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Tmall x Partisan du Sens: French design for Chinese brands

Christel Trinquier

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Tmall x Partisan du Sens: French design for Chinese brands

Chinese online retail giant Tmall has launched its Bonjour Brand project.

In Chinese culture, cakes are traditionally gifted in celebration of the annual moon festival. For this year’s festivities, retailer Tmall (Alibaba) and agency Bonjour Shangai called on French designers Partisan du Sens to create three high-end mooncake boxes for Chinese brands Wufangzhai, Jinzun and Daoxiangcun.

The cases were launched early October at the Beaubourg museum in Paris with some 100 other creations to be sold exclusively online: "Tmall wanted French designers to work on a selection of Chinese brands in its portfolio,” explains Partisan du Sens sales manager Katia Bredel.

The brief was simply to source inspiration from the world of couture. A take on the it-bag, the agency came up with two box-purses for Jinzun and Daoxiangcun: the first is a metal structure sheathed in paper featuring a triangular opening. The second, in imitation leather, is a play on the couture purse with its metal chain, visible stitching and metal clasp. To complete the collection, the box designed for Wufangzhai mimics a jewelry box; covered in imitation leather, it is printed in offset. Each small drawer contains a mooncake. "The art of gifting is paramount in China, so the customer wanted cases with high perceived value and specific narrative anchors," notes Bredel.

"For each creation, we drew on the brand's universe, both in terms of color palette and graphics. Drawer or mini-box: each moon cake is individually wrapped. As part of the Bonjour Brand project, Partisan du Sens also showed the cases it created for luxury cosmetics brand Voorlici. "We developed their positioning and packaging identity on a range of three face masks. In addition to the textured papers, hot gold decoration and embossing, the main ingredient of each mask appears in a branded block and is enhanced with brushstroke effects.

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