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January 31 2014
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Sarita

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Celebrating the year of the horse

Now becoming a major calendar event in the West, the Chinese New Year is on us again with the Year of the Horse. Many big Western brands are looking to appeal to these discerning Chinese consumers during the festive period through limited-editions and zodiacal inspired products. We’ll be taking a look at some of the products which pay homage to the Year of the Horse, from traditional approaches to more modern and colourful takes… Happy Chinese New Year to you all!


Image credit: Smythson hand crafted Chinese New Year envelopes
Featured image credit: Nicolás Gajardo Henríquez, origami horse

Chinese twist to British luxury brand
A symbolism of traditional Chinese holiday gift giving, the humble lucky red envelope, has taken on a more crafted and luxurious feel. British Luxury brand, Smythson, has created hand crafted and die stamped Chinese New Year envelopes for this year’s celebrations, featuring ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ printed in both Chinese and English.


Image credit: Godiva limited edition Lunar New Year gift box

Flavours tuned for the Asian palate
Belgium chocolatier, Godiva, is celebrating the Chinese New Year along with its 88th anniversary with a limited edition Lunar New Year gift box. Leveraging its familiarly brand logo, Lady Godiva on her galloping horse, along with the traditional red and gold; the chocolate selection will include flavours popular with Asian consumers such as pear, cherry and pineapple.

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 A toast to prosperity
Jonnie Walker Blue Label has created a Zodiac Horse limited edition whisky bottle this year, featuring a 24-carat gold horse. The advert certainly captures the power of the animal and symbolic mysticism of the lunar event.


Image credit: Vivienne Westwood’s Chinese New Year horse pendant

Combing cultural cues and branding
Vivienne Westwood’s Chinese New Year horse pendant is attached to the chain by a section of Chinese knot work. The gold coated brass pendant is said to reflect the ‘energetic, intelligent and warm-hearted spirit of this animal’ and features Swarovski Crystals studded across the body in the outline of the Westwood Orb. The clasp of the chain is finished with a red and gold Orb bringing together branding and cultural cues.


Image credit: Bloomingdales limited edition pop-up shops & Year of the Horse tote bag

Pop-up celebrations in the US
Following the success of its Chinese New Year celebrations last year, Bloomindales department store has expanded its campaign this year to mark this cultural holiday. Selected stores across the United States will house a limited edition pop-up shop featuring Chinese themed items, including a limited edition Year of the Horse tote bag. Bloomingdales will also be inviting shopping in some stores to select Chinese red envelopes containing prizes such as a store cards in denominations of the lucky number 8 – $8, $88, $888.


Image credit: BMW M6 Gran Coupe Horse Edition

Subtle nod to cultural event
Marking the year of the Horse BMW has created two models available for Chinese customers to purchase this year. The BMW M5 and BMW M6 Gran Coupe Horse Edition cars take a more subtle approach to the celebrations with the Chinese character for ‘horse’ featuring on the headrest, and of course with red paint work!


Image credit: Estee Lauder pressed powder limited edition gold compact

Celebrating through beauty
Beauty brand Estee Lauder has taken a more colourful approach to the New Year celebrations (pardon the pun!), with their pressed powder limited edition gold compact. Featuring a turquoise horse and gemstones, this is probably one of my favourite out of the celebratory collection this year; expanding out the colour palette is refreshing and eye catching from the sea of traditional red and gold.


Image credit: Shanghai Tan & Moleskine Year of the Horse ‘Feng Shui Diary’

And finally
Also taking a more colourful approach this year, the Shanghai Tan & Moleskine Year of the Horse ‘Feng Shui Diary’ features a horse pattern based on the traditional Song dynasty tangram puzzle, in Shanghai Tang-inspired colour combinations. The diary includes unique Chinese features such as Feng Shui tips, horoscope for 2014 and ‘insights from Shanghai Tang’s official Feng Shui master, Mr. Koon Zhi Zheng, on how to live a healthy, prosperous life in the year of the horse.’

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Posted by Sarita
Senior Consultant – Design Insight

Languages spoken: English.
The last thing that inspired me: Chinese teacups from a small café in Camden Town, London - the most amazing collection of colours and textures.
My dream project: Something multi-sensorial.
My obsession: Stationery - retro inspired, Asian influenced, graphically intriguing, sensorially indulgent and the 'unique'!

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