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Celebrating the year of the pig ‘a la mode’…

Happy Chinese new year! To celebrate the Year of the Pig in style, fashion houses have come together to embrace the pig in all its glory. It’s quickly becoming almost an annual tradition to commemorate festive periods with limited-edition capsule collections, to pay homage in the best, fashionable way we know how. After all, what better way to celebrate than a mass of products emblazoned in piglets?

According to Chinese tradition, the pig represents prosperity, luck and fortune. The positivity that surrounds the pig is something that designers have grasped with both hands and have started interweaving the animal into their items – each brand approaching it from a different angle. For example, Swiss manufacturer Vacheron Constantin has introduced an extravagant and exclusive timepiece to celebrate the Year of the Pig. It’s priced at a lofty $136, 000 – respectively. Whilst items like this are at one end of the spectrum, brands like Louis Vuitton and Bottega Veneta are offering lower-maintenance items, such as keychains and bag charms.

A fashion house that has already declared its appreciation for the pig is of course, Gucci. Gucci’s 2019 Cruise campaign featured Harry Styles in a classic, Renaissance garden, accompanied by baby piglets, goats and lambs. It was ethereal and wondrous in all its Gucci flare.

Fast forward a few months and Gucci have returned to the purchase power of the pig. With Alessandro Michele as the creative force behind it, the Chinese New Year campaign takes inspiration from Disney’s classic tale – Three Little Pigs and features the three whimsical characters throughout all of their items. Fashion’s close affiliation with Disney references is becoming more and more of a commonplace, and designer houses often dive into the archives for inspiration. Think Kenzo’s salute to The Jungle Book in 2016, or Coach’s nod to fairy-tale princesses in the Disney x Coach collection. So, Gucci’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ campaign is both innovative and traditional in its own right. The fusing of the two is clear in the Frank

Lebon photographed look book – starring models draped head-to-toe in Gucci garments on the streets of New York with their pet pigs.

Gucci are not alone in celebrating the Chinese New Year by fully embracing the pig. Like Gucci, Moschino kept to the cartoonist theme, enlisting the Warner Bros. Consumer Products to feature Porky and Petunia Pig from Looney Tunes. Moschino’s collection has an edgy, punk rock aesthetic across its streetwear items. Other collaborations include Longchamp and Chinese fashion blogger Mr. Bags, whilst high-street retailer Vans have collaborated with Chinese brand Purlicue – all for the Year of the Pig.

Sadly, not all fashion houses have been so successful with their advertising campaigns. Bulgari had a very short-lived promotion after their wordplay on Jew for Jewellery was meant to signify the pig in the Chinese language, yet led to a quick withdrawal of the campaign due to the implications concerning Jewish dietary requirements. In a similar light, Burberry have been targeted for their ‘Modern Tradition’ photographic campaign. Riccardo Tisci’s family portrait was criticised for a complete and utter misrepresentation of Chinese family life.

From streetwear, to handbags to keyrings – the Year of the Pig is well and truly upon us. The fashion industry has wasted no time in making sure everyone can see the Lunar New Year in style.

Top items to look out for: Three Little Pig Ace Sneaker & Flying Pig Brooch.

Words by Chloe Hill

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The UK's first Career & Lifestyle Magazine for women in the Creative and Media industries.

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