Late bloomer? Prada unveils Blossoms Shanghai collab 2 months after series ended

28 February, Shanghai, a special night opened at Rong Zhai, the mansion restored by the Italian luxury fashion house Prada. Just after Milan Fashion Week, which actress Ma Yili attended, Prada hosted a cocktail reception. The event was called “Night of Blossoms” (繁花之夜), to celebrate the launch of its capsule collection in collaboration with the smash hit TV series “Blossoms Shanghai”. The series was directed by Shanghai-born Hong Kong film auteur Wong Kar-wai and was his first TV outing.

The capsule collection included four key looks worn by Lingzi, one of the female leads in the series, portrayed by Ma. The collaboration was 3 years in the making when Wong’s team worked to provide Lingzi with a fashion-forward wardrobe that included not only Prada but the likes of Issey Miyake and Gucci. As the series is a period drama set in 1990s Shanghai, Prada pulled in archival garments for filming. Additional pieces in the capsule collections included jumpers, cardigans etc., as well as three handbags.

The event itself was an immersive experience for guests as Rong Zhai’s retro look harks back to the 1990s setting of the series. Other stars from the show including model and actress Du Juan, actor and singer-songwriter Huang Jue and actress and singer Naomi Wang Ju also attended the reception and photo opportunity.

The collaboration comes almost 2 months after the initial airing of the series. Prada, despite being a sponsor of the show did not market this relationship until its capsule collection was ready. In comparison, Armani, also a sponsor of the series, leveraged the fact the series’ lead actor Hu Ge is its brand ambassador and promoted its sponsorship via Hu Ge attending events related to the series during the original run. Other sponsors such as Pepsi-Cola and Rémy Martin all ran campaigns at the time. Prada, on the other hand, was a bit late to the game.

But there is also merit in this as it will not be buried in the tidal waves of Blossoms Shanghai-related news like many minor advertisers. Similarly, Hey Tea launched its co-branded tea with the series in early February to coincide with the rerun of the show. On Weibo, China’s Twitter equivalent, the topic “Prada Night of Blossoms” (#Prada繁花之夜#) reached number 20 on the Hot Search list with 24.43 million views. Prada’s star-studded launch event surely stood out as a localised exclusive event by a luxury brand.


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