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Top fashion houses bungle Chinese Zodiac-inspired releases | Updated: 2016-01-15 16:21

Top fashion houses bungle Chinese Zodiac-inspired releases

Louis Vuitton jewelry collection for the Year of the Monkey. [Photo/Netease Style]

With Chinese customers spending big on luxury products comes pressure for the fashion industry to cater to their tastes. But they seem to have failed - and failed hard in this Chinese New Year.

Eager to incorporate traditional Chinese elements into their collections for the lucrative Chinese market, the Year of the Monkey saw many special releases. Sadly, for many Chinese customers, these releases failed to appeal. Most items, if not all, inspired by the Year of the Monkey became fodder of rampant online ridicule.

Brands whose designs were "lost in translation" include Louis Vuitton, Piaget and Nike, all well-respected brands that faced jeers from Chinese Internet users for going against their usually classy style.

Incorporating animal icons in fine jewelry can be tricky. Take Louis Vuitton's newly-unveiled necklaces and bracelets, for example.

Fashion pundits were apparently bemused by the alien-looking monkey motif, which, according to Netease's style section, is "too creepy to look at". The public is not buying the designs either. "You've got to be kidding me. Do monkeys in the real world look like that for them?" A post on WeChat said.

Louis Vuitton has company in facing ridicule. Dior, another French fashion house, didn't manage to incorporate Chinese elements successfully either. Unlike Louis Vuitton's gold chain necklace, Dior's "Diorelita" limited-edition collection opted for red rope, paired with a golden monkey motif. It was not well received either.

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