The thinking behind Lululemon’s Lunar New Year collab with

Renowned activewear brand Lululemon has unveiled a Lunar New Year campaign featuring the iconic Academy Award-winning actress Michelle Yeoh as part of its focus on promoting holistic well-being for all demographics.  Set against the picturesque backdrop of Jingning and Xiandu’s mountainous landscapes, the campaign centres on a short film entitled “Be Spring,” which celebrates the Year of the Dragon and weaves together the artistry of Wing Chun martial arts and theatrical dance

nce. The film stars Yeoh alongside a talented cast of dancers from the Shenzhen Opera and Dance Theatre.

Born in the East and raised in the West, Yeoh symbolises the cultural convergence of the two worlds, and with her years of training in both dance and martial arts, she is the perfect person to explore the concept of well-being, inviting viewers to discover an eternal spring within their everyday lives.

To complement the short film, Lululemon has launched a limited Lunar New Year capsule collection inspired by the unique shapes and curves formed by overlapping dragon scales. 

In an exclusive interview with Inside Retail, Lynn Cheah, vice president of brand marketing and community at Lululemon China, shed light on the inspiration behind the collaboration and the brand’s commitment to well-being. 

The collaboration

According to Cheah, Lululemon advocates for holistic well-being and is committed to supporting its guests in finding ways to embrace their personal well-being journey across physical, mental and social dimensions.

“Spring, the first of the four seasons, signifies rebirth and new beginnings. ‘Be Spring’ explores the idea of finding ‘eternal spring’ through the lens of Eastern culture with a poetic enactment of ‘Wing Chun’ by Michelle Yeoh and theatrical dancers,” Cheah told Inside Retail.

She went on to say that the meeting of our mind and body, which is central to the martial art Wing Chun, is shown in the film, with Yeoh representing the body and the dancers representing the mind. 

“Through a poetic enactment of this meeting of the body and mind, ‘Be Spring’ invites us all to find eternal spring in our everyday lives,” she added. Cheah said that Yeoh was the natural choice having excelled at sports from a young age to years of training in both dance and martial arts.

“Today, Yeoh continues to champion the benefits of sports, encouraging more people to integrate physical movement to find balance in their own lives, which resonates with Lululemon’s core value of advancing wellbeing for all,” she noted.

The Lunar New Year capsule collection

According to Cheah, the festive and versatile pieces in the Lunar New Year collection draw inspiration from the overlapping scales of the dragon and classical Chinese architecture elements, making them perfect for holiday celebrations and everyday wear.

“By reimagining some of Lululemon’s most well-loved franchises, like the Align, Metal Vent Tech and Wunder Puff, in this season’s colour palette, we hope to offer versatile pieces for our guests to celebrate the new year,” she said.

For example, Align was first designed to meet the needs of yoga enthusiasts who want to feel light and free in their practice. By updating this well-loved item with seasonal colours, Cheah hopes to add a touch of festive flair both in and out of the studio. 

“We are also launching our annual digital activation on the Lululemon WeChat mini program. This year, by completing the final stroke of the Chinese character 春 (Spring), guests will have the chance to win a red packet and auspicious New Year wishes,” she revealed.

On January 12, the brand also celebrated the grand opening of the Lululemon flagship store on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.

“The franchises featured in the capsule collection are not only suitable for active lifestyles, but they are also designed to accompany guests in their everyday life. Our guests are increasingly looking for versatile pieces in our fabrics that can be worn in and out of the studio,” she added.

Cheah reiterated that these capsules have been well received by customers. Building on this momentum, the brand will continue to explore more opportunities for its guests.

A commitment to wellbeing

Lululemon has always been about promoting holistic wellness, and Cheah said that, every year since 2021 in China, the brand has activated its “Wellbeing for All” initiative in conjunction with World Mental Health Day in October.

The brand partners extensively with its collective, from the media to ambassadors, studio partners and store teams to encourage communities to participate in various classes. 

This underlines the brand’s belief that mindful performance and being connected to one another contributes significantly to one’s sense of overall wellbeing.

“In 2023, we hosted our most ambitious initiative yet – partnering with the renowned New York-based artist Jeremyville, we took over the West Bund in Shanghai, presenting a three kilometre-long art installation which formed the backdrop for various classes from yoga to spinning and welcomed over 5,000 guests,” she said.

Throughout October, in 32 cities around China, its teams also hosted similar classes and in total, over 12,000 guests moved with the brand.

“Additionally, every summer since 2021, we roll out Summer Sweat Games in conjunction with China’s National Fitness Day. Last year we witnessed the event’s expansion to over 100 stores across 36 cities that resulted in regional and national finals after participating in physical challenges focused on fun, sweat and connection,” she concluded.