“Who is your muse?”: the unexpected collaboration

The unexpected collaboration between Karl Lagerfeld and Tsingtao has made quite the impression on Chinese young consumers.

Walking in your daily routine and taking your usual subway, you probably have seen these huge posters about this crossover and thought “how audacious this campaign is!”

Karl Lagerfeld completely reinvented the iconic Tsingtao bottle to match it with its emblematic codes. 


Indeed, this beer is known to be the typical affordable Chinese beer that you can find everywhere in China. Although this beer is still very popular amongst Chinese people as well as foreigners, it is still considered as a cheap and folk beer.

What is interesting to notice was the offset between this popular cheap-beer brand and the luxury brand, Karl Lagerfeld. Icon of the French savoir-faire, Karl Lagerfeld is known amongst everyone and recognized worldwide.  When he passed away in 2019, many people of China’s fashion industry showed their compassion. Karl Lagerfeld has already partnered with many brands in China but Tsingtao is the first collaboration with a full Chinese brand.

With many stores in China, this designer is very popular in this country mainly for his trendy collections that always have a huge success here. “Who is your muse?” is an ode to all the muses that have inspired him throughout his years as a creator. From Chanel to Chloe, passing by Fendi and by creating his own brand, Karl Lagerfeld has definitely expanded his talent and know-how in every area of fashion.

The collection featured a cartoon Lagerfeld and his famous cat Choupette. This was a tribute to all the muses whom inspired him during his career. Lagerfeld always said that his creative inspirations were his muses. The co-branded products also featured Karl Lagerfeld’s iconic monochrome style, enabling the luxury brand to maintain its unique style within the partnership.

By being the first Chinese brand to collaborate with them, Tsingtao affirm itself has the unavoidable Chinese brand.

With this campaign, Karl Lagerfeld successfully merged two topics that are popular among Chinese young people: fashion and nightlife.

This collection is therefore appealing to the younger generation and this partnership has fulfilled its goal by successfully promoting sales and expanding its audience to younger consumers.

Continuing with this collaboration, on November 4, Tsingtao also opened its Tsingtao Lab in Shanghai. This popup offered customers the opportunity to participate in games, cat shows, parties, and shop blind boxes while drinking limited edition beers.

This crossover especially resonated to Chinese millennials and Gen-Z that tend to feel like their creativity is evaporating due to their hard labor and long working day. The Chinese system is becoming more and more demanding in terms of work and productivity, being inspired by the western model of consuming and producing.