SHANGHAI–Longchamp and Chinese fashion blogger Mr. Bags have teamed up once again to memorialize the upcoming lunar year, celebrating the year of the pig with an added cheeky twist.
The limited-edition capsule collection is Liang’s take on the Longchamp’s classic Le Pliage Cuir styles, in pink and black lambskin variations adorned with next year’s zodiac animal, as well as a transparent PVC version of the Le Pliage Cuir top handle bag.
But perhaps the best bit is a hidden detail under the bag flaps: a playful fart illustration, conceptualized with the sole purpose of making the owner laugh. “Sometimes you feel sad, or bad, or tired, you open up the flap and you can see the fart. The fart is not for everybody, it’s just for yourself – you see it and you think ‘oh my god, life is funny,’” said Liang.
The capsule showcases a targeted, localized approach, with a slit in the body of the pig to represent a piggy bank money slot, a handy addition for the holiday where people are gifted money to symbolize good fortune and prosperity for the coming year. The bag straps have also been tailored to fit the average Chinese person’s body size.
“When Chinese people wear it across their body, the bag will be in the right place. For a lot of bags, it is too long. We actually target people from 158cm to 170cm,” said Liang.
The first five leather styles will be released on Dec. 14, with the new PVC Le Pliage top handle bag following on Dec. 28.
Prior to Mr. Bags and Longchamp’s first collaboration a year ago for the year of the dog, the brand’s creative director, Sophie Delafontaine, had designed many limited-edition Chinese New Year collections. However, she felt uncomfortable doing so, according to Liang. Chinese New Year capsules have often proved to be a cultural minefield–just see the way Gucci and Louis Vuitton’s pooch-adorned year of the dog items came under fire from Chinese netizens.
“She felt it was so difficult for a French girl to look at Chinese culture,” Liang said. “When she designed the collections, she didn’t know whether to put a cute pig or small pig, a pink pig or black pig, which one Chinese people would love, or which one is the right representation of the culture. So, we worked together.”
He added, “We don’t just want to put a big pig on the bag. Before, a lot of brands would do a red dragon or a gold phoenix, or something like that. But actually, Chinese people don’t like that. A big panda on the back? It’s not really Chinese people’s tastes.”
The collection, which ranges from $237 to $1,000, will be sold via WeChat mini program as well as in-store in an extended number of international markets. The U.S. and Japan are among the new countries that will receive the limited capsule along with China, France, the U.K., Italy, Spain, Germany, Singapore, and Malaysia.
Liang will be hitting the road too for the launch, appearing at Longchamp stores in Shanghai, Los Angeles, and Paris for the launch to meet with fans–currently totaling 900,000 followers on WeChat and 4.88 million followers on Weibo.