The Lunar New Year is the biggest date in the Chinese calendar, a time to press reset and start afresh. This year, Tuesday 1 February officially marks the move into the Year of the Tiger, a zodiac sign that is said to represent bravery and strength as the king of all beasts. From Gucci and Dior to Alexander McQueen and Burberry, luxury fashion houses have created limited-edition capsule collections to celebrate the occasion, incorporating traditional Chinese colours as well as the emblem of the tiger.
It seems only fitting that the tiger should be the sign for 2022 – known to symbolise power and fearlessness, it feels like the perfect energy to channel as we all aim to make a fresh start following the recent months of turmoil. People born in a year of the Tiger are predicted to be brave, competitive, unpredictable and confident, as well as being known for displaying great levels of willpower. It’s a stark departure from last year’s zodiac sign of the Ox, thought to be honest, loyal and hardworking, as well as stubborn.
The collections inspired by the Chinese zodiac’s most noble of beasts range from rich, celebratory reds at Alexander McQueen and Prada, where crimsons and scarlets adorn handbags, sneakers and knitwear, to the bold tiger prints at Gucci and Dior, where the majestic feline is emblazoned across T-shirts, bags and sweaters. Here we’ve hand-picked our selection of the best Lunar New Year-inspired pieces to shop now.
Lunar New Year 2022:
New Fashion Collections
The Italian fashion house has gone all-out with its Chinese New Year collection, embracing the tiger in all its forms, whether printed boldly across bags and blouses, subtly lining trench coats with its distinctive stripes or even prowling around the campaign shots in the flesh. Many of the pieces in the limited-edition range feature tigers painted by hand or patch crafted with crochet or embroidery techniques, turning them into one-of-a-kind collectible styles. The collection reflects Alessandro Michele’s fascination with nature – the Creative Director reworked one of Gucci’s signature Flora designs from the 1960s for this capsule, and the house joined the Lion’s Share Fund, an initiative that raises money to protect endangered species and their natural habitats, in 2020.
Valentino’s association with the tiger goes way back, all the way to its haute couture Autumn/Winter 1967 collection, when the Italian maison first utilised the tiger stripe pattern. Now, as part of the Lunar New Year celebration, the house is reviving the popular 60s print that was first immortalised by German model Veruschka in a shoot for Vogue. The tiger stripe returns in a series of contemporary ready-to-wear pieces, including oversized hoodies, bucket hats and nylon moon boots, as well as some of Valentino’s most recognisable designs like the Garavani Roman Stud bags, available in nude and bubble-gum pink versions.
Atmospheric crimson campaign shots herald Fendi’s Chinese New Year offering, with the brand enlisting two of its ambassadors to present the new pieces: Hong Kong actor and K-Pop star Jackson Wang and celebrated Chinese dancer Joni. The duo is shown in front of a red-carved ancient Chinese window with pieces from the limited-edition range, which feature an orange tiger print motif inspired by the Siberian tigers found in the north-eastern region in China. The print appears across accessories including backpacks, trainers and the brand’s famous Baguette Messenger bag, as well as on an exclusive aluminium suitcase designed in collaboration with high-end luggage label Rimowa.
The British label’s celebratory collection features a more understated version of the tiger’s signature stripes across some the brand’s most popular styles, including its Lola and Olympia bags, picked out in orange-hued embroidery. The tiger also makes an appearance in illustrations on men’s and women’s ready-to-wear designs, alongside an orange TB Monogram print that appears on baseball caps, cashmere scarves and trainers. The minimal campaign, shot by Chinese fashion photographer Feng Li against a stark white background, features top Asian models Liu Bingbing, Liu Chunjie, Wang Xiangguo, and Yang Ling.
To ring in the Lunar New Year, Prada is doing things a bit differently. They’ve launched ‘Action in the Year of the Tiger’, a combined campaign and project dedicated to raising awareness of the animal’s plight, as the largest in the cat family but also one of the species at greatest risk of extinction. Top Chinese actors Li Yifeng and Chun Xia feature in the dynamic campaign shots, which have been photographed against an eye-catching red background. As part of the project, Prada has partnered with art schools across China and asked them to showcase their interpretation of what the tiger means to them – selected pieces will then be used in further campaigns throughout 2022.
To celebrate the Year of the Tiger, Ferragamo has teamed up with prominent Chinese artists Sun Yuan and Peng Yu to create a unique print in homage to the powerful feline. Inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, the print depicts the tiger playing with a range of other wild creatures including a crane, eagle, deer and monkey in a quintessential Chinese garden, designed to present a joyful scene of renewal. The print can be seen across the Italian fashion house’s iconic Studio bag and silk foulard, while the rich reds of the brand’s Chelsea boots and Trifolio handbags lend a celebratory air to the collection. The capsule pieces are presented in a digital campaign that uses surreal cinematography to capture a magical scene of spring, complete with technicolour cherry blossoms and peach trees in full bloom.
For their collection, Dior has looked to the water tiger, creating a refined capsule that moves away from the traditional red to a calming blue colour palette. Dior Homme’s Kim Jones worked with American artist Kenny Scharf to create a playful range that features a cartoon tiger dancing across sweatshirts, shorts and shirts. There are also several pieces picked out in red, most notably a scarlet puffer jacket. Scharf first collaboration with Jones for Dior Men’s Autumn/Winter 2021 collection, which saw the artist’s works translated into prints and embroideries, with archival pieces appearing alongside a series of new commissions created specifically for the French luxury house.
The British fashion house focused on accessories for their Chinese New Year collection, with a particular emphasis on bags and trainers. Characterised primarily by crimson tones – which symbolises prosperity and good luck – the capsule revolves around two hero pieces: the Curve Mini Bags and the Oversized Sneaker. Two gloriously dramatic versions are available, either in a shimmering metallic leather or embellished all over with crystals. For those after something a little more subtle, the collection is completed by leather purses, credit card holders and coin purses featuring the brand’s signature skull clasp and McQueen print.