LONDON — Dover Street Market on Thursday unveiled a series of in-store activations and exclusive products to celebrate the upcoming Lunar New Year, which will land on Feb. 10 this year for the Year of the Dragon.
The Comme des Garçons-owned concept store offered the prime entrance location to the Shanghai-based label Shushu/Tong, one of the few Chinese labels it has been stocking for a decade, for an installation in the form of a submerged naked lady sculpture draped in pearl necklaces and earrings, and a cocktail reception at night catered by Bao, the small-plate Taiwanese eatery with a cult following in London.
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“In terms of order volume, Dover Street Market has been one of our biggest retail partners. They have been supporting us from Day One, and over the years they offered us many valuable and honest suggestions about things like how we should grow the brand, and what categories we should expand into,” said Liushu Lei, cofounder of Shushu/Tong.
Considered one of the must-see brands during Shanghai Fashion Week, the brand, which was founded by Lei and Yutong Jiang in 2015, now has about 20 employees in China and sells to more than 90 doors worldwide, with the dress being the bestselling category.
A frequent collaborator with Dover Street Market, Bao also set up a pop-up kiosk at the entrance with baked goods, collaborative fashion items with Carhartt WIP, Simone Rocha, Shushu/Tong and Deathmask on offer, in addition to Bao’s merch including sweatshirts, umbrellas emblazoned with men bouncing on pillowy Bao, Year of the Dragon wall calendars, and a custom-made engraved dragon Zippo lighter.
Erchen Chang, creative director of Bao, said this is their biggest collaboration with Dover Street Market to date.
“We have worked together for four years. Starting from small-scale VIP giftings, every year we expand the partnership a bit to gradually include a range of merchandise and now a pop-up. Hopefully, we’ll have more to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the years to come,” Chang said.
Asked about the collaborator lineup, Chang said Rocha has been a client of Bao. “We have worked on some sculptural pieces for them,” she added. The two teamed on a pocket-size red pear-shaped clutch with a faux-pearl crossbody strap.
The partnership with Carhartt WIP started at Chang’s previous Taiwanese fine-dining venture Xu in London’s Chinatown. The buzzy streetwear brand has been designing T-shirts for Bao for several years. The founder of Deathmask is a friend of Chang’s and they worked together on a pair of stylish clogs with mini golden bao sculptures on top. As for the red knitted hood in collaboration with Shushu/Tong, Chang said the style was based on one of the Chinese fashion brand’s top sellers.
The merch has been a fun and fast-growing addition to Bao’s culinary empire — six locations across London, with the latest branch in Battersea Power Station.
“We started by doing the tote bag. Our customers take them as a representation of their connection to us. We have grown from then to now teaming up with Dover Street Market for a range of designer products. I think there’s a lot of shared love for all these designers and creativity that we cherish,” she added.
The Bao and Shushu/Tong takeovers at Dover Street Market run from Thursday till Feb. 11, with prices starting from 7.5 pounds for a bottle of burnt chili hot sauce from Bao to 1,175 pounds for a Shushu/Tong puffy dress.
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