by Lois Geal
The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the largest festivals in Mainland China and East Asia, celebrating the harvest and reunion, which is also interpreted as the Chinese “Thanksgiving”.
Mooncakes are the long-established, traditional food for commemorating the festival - with some even referring to the celebration as the Mooncake Festival.
Most mooncakes take a round shape in order to represent both the moon and reunion. Typically, mooncakes have an intricate design on the top and feature a dense filling crafted from traditional fillings such as lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or a medley of nuts before being encased within a thin crust.
Dating back more than 3,000 years, their origin was during the 17th century BC. They are, to this day, popular gifts during the ancient festival based at Taipei and Taiwan.
In Chinese culture, the meaning behind mooncakes symbolise family reunion; the roundness of the cakes represent completeness as well as togetherness.
Creating their own logo-branded mooncakes this year are beloved and iconic fashion houses such as Gucci, Cartier, Loewe, Yves Saint Laurent, CÉLINE, Versace, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany & Co, Dior, Marc Jacobs and many more, in celebration of the holiday observed across East Asia.
The mooncakes that these fashion brands have curated come in craft gift boxes, and this is to showcase their commitment to the China market and understanding of Chinese culture. These luxury brands have created their own, specially designed mooncake gift boxes for valued customers as well as business partners.
These luxury brands’ mooncake gift boxes - in terms of cultural interpretation, brand speciality and how these gift boxes are designed - are important to the brands because they are able to both respect and appreciate other cultures. When it comes to each brand’s gift box, they are all unique and beautiful in their own way.
Inspired by the art of Chinese paper cutting, Tiffany & Co’s mooncake gift box has recreated the famous windows of Tiffany’s headquarters on 727 Fifth Avenue. At the bottom of the box, there comes a light which turns into a stylish yet traditional Chinese folkcraft lantern.
Offering five different coloured chocolates instead of mooncakes, Louis Vuitton - unlike other fashion brands that have created these gift boxes - has been surprising. Inside of the box, there is a playful blue hot air balloon floating in the “lucky clouds”, this being a symbol of best wishes in China. Hollow and decorated with Louis Vuitton’s classic clover logo is the balloon itself.
The most expensive mooncake gift box for the mid-autumn festival this year is Gucci. Housed in a heavy red suitcase, each decorated with a different Gucci classic pattern, Gucci’s mooncakes are kept in six tin boxes. Each tin box all colourfully represents the history and culture of China, making Gucci’s mooncake box one of the most valuable and beautiful mooncakes in comparison to other luxury brands’ mooncake collections.
It would make sense for these fashion houses to create these mooncakes, as it is something so different from what people are used to. Chinese consumers are always evolving fast and have been able to develop an intense and continuous love for fashion. These consumers too definitely have the confidence to spend their money, and definitely possess an appetite for luxury goods.
Fashion lovers, goers and enthusiasts are aware of the importance of luxury gift designs. Ralph Lauren’s mooncake packaging is displayed in a playful way that would capture the hearts of both fashion enthusiasts and cake lovers. With a charming yet almost adorable forest green and ice white coffee cart, and a basket full of tiny white flowers and a collapsible canvas umbrella, this has been able to transform Ralph Lauren’s mooncake box into a miniature and minimal coffee haven.
As many people are lovers of these fashion houses and brands, they all continuously pay tribute to traditions, traditional cultural objects, and will always make sure they add cultural twists to their designs, no matter what the occasion.
Edited by Emily Duff