For those unacquainted, the annual Qixi Festival (also known as Chinese Valentine’s Day) celebrates the legend of two star-crossed lovers, Zhinhu, a weaver girl and daughter of a powerful goddess, and Niulang, a humble cowherd. The event falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the lunar calendar (so August 14). In 2021 Balenciaga will celebrate love through a range of reimagined cult silhouettes.
The Chinese will often send loved ones cards and stuffed animals during this time. The French fashion house has interpreted this gesture into a series of black and baby pink faux fur Hourglass bags of various sizes as well as phone and headphone cases. Exclusive Balenciaga Track and Track Sandal styles in black or silver are lined with pink or grey faux fur. Heart-shaped silver metal bag charms, pendant necklaces, hoop earrings, and friendship bracelets are also available – the perfect excuse to reach out to a friend.
Elsewhere an array of t-shirts, hoodies, shirts, caps, and socks in pink, black, and white are embroidered with a heart and ‘Balenciaga’ logo. In addition a special gifting card comes with each in-store purchase from the Balenciaga Qixi 2021 Series.
A campaign by artist Haotian Wang accompanies the in-store launch. He interprets romance and dating in the year 2021 (which is proving far harder than expected) through enacted scenarios around Shanghai’s metropolitan landscape. Videos and still images reveals couples who dance wearing VR headsets; they ride a motorised scooter together outside Plaza 66 – one of the cities famous shopping malls; they have virtual dates and send selfies via screens; they share a drink on a rooftop overlooking the skyline; and they send gifts from the Balenciaga Qixi 2021 Series using drones.
It’s fitting given not only the timing but our need to share a little extra love this month. The Qixi Festival will land on August 25.
For Australians, the sweet collection will be exclusively available from Balenciaga Chadstone Melbourne, Balenciaga Westfield Sydney and Balenciaga QueensPlaza Brisbane. For those in lockdown, call direct to purchase:
QueensPlaza Brisbane: +61 450 631 905
Westfield Sydney: +61 450 914 840
Collins Street Melbourne: +61 406 369 185
Chadstone Melbourne: +61 466 825 974