Bringing Palm Angels together with Team Wang Design is “not an obvious collaboration,” adds Morrison. But with the massive number of subscribers combined, they are bringing the brands of others to their global audience.
In September, StockX experienced the power of Wang’s fan base when it launched an exclusive Team Wang Design capsule through its model known as an IPO or Initial Product Offering, where customers fix the price through a blind auction. The launch received more than 10,000 unique offers from 56 countries in four days. “We knew it would be a successful moment and an activation for us in Asia, but I don’t think we anticipated the level of international and global engagement with this outing,” Morrison said, noting the popularity in China at Japan, Germany, United Kingdom and United States.
Since his debut with South Korean boy band Got7 in 2014, Wang’s popularity has skyrocketed, first in South Korea, mainland China and Japan, then in Europe and the United States, straddling the Hallyu wave, which refers to the rise in popularity of South Korean pop culture in the West. Its 24.7 million followers on Instagram are not far behind the 28.8 million on the Chinese platform Weibo. Previous collaborations and partnerships include Adidas, Armani and Fendi.
Wang Design team co-founder and CEO Henry Cheung said he wanted to create a truly international brand, drawing consumers beyond the original fan base. He sees the collaboration with Palm Angels as an important first step. “To be a long-term brand, we can’t stick with the original customer base,” he says. “Collaboration with Palm Angels will definitely bring more people to our customer base and help us open channels to a global audience.” The line is already profitable, although the company has yet to disclose year one sales.
Beyond the celebrity effect
Celebrity brands like Team Wang Design have a clear leg up on pure fashion lines in that they can tap into a pre-existing fan base. “They can sell millions in a matter of days. What designer can do that? Says Roma Cohen, founder of Miami-based multibrand boutique Alchemist, which has hosted pop-ups and events for celebrity lines including Justin Bieber’s Drew House, The Weeknd’s Rare XO, and G Dragon’s Peaceminusone. .
According to Steffi Noel, project manager at market research firm Daxue Consulting, the celebrity effect is even more pronounced when the fan base is Chinese. “The fan community in China is among the most powerful in the world,” she said. “When idols launch a product, you can expect thousands of fans to buy it because they want the fame to grow and be even more successful.” The pop-up opened by Team Wang Design at the TX Huaihai Mall in Shanghai in January drew 5,000 people on day one.