next round of Asian Influencers.