As the only imaginary animal in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on a cycle of five elements and twelve animals ruling each year, the dragon has long been a totemic figure in Chinese culture as a symbol of power, royalty, wisdom and luck. Endowed with a natural charisma, dragons are seen as very lucky. With 2012 being the Year of the Water Dragon, many top fashion brands around the world are plunging into the fiery dragon pool, and are taking advantage of the mystical creature’s mainstream resurgence by producing stylish items (in limited collections) that feature the said beast, in hope that the new year would bring a spike in sales to help offset soft demand in Europe and the United States.
Well, wait no more. Let's see which product/s will bring us luck, good fortune and style, of course. Enter (or wear) the dragon!
Italian luxury fashion house Versace is also showing its stylish panache for the dragon this year with the launch of a specially designed jewel handbag, which comes with a gold handle and traditional golden dragon details on a black body. The bag is limited to 210 pieces and sold exclusively in Asia.
Italian powerhouse Emporio Armani honors the dragon as a symbol of wealth and charm, and has developed two special limited edition watches '2012 YEAR OF THE DRAGON'. With only 2012 pieces made, these watches are bound to bring you good luck. Available at selected Emporio Armani stores worldwide.
Another Italian luxe brand, Salvatore Ferragamo, is taking inspiration from traditional Oriental art. It recently launched a special limited edition Year of the Dragon classic series of handbags, including a classical W brand handbags, Sophia handbags and wallets. The handbags utilizes the auspicious color in Chinese culture – the red color, with some Chinese traditional embroidery craft embroidery in dragon and lotus patterns.
Not to be outdone, Coach is doing the dragon dance by collaborating with Chinese artist Zhang Lan to put his stamp on a collection, the Azure Dragon of the East. Check out the tote bag and all the accessories.
Bally is showing its version of a dragon heart with the release of a handsome capsule collection of shoes and accessories adorned with a dragon motif. The signature red and white colours complement the pieces beautifully.
Top global menswear brand, Hugo Boss, also launched their 2012 Asia Limited Edition BOSS Black Dragon Collection centered around casual wear and leather goods. The collection blends in the peace-representing dragon into their designs, made with excellent craftsmanship, illustrating the brand’s promotion of creative men's lifestyle in the Year of Dragon.
For 2012, here comes a commemorative offering for the dragon year by top global retailer Zara: classic men’s lace-ups with a fabulous twist, designed to symbolize luck, strength and success for the new year.
Swarovski turns flashy this 2012 and has designed a whole dragon-themed collection that includes men's and women's watches, accessories and jewellery. The Piazza Grande Automatic Dragon Limited Edition for men features a black lacquered dial with a depiction of the dragon - in black, red and white; while the Piazza Dragon Limited Edition for women goes with a white dragon, laced with dashes of black and red and accentuated by the white silver sunray dial. On the other hand, the crystal-embellished Paladin collection comprises a necklace, pendant, bracelet and brooch. A line of fine leather goods for the gents, the Nightfall Dragon collection consists of a wallet, a cardholder and a key-ring. The dragon motif is embossed, its outline subtly evoked in a tone-on-tone design in black leather embellished with four Jet Hematite crystals. The Nightfall Dragon key-ring with the the octagonal form plays on the figure '8', a symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture.
Piaget pays tribute to the Year of the Dragon with a very blingy Dragon and Phoenix collection that features 24 different models. This new series is crafted to stand out as a statement piece. The most expensive watch in the collection, the Altiplano Double Jeu, of which the watchmaker will sell only eight.
Blancpain's legendary Caruso gets a spin with an elegant touch of the dragon. While most watches place a dragon design on the front face, Blancpain has decided to place it the other way. This unique design has a face that displays the signature look of the Caruso series, but turn it around and be pleasantly surprised to discover an exquisite engraved Chinese dragon on the 18k rose gold rear case.
Skagen gets timely with the launch of a limited edition piece of the Skagen Dragon watch. The collection will only have 120 pieces each in the men's and women's range. This limited edition piece of Skagen Dragon watch is an interpretation of the Chinese dragon married seamlessly to the Danish minimalist design.
There's a cute way to welcome 2012. Feeling amazingly gorgeous begins with this sparkling Hello Kitty mirror. A shiny gold metallic finish covers the surface of its durable plastic component. To celebrate Chinese New Year and the year of the dragon, it comes in a special commemorative box. Find a special New Year's message from Hello Kitty printed inside.
Nike celebrates of the Chinese New Year with the Year of the Dragon Collection featuring the Air Force 1 Low Supreme, Nike Kobe VII System Supreme, the Nike Zoom KD IV, as well as offering a first look at the Air Jordan 2012. Brimming with design details inspired by the Chinese dragon, each shoe features a unique theme, capturing Nike’s global imprint.
The big cat roars into the Year of the Dragon product ring, releasing a brand new collection that consists of the classic Puma Suede sneaker and a matching T7 track jacket. The red-based Suede has been treated to a special cross-weave design strategy meant to give off the appearance of dragon scales. Dragon images and Chinese lettering are embroidered on various parts of the equally appealing T7 track jacket.
The New Balance 574 first premiered back in 1988 and has since enjoyed iconic status for its comfortable fit, innovative use of materials and its plethora of colourways. This year, the 574 silhouette comes in a colour palette of red, gold, black and yellow for the Chinese New Year.
Featured on the Chuck Taylor All Star Leather Hi silhouette, Converse puts the dragon on everyone's feet by altering the upper to replicate ancient porcelain dragon decorations, complete with a wonderfully detailed dragon-shaped eyelet, red and black leather emblem, and contrasting black laces. The all-over porcelain print exclusives, along with other Year of the Dragon releases, will be available at select Converse retailers.
Starting the Chinese New Year with a bang, the new Stussy collection features some interesting dragon graphics as well as the double ‘S’ logo reworked with the mythological creature. The collection is comprised of a couple of jackets, including one made of velour and another in satin, as well as tees and dragon mesh cap.
SWATCHSwiss watchmaker Swatch welcomes the Year of the Dragon with a limited edition watch that features an intricate and graceful Chinese dragon drawn in blue on the white of the silicone strap, it draws inspiration from classic Chinese-style blue and white porcelain. Fortunately for us Pinoys, this timely piece of artwork is also available for purchase in the Philippines.
Whether you're Chinese or not, have a Prosperous, Happy & Stylish Dragon Year to all!
NOTE: Most of the products may not be available in the Philippines.