January 18, 2018
Italian fashion house Versace is accessorizing for the 2018 Lunar New Year with help from a four-legged companion.
To celebrate 2018 Lunar New Year, which marks the Year of the Dog, Versace found inspiration in chief designer Donatella Versace’s dog, Audrey. Pet-themed marketing is prevalent throughout the year, especially in social media campaigns, due to consumers' love of Insta-famous dogs, cats and even hedgehogs, but for Lunar New Year brands often pair product with the year’s Chinese zodiac animal for a deeper connection.
In an email drop sent to subscribers, Versace sent an introductory note to its consumers to “meet Audrey Versace.” Since handbags are often personified with a female name, many may have thought the note was a notification for a new style.
When the message is opened, consumers are greeted by Versace’s logo against a red background. Soon, the motion of the GIF begins to show a Jack Russell Terrier with a red collar with the Versace Medusa head as a tag.
The GIF continues to include decorative scrolling, Versace’s grecian line motif and bedazzled elements in gold. As a full graphic, the GIF represents the Year of the Dog, Versace style, with traditional red and gold Lunar New Year coloring.
Verace's Year of the Dog GIF featuring Audrey Versace. Graphic credit: Versace
Describes as “feisty” and “fierce,” Ms. Versace’s dog Audrey has been incorporated into a special-edition six-piece leather accessories capsule for men and women. The collection also includes a keychain and three $825 T-shirts.
For men, Versace’s capsule features hand-stitched patches of Audrey and brand motifs. The women’s accessories includes an Audrey edition of the DV One handbag and a clutch with hand-stitched patches.
Versace's special-edition leather collection ranges in price from $3,450 to $755.
The Year of the Dog T-shirts feature the GIF in shirt form, available in red or black, while a third features a crystal embellished Audrey. The Versace Lunar New Year keychain shows Audrey holding up her paw, while a traditional Chinese coin, engraved with 2018, hangs near the clip.
Versace's $550 Year of the Dog keychain, featuring Donatella Versace's dog. Image credit: Versace
While Versace has taken a personal approach, other brands, such as France’s Longchamp, have opted to work with a Chinese influencer for the 2018 Lunar New Year.
Longchamp invited influencer Mr. Bags to decorate an edit of handbag styles in celebration of the Year of the Dog. First rolled out on Weibo and WeChat, the Longchamp bags, which feature dog paw prints, will also be available in stores all around the world (see story).