Gucci Wows Chinese Fans at Milan Fashion Week


On September 23, Gucci presented its spring 2023 collection in Milan and live-streamed its fashion show titled “Gucci Twinsburg” on social media platforms in China. In addition to sharing the show’s preludes with local audiences, the Kering label collaborated with brand ambassador Xiao Zhan and Chinese actresses Cecilia Song and Venda Li to send out video invites on Weibo. Along with the live broadcast, the house held a physical screening event in Beijing, inviting local media and fashion KOLs. Guests sat back to back in a mirror effect while watching the projected show, in keeping with this season’s concept of “identical twins”.

Meanwhile, the digitally savvy brand has pioneered a new approach to live streaming by tapping into Tencent’s Super QQ Show – the tech giant’s latest push into the metaverse. QQ users could choose to tune into the show from their private rooms or at a coastal music plaza on the virtual platform.

The Gucci Twinsburg fashion show on Tencent’s Super QQ Show app. Photo: Screenshot from the show Super QQ

The reaction of netizens

The show’s Weibo hashtags #GucciFW2023Show and #GucciTwinsburg had over 200 million and 100 million views respectively prior to the show’s live broadcast ⁠—a huge number for a warm-up campaign. The video invitation featuring Xiao Zhan generated significant traffic, receiving 12.2 million views in one day. The livestream drew over 26 million views on Weibo within an hour. In particular, traditional Chinese elements such as frog buttons and slanted button plackets featured on several looks impressed Chinese audiences.

Gucci turned to Chinese celebrities Xiao Zhan and Cecilia Song to promote its Gucci Twinsburg show. Photo: Gucci


In the second quarter of 2022, Kering’s mega-brand reported like-for-like revenue growth of 4%, down from 13% in the prior quarter. Despite the impact of lockdowns in China this fiscal year, Gucci actively engaged local customers through online activities. In June, the house announced its collaboration with local media powerhouse Huasheng Media Group to launch a cultural art project called “Blooming Shanghai”.

On the heels of the well-received cultural initiative, Gucci expanded its localization strategy to rethink the distribution of its shows. As livestreaming on social media becomes a normalized tactic among luxury players in post-pandemic China, the veteran is exploring new platforms to expand his reach. Similar to Nintendo’s hit video game series Animal Crossing, Super QQ Show allows users to dress up in virtual fashion pieces and socialize in various scenarios with digital currency earned by topping up cash or performing designated tasks. This program functions as another space for brands to tap into the Chinese metaverse and appeal to the younger generation.

James C. Tibbs